Boat building is so yesterday

Published on March 19th, 2018

Livrea Yacht is an ambitious company of two Italian boat builders, Francesco Belvisi and Daniele Cevola, the winner of Italy’s National Innovation Award 2017. Their mission is to design and build the first 3D printed yacht.

Work on the design initially began in 2014, with the process development and engineering support now appears ready for the unique application. But the duo has not selected just any boat, as their ambitions are focused on the Mini 650, the small sailing rocket designed for pure performance offshore in the roughest of conditions.

And for the complete proof of concept, they seek for this boat to compete in the 2019 Mini Transat, the most revered event for this class of 6.50m boats. Held biennially, 81 skippers started the 21st edition in 2017 in which the two leg course covered 4,050 miles from France to the Canary Islands and then to Martinique.

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 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.

“The boat will be highly competitive thanks to the light and strong 3D printed parts,” explained Belvisi. “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.”

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