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Old 16-10-2014, 19:11   #31
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

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My first attempt!

Throw a little glass over it and you have one hell of a strong boat with a non water permeable core.
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Old 16-10-2014, 19:31   #32
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

Perhaps when the tools are applicable to steel, carbon fiber, aluminium it may be useful. It would be cool to make boat parts from a pile of logs.
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Old 16-10-2014, 20:25   #33
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

Here is the Grass Roots Engineering 3D Printed Kayak. The cost is about $500 in materials.


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Old 16-10-2014, 20:27   #34
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

While this concept is intriguing, I don't think its going to be practical for quite a long time. Something like a boat is too large and simple to really lend itself to the strengths of 3d printing.


I'd be more interested in seeing UHMW replace fiberglass as the outer skin on most cored hulls, bonded to a UWMW spine running from the bow down to the keel. It's ultra impact resistant and extremely slippery, rivaling Teflon in that regard. I theorize that if properly polished, it could be so slippery that nothing could grow on it.

No need to repaint the bottom, if you hit a semi-submerged container, you'd just bounce off of it. Hit some coral? It would just slide off, with minor scratching. It's currently revolutionizing the offroad world as a skidplate material. A 1/4" sheet of it can support lighter vehicles, 3/8" sheets routinely support heavier vehicles.

It can be roto molded, sprayed hot like paint or under coating, or rolled into sheets. If there was enough of a demand for it, I'm sure someone would come up with a cost effective way to mfr honeycomb core laminate versions of it, so the hull itself would be bouyant, with billions of trapped air pockets.
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Old 17-10-2014, 09:17   #35
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

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While this concept is intriguing, I don't think its going to be practical for quite a long time. Something like a boat is too large and simple to really lend itself to the strengths of 3d printing.


I'd be more interested in seeing UHMW replace fiberglass as the outer skin on most cored hulls, bonded to a UWMW spine running from the bow down to the keel. It's ultra impact resistant and extremely slippery, rivaling Teflon in that regard. I theorize that if properly polished, it could be so slippery that nothing could grow on it.

No need to repaint the bottom, if you hit a semi-submerged container, you'd just bounce off of it. Hit some coral? It would just slide off, with minor scratching. It's currently revolutionizing the offroad world as a skidplate material. A 1/4" sheet of it can support lighter vehicles, 3/8" sheets routinely support heavier vehicles.

It can be roto molded, sprayed hot like paint or under coating, or rolled into sheets. If there was enough of a demand for it, I'm sure someone would come up with a cost effective way to mfr honeycomb core laminate versions of it, so the hull itself would be bouyant, with billions of trapped air pockets.
Again, that may be true for now but materials science in this regard is moving very very quickly. We are talking about designing a program to support the development of these boats at this point... we are not looking for durability in the prototype, just gain the experience on how one would go about addressing all the issues that have been brought up. There are materials problems, manufacturing problems, and cost issues... there is no lack of people wanting to do this. We are certainly not the first people to think about doing this.

In short, this thread is exactly what is needed: envision where you want to be, define the problems, perform a gap analysis, and then develop a plan to fill those gaps.

Then you take that plan and implement a pilot project around the program principles.

I don't think I really need to preach to this group about the process - you guys are much more accomplished in this arena that I am.

In the 3d printed kayak I could see how the printing could include air chambers to make the whole thing inherently buoyant. He built the boat out of larger pieces but I see no reason why he couldn't have built it from smaller pieces.

In regards to the lego thing, boats are not that much different from legos right now. They are built from small pieces cobbled together using fitted edges, mating components, etc. Of course, he used glue and screws. At the very least, we could take process lessons from how the legos designs are formulated. Here is a free app from lego's that demonstrates the principle:

LEGO.com Digital Designer Virtual Building Software

BTW, you can print wood-like materials and metal now. The metal equipment is not available at the consumer level.
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Old 20-01-2015, 22:39   #36
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

forgive me for both resurrecting an old thread and asking it to go some place new but:
If I am going to design my own tri, I think I would like to make a model of it first.
How much for one of these babies? My parts would not be much bigger than 10-12 inches long.
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Old 21-01-2015, 05:46   #37
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

The printers that "do" an 8"x8"x8" volume are about $600. Don't expect flawless performance at this price point.

Design the parts to fit together and solvent bond for larger parts.
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Old 21-01-2015, 07:19   #38
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

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forgive me for both resurrecting an old thread and asking it to go some place new but:
If I am going to design my own tri, I think I would like to make a model of it first.
How much for one of these babies? My parts would not be much bigger than 10-12 inches long.
If you are only going to print one or two things, or have never printed anything before, there are MakerSpaces around the country that would be willing to help. There is an Maker Bar in my city where you pay to print. But, it is still cheaper then the machine and filament, plus with less 'stuff' to figure out what to do with when you aren't using it.

There may even be a way to send it out to print and have them send you a package back if you don't live close to one.

It is an interesting concept. Could you 'print' Epoxy, fiberglass, and foam? The Chinese are printing entire houses and pieces to put together apartment buildings out of cement. Some people have printed out entire cars. So, I think it could be possible.
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Old 21-01-2015, 08:23   #39
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

I was in Home Depot the other day and they actually have 3d printers for sale. They have a large one and a smaller one set up for demonstration
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Old 21-01-2015, 09:22   #40
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

I think, in theory, that the assumption that boat needs to use the same materials we use now is a false assumption. Plastics and plastic-like materials based on carbon, graphite, and even standbys like copper and wood pulp that are as stronger than stainless steel for example.

The other aspect that must be taken into account is the precision that can be achieved when printing parts. I'm not talking $600 printers from home depot. There is no need to use epoxy or glue to make a high quality water tight seal or to give the component great strength because the tolerances are so tight. Legos ARE a good example. Imagine super legos with precisions 100x as accurate as those toys. The parts so precise, produced one after another in custom shapes selected by the design software, that allow you to literally snap together a boat, car, whatever. Parts with matings so precise that when snapped together form a mirror-like view. In theory you could have them self-weld.

This is not science fiction... this is one of the fastest growing industries in the world right now. Expensive for now, but you start with the small things and work your way up. think circuit breakers, LED printed lighting, hooks, clasps, then maybe port holes, surface materials, etc...
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Old 21-01-2015, 09:39   #41
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

It's a great idea if what you need to make is made of one type of material. The problem is, most things on a boat are made of more than one type of material.
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Old 21-01-2015, 09:46   #42
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

While printing stuff is a new and exciting technology, I don't really see it as lending itself well to large items like a boat. I still think the mold process is still well suited to things like hull and deck shapes, but I'd like to see more advanced materials used in the process, like possibly UHMW as the outer layer for impact and water resistance, with a foam or balsa core and interior finished in fiberglass. This way osmosis and frequent bottom painting are things of the past.

Hit a semi-submerged container? No problem, the hull didn't breach. Anchored in FL? Just wipe the hull down every couple of months, it's too slippery for anything to attach itself. Get caught in the storm of the century? No worry about the hull breaking up, it's too tough.
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Old 21-01-2015, 09:50   #43
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

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I was in Home Depot the other day and they actually have 3d printers for sale. They have a large one and a smaller one set up for demonstration
I believe that's a Dremel product, and it gets pretty mediocre reviews on Amazon.

Newt, I think this is one of those "the longer you wait the better output you'll get" kinda things where the technology is not quite ready for prime-time, but very close. Certainly the applications are clear and the market is piling R&D and money into it.

That said, you'll need to build a 3D model first, and I bet that will give you enough to chew on for awhile.

Oh, evidently the filament used in many of these machines is water soluble, so don't go floating your model in the tub just yet.
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Old 21-01-2015, 09:55   #44
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

Yeah... disposable boats! make them from plastic like those dingys that deteriorate in the sun and just print a new one when it crumbles!
The only remaining question... is it Blu Water or not! and could it ever be without Plexus?
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Old 21-01-2015, 10:15   #45
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Re: 3D printing a whole boat

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Yeah... disposable boats! make them from plastic like those dingys that deteriorate in the sun and just print a new one when it crumbles!
The only remaining question... is it Blu Water or not! and could it ever be without Plexus?
Always a firestarter! Go back to using a quill and parchment! Just kidding

Anyhow - who said anything about disposable? You can print metal now. Most advanced 3d printers can print multiple materials in one printing, just like you can print multiple colors on a piece of paper.

I think if 3d printing is going to take off the materials science still needs a lot of work, but like everything these days, its faster than you can read about it in the news.

I tend to be optimistic in areas like this because this is what I am paid to do as an Engineering Architect. I spend a great deal of time going to clients and trying to get them to understand what they do, as most of my clients don't really have a clue about what they do internally. Then think about the objective rather than the process. We then help them develop new processes to support the objective rather than just thinking about the problem in the same old way. My success rate is about 40% but that 40% is extremely successful. So, I give this concept about a 40% chance of success.
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