French Project Lab-REV to Set Sale on 6-Month-Long Expedition with a 3D Printer On-Board

RAPID

Share this Article

v3I’m always amazed by how quickly 3D printing seems to be spreading around the world throughout just about every industry and discipline out there. The technology is being used for new applications daily, and innovative individuals are thinking of ways to both improve the technology itself and the applications they are using it for.

One group of individuals based in Nantes, France, called Lab-REV, has taken the technology to uncharted territory, placing 3D printers aboard sailboats. Lab-REV, is an association which is made up of young engineering and architecture grads who have a desire to find solutions to make boating more environmentally friendly and more economically feasible. Whether it’s energy independent boating, designing vessels that can be upcycled rather than become obsolete, or conserving energy and other resources at seas, Lab-REV is keeping busy.

They’ve been working on an engine that can utilize cooking oil as fuel, built their own GPS navigation units using open source electronics, and, as mentioned above, are placing 3D printers on vessels at seas.

v10

We’ve already seen that the US Navy has been testing large-scale printers on Naval Ships to see if they could print parts, instead of having to have them delivered to the ship, perhaps thousands of miles from land. What Lab-REV is doing is similar, however, they have taken things a step or two further. Not only are they placing a printer on a sailboat, they are printing functional parts for the vessel as well.

“A good solution to navigate at a low cost and with a limited carbon footprint is to buy a used boat, but often there is other equipment to buy as well, which means costs rise quickly, especially if you want to navigate while respecting the environment,” explained Adrien Merchandise, head of the Lab-REV Project.

What Lab-REV realized is that not only can they place printers on boats in case there is an emergency, but they can print parts as well as create environmentally friendly gadgets for the vessels v2instead of paying hefty fees at retail. For instance they have already 3D printed several interesting gadgets and gizmos. They’ve printed and assembled a prototype wind turbine which acts as a power source for the on-board 3D printer, while they are also working on a more sophisticated hydro power generator. Other items such as anchor cleats, and various brackets or clamps can all be printed on the fly as well, further enabling self sufficiency during an expedition.

So what did Lab-REV decide to do next to test the on board 3D printer and numerous parts which they have printed out of PLA plastic? They decided to embark on a six-month-long, 10,000 km expedition around the Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic. Originally planning to depart at the end of March, repairs to the vessel have pushed things back a couple of weeks. The team plans to embark on this journey within days, providing them with an invaluable learning experience, and hopefully acting as a stepping stone for widespread environmentally friendly, and safe, sailing.

We wish them good luck and hope they return with a new found knowledge of what 3D printing is capable of on the seas. Let’s hear your thoughts on this amazing journey and how 3D printing is playing a major role. Discuss in the Lab-REV forum thread on 3DPB.com.

aa

v5

Share this Article


Recent News

InfinitForm Comes out of Stealth with AI Co-pilot for Manufacturing Design

US Army Contracts 3YOURMIND & Phillips Corp. for 3D Printed Tank Parts Identification



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Featured

Printing Money Episode 18: The DC Fly-In with Mark Burnham, AddMfgCoalition

It’s only been a week since the previous show, but Printing Money is back already with Episode 18. Certain events call for Printing Money’s coverage, and the recent 2nd Annual...

Aerospace OEM Invests $9.1M in Michigan for Metal 3D Printing and More

Barron Industries, a foundry based in Michigan specializing in serving the aerospace and defense sectors, has made a $9.1 million capital investment to expand its operations in Oxford, Michigan. The...

Can Higher Power Density Engines Lead to Broader 3D Printing Use?

Traditionally, when it comes to sports cars, interest has centered around metrics such as horsepower per cubic inch and power-to-weight ratios. These metrics are calculated and interpreted differently by various...

Wisconsin’s Evology Adds Digital Sheet Forming to Service Roster

Evology, a service bureau based in Wisconsin and specializing in serving strategic sectors like aerospace and defense, has added digital sheet forming (DSF) to its repertoire of manufacturing capabilities. Evology...