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Royal Caribbean and Snapchat take 3D printing to new depths

The use of 3D printing for tooling and fixtures in the industrial world is well documented. Recently we reported on how by using desktop 3D printers Volkswagen were able to save $160k.

For those travelling in the sky, enterprises such as Boeing are using additive manufacturing to save up to 70% in costs. As Boeing’s Director of Structures and Materials, Enterprise Operations and Technology, Leo Christodoulou says, AM will dominate tooling.

Now 3D printing is reaching new depths in a project from cruise line operators Royal Caribbean.

3D printing under the sea

Possibly in an bid to shake off the image of cruises as a floating retirement home or setting for a convoluted mystery, Royal Caribbean has combined 3D printing with Snapchat.

Snapchat spectacles went on sale in September 2016 and allow the wearer to record short video clips. Now the spectacles have been incorporated with a diving mask to record life under the sea.

According to Forbes, the SeaSeeker mask will allow the wearer to, “snap underwater and give everyone else on the surface an intimate view of life under the sea.”

Creative agency MullenLowe used 3D printing to make the prototype for the SeaSeeker mask. Specifically, an adaptor was 3D printed in ABS to allow the Snapchat Spectacles to be mounted within the diving mask.

The adaptor keeps the social media snapping device angled in the optimal manner and protected from the sea. An external magnetic button is used to trigger the taking of a snap or to activate video recording.

The “underwater social diving mask” is currently undergoing trials with several experienced divers and has so far reached a depth of 150 feet.

3D printed mounts for GoPro

Christian Madden, SVP, creative technologist at MullenLowe said, “The immersive point of view provided by Snapchat Spectacles are a great match for what we’re trying to do: bring new perspectives to the ecology and culture of the Caribbean.”

Our design and prototyping process focused on creating a 3D printed adapter that surrounds the Spectacles and mates them to a customized dive mask, creating a water-tight environment for the camera’s electronics. Being able to create rapid prototypes on the 3D printer enabled the team and Royal Caribbean to try a number of different approaches before finding the optimal solution. Working with our fabrication partner, we depth tested the product in a pressure chamber, along with practical test dives in swimming pools and in the ocean.

The SeaSeeker mask joins a longer list of projects using 3D printing to repurpose action orientated cameras. For example owners of GoPro camera can download a 3D printable mount for a bicycle seat rail or a 3D Printed GoPro Brushless Gimbal to stabilise footage.

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