3D printed using reusable polymers, the boats are claimed to be more sustainable and cheaper to produce than conventionally manufactured models, and come in a range of four models spanning 4.5-10 meters in length.
Improving sustainability with 3D printing
Tanaruz’s boats are manufactured at its Rotterdam facility using a 14-meter long 3D printer, and are designed to embody the principles of a circular economy. All of the firm’s boats are made from reclaimed and recycled polymers which, at the end of a boat’s life, can be shredded down and reused to print a new boat.
According to Tanaruz, this means the production of its boats results in zero material costs and waste. In particular, the boats are printed with reclaimed polypropylene containing 30 percent glass fiber to offer desirable mechanical properties such as resilience to elongate strain up to five percent, alongside resistance to heat, fire, and chemicals.
A custom boat 3D printer
Traditional methods of making pleasure yachts and boats tend to require a lot of manual labor, making them expensive and often time-consuming to produce.
To manufacture its boats, Tanaruz deploys a specially-designed 3D printer produced by Swiss-Swedish multinational electrical equipment firm ABB. The firm’s robotic Track Motion system is reportedly the only track on the market offering high speed, precision accuracy, and flexibility, and has been optimized with the ideal parameters to robotically 3D print Tanaruz’s various boats.
The 3D printer also features an extruder manufactured by Dutch firm Xtrution, which handles the process of melting and extruding the reclaimed polymers to Tanaruz’s specifications.
According to the firm, 3D printing technology facilitates the smart and efficient production of its boats through greater accuracy control and shorter production times, while also minimizing waste during the building process. The technology also boosts creativity and flexibility throughout the production process, in line with circular economy processes and decreasing Tanaruz’s impact on the environment.
Scaling up production
Tanaruz currently produces four models of boats, ranging from 4.5 meters in length up to 10 meters. The boats can be personalized and equipped with electric motors, batteries, and solar panels, while customers can choose the color, interior, and equipment of their vessel.
In addition to the sustainability and production cost benefits of leveraging 3D printing to build its boats, the technology also enables Tanaruz to lower the price of its yachts for its customers. The firm’s entry-level model is priced at around €15,000 which, while still not affordable for many, could be reduced further as the company scales up its production.
This year, the firm aims to 3D print around 100 pleasure yachts and aims to increase this number to 300 boats by 2023. The yachts are produced at the company’s Rotterdam facility, and plans are currently underway to find and open a second location in order to install more 3D printers to boost production.
With the addition of the new facility, Tanaruz says two printers could work on one boat at the same time, potentially allowing boats larger than 10 meters to be 3D printed.
Going forwards, the firm is looking for partners and investors to grow its reach internationally, offering shipyards and print shops around the world the opportunity to get started with its ‘plug-and-play’ additive manufacturing technology.
3D printing sea-faring vessels
Tanaruz is not the only player making headway in deploying 3D printing for boats and pleasure yachts. Just last month, the University of Maine (UMaine) 3D printed two new large-scale boats, one of which is reportedly the largest vessel ever to be additively manufactured. The vessels were developed for the US Marine Corps as logistical support vessels, and will be tested for field use by the armed forces.
In fact, UMaine broke its own record for the world’s largest 3D printed boat, which until the unveiling of its new boats was its 3Dirigo model, measuring 25 feet long and printed in just 72 hours. Elsewhere, tech start-up Moi Composites displayed what it claimed was the world’s first boat 3D printed in continuous fiberglass thermoset material at the 2020 Genoa Boat show.
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Featured image shows Tanaruz’s DSI model 3D printed yacht. Image via Tanaruz.