Large Robotic 3D Printing Builds Sailboat Hull from Recycled Material

RAPID

Share this Article

This year’s Milan Design Week in Italy took place last week, and just as in years past, an interesting 3D printed innovation was showcased at the annual event. Much like Zaha Hadid Architects explored robotic 3D printing for Milan Design Week in 2017, Italian company Caracol and its partner NextChem – Marie Tecnimont’s company for green chemistry and energy transition technologies – used the technology to create what they’re calling the world’s first 3D printed sailboat hull prototype. We’ve seen 3D printed sailboat parts and models before, but this joint research project, called Beluga, is something new.

Typically, making a sailboat requires manufacturing methods that use molds and materials, such as fiberglass, that are tough to recycle. For this project, Caracol used its proprietary robotic Additive Manufacturing system to print the hull of the Beluga sailboat in a single piece out of NextChem’s recycled MyReplast material.

The 3D printed Beluga sailing at Monte Argentario, Italy, this summer.

Caracol’s large-scale 3D printing system uses a six-axis robotic arm and a company-patented extruder to help users improve their efficiency, production lead time, and part performance, while also being more conscientious of the environment. Circular economy processes that reuse plastic for new products are even more important as the amount of plastic pollution in the world steadily increases. If the amount of plastic we waste continues the way it has been, about 12 billion metric tons of plastic waste will be in our landfills, or polluting the environment, by the year 2050.

The Beluga sailboat, which Caracol referred to as a “symbol of new beginnings, restart, exploration, and here also of an innovation in the manufacturing world” in a press release, was 3D printed in one piece, entirely out of NextChem’s MyReplast material that was recovered through waste upcycling processes. This 3D printed hull prototype is a perfect example of using recycled polymers to produce new advanced components for high-performance applications.

Caracol’s robotic additive manufacturing system in use at its headquarters in Italy.

The 3D printed Beluga sailboat hull prototype by Caracol and NextChem was officially presented at the 2021 Milan Design Week, right in the heart of the Isola Design District in Via Angelo della Pergola. During the five-day event, various guest speakers talked about this joint research project and the various themes related to it, such as plastic recycling, the circular economy, and large-scale robotic additive manufacturing innovation.

Caracol and NextChem were also supported in this project by Euroscatola, which uses recycled material to produce packaging; furniture design company Elli, which shared some of its pieces for the installation that were printed by Caracol out of recycled material; and the Yacht Club Santo Stefano, a sailing club associated with the Italian Sailing Federation that offered up its own locations, team of athletes, and expertise to help test out and validate the 3D printed sailboat.

(Source/Images: Caracol)

Share this Article


Recent News

Iris van Herpen’s Spectacular Season: A 3D Printed Wedding Dress and Two Galas

NatureWorks Gets $350M Loan to Build PLA Manufacturing Plant in Thailand



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Model No. Deploys Titan Pellet 3D Printers for Sustainable Furniture Production

Over the years, many designers have tried to create 3D printed polymer furniture. Early pioneers like Janne Kyttanen, Materialise’s MGX, and Joris Laarman have led the way with 3D printed...

3D Printing News Unpeeled: Recycling PLA, More Efficient Atomizing

Filamentive hopes to recycle your PLA if you’re in the UK and order over £500 worth of filament. Their partner 3D Printing Waste (3DPW) will turn the PLA into injection...

Lighting the Way with Potato Starch: Sustainable Polish ECO Lamps Use 3D Printing

Lighting that meets the essence of nature: this is the reality brought to life by ECO Lamps, which introduces a fresh perspective to sustainable lighting design using potato starch. These...

3D Printing News Unpeeled: 3D Printed Construction Standard, Sand Wall & Self Heating Microfluidics

ISO/ASTM Standard 52939:2023 has been released and it sets standards for QA for 3D Printed polymer, composite and cement buildings. This is most welcome since 3D printed construction is a...