3D Printed Yacht Features Lehvoss Carbon Fibre Thermoplastics

20 March 2018

3D Printed Yacht Features Lehvoss Carbon Fibre Thermoplastics

The LEHVOSS Group, and its parent company Lehmann & Voss of Hamburg, Germany, are partnering with Italian boat builder Livrea Yacht to build the world’s first 3D printed sailboat.

Since work began on the design in 2014, LEHVOSS has supported the process development and engineered its LUVOCOM 3F customised 3D printing materials specifically for the application.

The yacht, called the Mini 650, is the project of two Italian boat builders, Francesco Belvisi and Daniele Cevola. They are building it for the 2019 solo transatlantic yacht race, the Mini-Transat, which starts in France and ends in Brazil. Livrea Yacht performs all simulation and evaluation work for the project, which is supported by engineers experienced in America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race.

Concurrent with their work of designing and building the Mini 650, Belvisi and Cevola have driven the development of a dedicated direct extrusion 3D printing technology with their company, OCORE, which is providing the required quality of parts for the yacht. Besides improving the printing hardware – robot, extruder and nozzle – they have patented a new material deposition strategy using an algorithm inspired by fractals.

The customised 3D printing materials engineered and supplied by LEHVOSS are based on high performance thermoplastic polymers, such as PEEK.

“To achieve the required mechanical properties, these polymers are reinforced with carbon fibres,” says Thiago Medeiros Araujo, LUVOCOM 3F Market Development Manager for LEHVOSS. “In addition, they 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 yacht will be highly competitive thanks to the light and strong 3D printed parts,” according to Belvisi, who is the Chief Technology Officer of OCORE. “3D printing dramatically reduces the build time for the yacht and also makes it more economical. We are looking forward not only to building the first 3D printed boat but also to winning the competition in 2019.”

“We are excited to have them on board for this innovative project,” states Cevola, Managing Director of OCORE. “LUHVOSS Group is a widely recognised global manufacturer of customised polymer materials. Their sponsorship, additional support and experience with dedicated materials for our technology has helped a lot in driving our project. In addition, we now can also translate this technology to other industrial sectors for other applications.”

LEHVOSS believes in 3D printing as a way of producing higher performing and competitive parts.

“We are happy to be a partner in this challenging and very exciting project,” says Medeiros Araujo. “The Livrea yacht will show what today’s dedicated processing and 3D printing polymers can already achieve.”

Photo provided by Lehvoss

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