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A 3D-printed boat made with a continuous-fibreglass thermoset material

Moi Composites recently unveiled the finished MAMBO (Motor Additive Manufacturing BOat), an idea that became a real-life project to 3D print a boat with a continuous fibreglass thermoset material.

A 3D-printed boat made with a continuous-fibreglass thermoset material
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4 minutes, 20 secondes

With all its fittings and a sleek, shiny coat of paint in a snapper rocks blue metallic colour, the boat was officially launched and displayed at the 2020 Genoa Boat Show to welcome its audience to the next generation of boat design and manufacturing.

A 3D-printed boat made with a continuous fibreglass thermoset material

A 3D-printed boat made with a continuous fibreglass thermoset material

How it’s made: Continuous fibre manufacturing
MAMBO demonstrates a new, uniqueshaped boat that cannot be achieved with traditional manufacturing. It was digitally crafted using a patented 3D printing technology, Continuous Fibre Manufacturing (CFM).

Thanks to the use of robots expertly guided by generative algorithms, this truly innovative system allows for 3D printing continuous-fibre composite materials, opening up the world of freedom for customization and high mechanical performance that were unthinkable until now for 3D printers.

The boat is digitally crafted using a patented 3D printing technology, Continuous Fibre Manufacturing (CFM)

The boat is digitally crafted using a patented 3D printing technology, Continuous Fibre Manufacturing (CFM)

A rare 3D printing capability: the continuous fibreglass thermoset material makes products strong, ultra-durable and lightweight, and the robotic system allows for scalability in print size. CFM technology involves the use of robotic machines capable of depositing continuous fibres impregnated with a thermosetting resin in order to create products with optimized performance, starting from a three-dimensional computer model of the object. This allows the creation of fibre-reinforced products with mechanical characteristics comparable to those of unidirectional fibreglass, without the aid of physical models, moulds or other tooling equipment. This way, it is possible to obtain not only prototypes, but real products in small lots or unique pieces, efficiently and cost effectively.

Today, the creativity of many designers is restricted by various factors: technological, geometric limits, or production costs. And there are countless noteworthy projects destined to remain magnificent virtual renderings forever. However, with CFM technology, these designs can become real.

A 3D-printed boat
Moi Composites participated in the Genoa boat show in 2017, and it was during this event that they came up with the idea of making MAMBO. They saw the project take shape first, then brought it to life, and finally MAMBO arrived at the sea.

moi’s proprietary 3D printing process CFM (Continuous Fiber Manufacturing)

Moi’s proprietary 3D printing process CFM (Continuous Fiber Manufacturing)

The company now has 3D printed a 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. All this would not have happened without the support of several partners who believed in this ambitious project.

Gabriele Natale, President & CEO, Moi Composites, explains us how and why he chose 3D printing to get started:

Gabriele Natale, President & CEO, Moi Composites

“I think that new concepts and evolutions in the marine sector are not limited by the creativity of designers, engineers and naval architects. Every day, technicians develop new boat or yacht concepts characterized by futuristic shapes or new, better-performing hulls, but most of these beautiful ideas remain renderings due to production challenges, mould investments, or other kinds of limitations. With a 3D printing technology such as ours, it is possible to create these new geometries and advances in real life.”

When the impossible becomes possible
MAMBO spans 6.5 metres long by 2.5 metres wide, has a dry weight of approximately 800 kg and is equipped with a real navigation system, cork flooring, white leather seats and a 115-cv engine.

The hull is an inverted tricycle inspired by Sonny Levi’s famous Arcidiavolo, on which organic forms chase each other and are transformed into structural and functional elements.

The various sections were printed using two KUKA Quantec high-accuracy robots in Milan, at Moi Composites’ headquarters and in Autodesk’s AMF (Advanced Manufacturing Facility) in Birmingham, United Kingdom, to exemplify on-site manufacturing, considered one of the most important strengths of 3D printing.

Project MAMBO demonstrates larger potentiality of smart manufacturing and 3D printing technologies.

Project MAMBO demonstrates larger potentiality of smart manufacturing and 3D printing technologies.

The printed pieces were joined and laminated, creating a one-piece sandwich structure without hull-deck division. The tireless and uninterrupted work of the robots combined with the wisdom and passionate skill of the craftsmen at the yard gave life to a hybrid and new industrial system, as technological and digital as it is analog and tailored, which today enables the impossible to become possible.

Gabriele Natale, President & CEO, Moi Composites continued:

“The idea behind MAMBO (Motor Additive Manufacturing Boat) is to demonstrate you can produce one-of-a-kind boats with optimized performance without creating models and moulds. As a consequence, creating one-off or small batches of products eliminates the need to invest in expensive tooling. Also, if you need to change anything, for example the hull shape or an interior component, you can quickly and easily modify your 3D model and change the 3D print, which is difficult to do with moulds.”

Finiture process painting in Blue snapper rocks

Finiture process painting in Blue snapper rocks

We believe mass customization is the next frontier and trend. Using CFM technology to create a unique, extremely personalized product based on the owner’s desires is a real added value that we want to bring to the market.”

The company’s partners in the MAMBO project include a team of global experts in automation, composite materials, and the nautical industry: Autodesk, Catmarine, Confindustria Nautica, Mercury Marine, MICAD, Osculati, and Owens Corning.

To date, MAMBO represents not only the first boat made with innovative three-dimensional production techniques to be used in real navigation, but also a window to a new sea of possibilities and an invitation to reflect on the way in which we judge the realization of ideas as either possible or impossible.

The MAMBO (Motor Additive Manufacturing BOat) preliminary tested in Otranto sea

The MAMBO (Motor Additive Manufacturing BOat) preliminary tested in Otranto sea

About Moi Composites:
It is a high-tech start-up that 3D prints custom, powerful products using robots and advanced composite materials. Free of moulds as well as traditional design and time constraints, the company’s patented process innovation can produce strong, lightweight, unique objects in incredible new shapes, sizes and performance, all this cost effectively and on demand.

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JEC Composites Magazine N°138

More information www.moi.am
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