There was a time, not even 5 years ago, that the yachting and boating industry completely ignored 3D printing. That all seems to have changed dramatically thanks to the work of certain AM pioneers and the availability of new composite AM technologies. One of them is Moi Composites. The Italian startup is unveiling the finished MAMBO (Motor Additive Manufacturing BOat), the first world’s first real 3D printed fiberglass boat using a thermoset continuous fiber composite material.
With fittings and a sleek, shiny coat of paint in snapper rocks blue color, the realized boat will be officially launched and displayed at the 2020 Genova Boat Show 1-6 October to welcome its audience to the next generation of boat design and manufacturing.
MAMBO demonstrates a new, unique shaped boat that cannot be achieved with traditional manufacturing. It was digitally crafted in patented 3D printing technology, Continuous Fiber Manufacturing (CFM), an innovative system developed by Moi Composites, which uses robots guided by generative algorithms to 3D print continuous fiber composite materials, opening up the world of freedom for customization and high, mechanical performance which were unthinkable until now for 3D printers. A rare 3D printing capability: continuous fiberglass thermoset material makes products strong, ultra-durable, and lightweight and Moi’s robotic system allows for scalability in print size.
CFM technology involves the use of robotic machines, capable of depositing continuous fibers impregnated with thermosetting resin in order to create products with optimized performance, starting from a three-dimensional model of the object. This allows the creation of fiber-reinforced products with mechanical characteristics comparable to those of unidirectional fiberglass, without the aid of models, molds and other tooling equipment. In this way it is possible to obtain not only prototypes but real products in small lots or unique pieces, efficiently and cost-effectively.
The creativity of many designers today is suppressed due to various factors: technological, geometric limits, or production costs. And there are countless noteworthy projects, destined to remain magnificent renderings forever. However, with CFM technology, these designs can become real.
“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 & 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 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 our partners, who believed with us in this ambitious project.”
MAMBO spans 6.5 meters long by 2.5 meters wide, has a dry weight of approximately 800 kg, and is equipped with a real navigation system, cork flooring, white leather seats, and 115 cv engine. MAMBO signifies the latest in design and production innovation, efficiency, and personalization. The hull is an inverted tricycle inspired by the famous Arcidiavolo by Sonny Levi, 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. The printed pieces were joined and laminated at Catmarine shipyard, creating a one-piece sandwich structure, without hull-deck division. The tireless and uninterrupted work of the robots combined with the wise and passionate skill of the craftsmen of the yard have given life to a hybrid and new industrial system, as technological and digital as analog and tailored, which today enables the impossible to become possible. Moi’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 an ocean of possibilities and an invitation to reflect on the way in which we judge the realization of possible or impossible ideas.