Pat Carey, Senior Vice President at Stratasys, said, “The demands of sailing are very similar to the speed, loads and lightweight requirements mandated by aerospace. That’s why carbon fiber is such a natural choice for material.”
Additive manufacturing and the 36th America’s Cup
American Magic comprises of elite racing programs Bella Mente Racing, Quantum Racing, and the New York Yacht Club. This collective was established to win the 36th America’s Cup, a renowned international sailing yacht competition. American Magic is one of seven entrants who will take part in the event, scheduled to commence on March 6th, 2021, in Auckland, New Zealand.
Before this competition, the entrants are fixed to compete in several America’s Cup World Series regattas and the Prada Cup, the Challenger Finals series. Thus, American Magic sought to create high-speed, light-weight production parts for each of its vessels for these upcoming competitions.
According to the club, the American Magic boats are specifically designed with aerodynamics in mind and supported by the team’s Official Innovation Partner, Airbus. Carbon fiber is used to construct the critical sails, mast and hull of the sailing yachts. At the 35th America’s Cup, a 3D printed component from Airbus’ subsidiary, APWorks, was made to control the wing of the racing boats.
3D printing for improved aerodynamics
American Magic is leveraging the Fortus 450mc, to 3D print high-performance technology, reliable, and repeatable final parts from Nylon 12. Furthermore, its team’s engineers are re-designing new parts after each qualifying race. Robyn Lesh, Design Team Engineer at American Magic, stated:
“The America’s Cup is a racing event like none other and tests the limits of design and manufacturing. Solid aerodynamics is truly the key, as our vessels must essentially ‘fly’ over the water with durable, extremely light-weight parts for racing.”
“Whether it’s for developing prototypes, controllers, brackets or fittings – Stratasys 3D printing ensures we can quickly build, iterate and produce industrial-quality parts necessary to take home the Cup.”
As such, American Magic is using 3D printing to prototype as well as manufacture essential brackets, fittings, and mounts. This will improve aerodynamic loads on the team’s test boat, called “The Mule” which is a half-sized version of the standard AC75 racing boats. These 3D printed parts will be refined before the 36th America’s cup for optimal performance.
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Featured image shows the American Magic training in Pensacola with the AM38 test boat featuring 3D printed parts. Photo via American Magic.