First 3D printed sail boat with carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastics

Livrea Yacht is an ambitious project of two Italian boat builders, Francesco Belvisi and Daniele Cevola, the winner of Italy’s National Innovation Award 2017. Since 2014 they have been working on designing and building the first 3D printed yacht, the Mini 650, for Minitransat, a famous sailing competition across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to South America, next scheduled for 2019. Livrea also carries out all simulation and evaluation work, supported by engineers experienced in America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race. The actual boat building is performed by the NautiLab team.

3d printed carbon sailboat

In parallel to the yacht project, the two entrepreneurs have driven the development of a dedicated direct extrusion 3D printing technology with their company OCORE, which is providing the required quality of parts. Besides an improving the printing hardware – robot, extruder and nozzle – they have patented a new material deposition strategy using an algorithm inspired by fractals.

LEHVOSS Group, with its parent company Lehmann&Voss&Co. in Hamburg, Germany, supported the process development and additionally engineered and delivered customized 3D printing materials dedicated to this technology and application. These materials, with the tradename LUVOCOM 3F, are based on thermoplastic polymers, such as high-performance polyamides and PEEK. To achieve the required mechanical properties, these polymers are reinforced with carbon fibers. Furthermore, the materials are modified to yield an improved layer strength, while printed parts show no warping. This leads to much stronger, more durable and precise yet at the same time lighter parts.

“We are excited to have the LEHVOSS Group on board for this innovative project. They are an acknowledged global manufacturer of customized polymer materials. Their sponsorship, additional support and experience with dedicated materials for our technology has helped a lot in driving our project. In parallel, we now can also translate this technology to other industrial sectors for serial applications”, said Daniele Cevola, Managing Director of OCORE.

“The boat will be highly competitive thanks to the light and strong 3D printed parts. 3D printing reduces the build time for the boat dramatically and makes it also cheaper. We are looking forward not only to the first 3D printed boat but also to winning the competition in 2019”, added Francesco Belvisi, CTO of OCORE.

“We are happy to be a partner in this challenging and very exciting project and strongly believe in 3D printing as a way of enabling the production of higher performing and competitive parts. The Livrea Yacht will show what dedicated processing and 3D printing polymers today can already achieve“, said Thiago Medeiros Araujo, Market Development LUVOCOM 3F of LEHVOSS.

first 3D printed sail boat with carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastics

First 3D printed sail boat with carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastics
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