UK based chemical and mineral materials specialist Lehvoss Group and its parent company Lehmann&Voss&Co KG are working with Livrea Yacht, the collective behind the world’s first 3D printed sailboat.
Together with strategic partners Autodesk and KUKA, the Lehvoss Group will be supporting the workmanship of innovative boat makers Francesco Belvisi and Daniele Cevola, who aim to enter the 2019 Mini-Transat yacht race, which will start in France and end in Brazil.
Stronger, lighter, more durable sailboats
Belvisi and Cevola have been working on the 3D printing technology used in the Livrea Yacht project through their startup company OCORE.
OCORE technology is based on fused filament fabrication (FFF), and follows an algorithm developed on the principles of fractals for added strength. 3D printing is performed using a KUKA robotic arm.
In the terms of this latest partnership, the Lehvoss Group will be supplying the Livrea Yacht team with its Luvucom 3D materials made specially for the project.
Carbon-fiber reinforced high-performance polymers, in this case PEEK, are the chosen feedstock. Thiago Medeiros Araujo, Luvucom 3F Market Development Manager at Lehvoss Group added, “[the materials] are modified to yield an improved layer strength with no warping of the printed parts. This results in parts that are stronger, lighter and more durable.”
The future of boat building
While the team asserts that many parts of the sailboat will be 3D printed, it is unclear the exact scale of components that will be possible by the project before the race in 2019.
At Thermwood Corporation in Indiana, Techmer PM Marine Concepts successfully 3D printed a mold for the hull of a fiberglass motorboat.
A submarine hull, which has become the largest 3D printed asset in the U.S. Navy, was made by Oak Ridge National Laboratory simply as a demonstrator of what could one day be possible with the technology.
A winning combination
Belvisi, who is Chief Technology Officer of OCORE, says that “The yacht will be highly competitive thanks to the light and strong 3D-printed parts. 3D printing dramatically reduces the build time for the yacht and also makes it more economical.”
In addition, “We are looking forward not only to building the first 3D printed boat but also to winning the competition in 2019.”
Beyond the 2019 Mini-Transat race, the Lehvoss Group is hoping to help apply the technology to other industry sectors. 3F Market Development Manager Araujo adds, “We are happy to be a partner in this challenging and very exciting project. The Livrea yacht will show what today’s dedicated processing and 3D printing polymers can already achieve.”
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Featured image shows the latest version of Giorgio Garbujo’s 3D Printing Industry Awards 2018 design entry.
Featured image shows a concept design of the 3D printed Livrea Yacht. Image via Lehvoss Group