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In the category of "gee whiz"...


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3D printed boats exist now and may become a new way to make a custom yacht.  The article says that they are lighter, but the examples they give are actually heavy for their lengths by multihull standards.  

https://www.3dsourced.com/feature-stories/3d-printed-boats-future/

The article surprised me with their list of materials being used in "additive construction" which is sorta cool since it resembles a video played in reverse of a caterpillar eating a leaf.  Fiberglass, carbon fiber, metals....thought 3d was only plastic before reading the article.

Boats do seem to be constructed using "old fashioned" methods with a lot of labor and no assembly lines--one at a time craftsmanship.  

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Interesting and not surprising.  No date on the article that I saw and the latest reference was a build in 2019.  I wonder what's happened in the last 3 years, nothing?

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The person I know who knows the most about this stuff is very optimistic about printing metals, but a bit less so about composites in demanding performance applications like sailboats. Composite printing can do a lot, but it can't match even home hobbyist vacuum bagging for strength to weight, or apparently even come close.

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Definitely interesting but I have questions!
 

4 hours ago, Jangles13 said:

First of all why not put some bulkheads in there (other than just the central spine)? Surely that would help increase the overall rigidity?

My second thought about the weight claims, I could see this being lighter than a solid SCM hull (it's effectively building a sandwich as there is intentionally a lot of void in the thick sections).

I do wonder what a "hybrid" construction method could achieve: print the "shell" and add some "proper" reinforcements using carbon uni in strategic places to improve the overall strength.

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I think it'd be a great tool to test hull forms for drag.  You can tell that there isn't a lot of true knowledge (science) among designers, just a lot of "this seems to work" based on what has worked in the past (art).   Print a whole boat in 72 hours.  

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