“World’s first” 3D printed fiberglass boat to debut at Genoa Boat Show 2020

Tech start-up Moi Composites will display the “world’s first” 3D printed boat in continuous fiberglass thermoset material at the 2020 Genoa Boat show, spanning 1-6 October.

First unveiled at Formnext 2019, the Motor Additive Manufacturing BOat (MAMBO) was produced by Continuous Fiber Manufacturing (CFM), a patented 3D printing technology that involves the use of robots guided by generative algorithms.

“We participated in the Genoa boat show in 2017, and it was during this event that we came up with the idea of making MAMBO,” said Gabriele Natale, CEO and Co-founder of Moi Composites. “We saw the project take shape first, then brought it to life, and finally MAMBO arrived today at the sea. We have a 3D printed boat, enhancing the concept of customization with a one-of-a-kind design created and tailored from the owner’s mind, to give everyone the opportunity to understand and experience the sea in their own way.”

The MAMBO spans 6.5 meters by 2.5 meters and is printed in a continuous fiberglass thermoset material. Image via Moi Composites.
The MAMBO boat spans 6.5 meters by 2.5 meters and is printed in a continuous fiberglass thermoset material. Image via Moi Composites.

Additive manufacturing in the marine sector

3D printing is being utilized on a growing scale within the marine, maritime, and naval sectors, and has seen significant investment over the last couple of years.

In 2018, Maine Technology Institute (MTI), a business development service, awarded $500,000 to the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center, enabling researchers to explore ways to economically 3D print boat structures on a large scale. A year later, the center received three Guinness World Records for the world’s largest prototype polymer 3D printer, largest solid 3D printed object, and largest 3D printed boat.

Elsewhere, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) developed a 3D printable autonomous fleet of boats, while Singapore’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) and Maritime Port Authority (MPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the digitalization and advancement of manufacturing in the maritime sector, specifically with 3D printing. Shortly after, Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems and Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) also signed an MoU to explore additive manufacturing and data analytics for naval applications.

Most recently, the Department of Defense naval research company Navatek and the University of Maine were granted a $5 million contract by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to advance 3D printing materials and manufacturing processes for the construction and optimization of Navy and Marine Corps vessels.

The MAMBO boat is painted in snapper rocks blue color. Image via Moi Composites.
The MAMBO is painted in snapper rocks blue color. Image via Moi Composites.

Making the MAMBO 

Led by Moi Composites, the project brought together experts from across the automation, composite materials, and nautical industry, including Autodesk, Catmarine, Confindustria Nautica, Mercury Marine, MICAD, Osculati, and Owen’s Corning.

Spanning 6.5 meters by 2.5 meters, the 3D printed boat weighs approximately 800 kg and boasts a navigation system and a 115 cv engine. MAMBO’s hull forms an inverted triangle shape based on Sonny Levi’s famous Arcidiavolo design.

Utilizing the CFM process, sections of the boat were 3D printed using two KUKA Quantec High Accuracy robots at Moi’s Milan headquarters and Autodesk’s Advanced Manufacturing Facility (AMF) in Birmingham, U.K. The robotic machines deposited continuous fibers infused with thermosetting resin to create the fiber-reinforced parts, which exhibited similar mechanical characteristics to that of unidirectional fiberglass. Once printed, the parts were joined together and laminated to produce a one-piece sandwich structure.

In total, the design and printing process lasted two months. Since its conception, MAMBO has won the special award in yachting from Monaco Yachting Cluster‘s board and took home the audience choice award for the 2020 Mark Challenge.

Parts of the MAMBO were printed using two KUKA Quantec High Accuracy robots. Image via Moi Composites.

Nominations for the 2020 3D Printing Industry Awards are still open, let us know who is leading the industry now.

The fourth edition of the 3D Printing Industry Awards Trophy Design Competition is now underway. Enter your design for the chance to win a CraftBot Flow 3D printer. 

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Featured image shows Moi Composite’s MAMBO fiberglass boat to be showcased at the 2020 Genoa Boat Show. Image via Moi Composites.