How long until we see 3D printed components in boat building?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Timothy, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Supposedly The Jetsons was to have been set in the far off year of 2002. ;)

    BTW, there may be some unintended humor introduced in the thread title given it took over 40 days (1000 hours) to print that kayak.

    I wonder how long it would take to print Noah's ark and tighten all those little nuts?
     
  2. Yellowjacket
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    Yellowjacket Senior Member

    Just to put this into perspective I just had some parts scanned so that we could reverse engineer them. The parts were two halves of a single cylinder small 2 stroke engine block. That is, just the center section of the block, no cylinder, and nothing else.

    These two block halves were pretty simple, and were basically die cast parts, so they were "pullable" from a simple mold. Each part was about 2 inches thick, and about 8 inches square.

    We had bids from between $1700 to $5,400 to scan these. There was also a big dispairity between what we were going to get from these "scans". Some folks were willing to supply a real model of the parts, with the true orthignal surfaces cleaned up and made sure they were square with the cylinder mounting surface. Others were charging big bucks just to give us a "point cloud" that was basically worthless.

    In the end we got the job done properly for around $1800 and I got the first model on Monday and it is going to work just fine.

    If anybody thinks that you just "scan" some part that you want to reproduce and go over to the machine and "print" it you are dreaming. It simply doesn't work that way. Somebody has to go in and create a model from all that point cloud data, and then make sure the surfaces are "water tight", and then things that need to be true have to be trued up.

    Then you have to decide how you want your parts to fit together and what surfaces need machined tolerances and flatness. In this instance the cylinder mounting surface, the block mating surfaces, and the bearing surfaces as well as the reed block surface need to be machined flat and true. In those areas additional machining stock will have added and the areas where the holes are tapped need to filled in so that there is stock for drilling out and tapping the threads.

    When all is said and done there will be at least $3,500 in engineering time to just do a simple reproduction of an existing two pieces.

    Now we can think about making some parts. There are three ways we can make these pieces. First is to print them in aluminum, or we can hog them from billet stock, or we can cast them using the latest sand casting methodology using vacuum with plastic film to sand cast the parts.

    Right now it looks like if we make at least 4 parts, the tooling and cost of parts favors casting over hogging the parts, and direct printing is a poor third place in terms of cost. If you wanted to do one piece maybe the printing is going to be close, but I doubt it.
     
  3. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    To put things in context 1000 hrs may be 40 days, but it is 1/2 manyear for most of us.

    Yellowjacket,

    I may have missed something since things are developing rapidly.
    What machine or process can print aluminum?
    Next question would be what machine prints aluminum from casting alloys?

    Thanks
     
  4. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    While I'm not sure if it matches your request exactly, there are green sand "printers" capable of very complex geometries at relatively low cost (the mold, not the printers ... those are uber pricy) out there and I believe for some materials, not sure about aluminum, PLA for these small printers can be used in a lost-wax type process. Jewelers do use 3D wax printers (which would be any tech-savvy but all thumbs model steam engine fan's dream were the things not so pricy ... not that I have anyone in particular in mind, honest) that have high resolution.
     
  5. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    I understand the use of wax printers for lost wax casting.
    My desire was to direct print or SLA an aluminum part.
    Haven't found anyone at work who knows of such a thing.
    But I know a shop down the road who will make you a wood master for creating a sand casting, and they are seriously cheap. Wood and all that old technology you know.
     
  6. Yellowjacket
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    Yellowjacket Senior Member

    There a lot of places that are "printing" aluminum. Just google DMLS (direct laser metal sintering) and aluminum and you will find plenty of places doing it.

    Here is a link to a house that shows what materials they are using for their DMLS work.

    http://gpiprototype.com/services/dmls-direct-metal-laser-sintering.html

    This supplier is using AlSi10Mg, which is a typical casting alloy with good casting properties and is used for cast parts with thin walls and complex geometry.
     
  7. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Yellowjacket,

    I found the Aluminum alloy you were referring to.
    For my application that alloy does not have enough service life or strength, so I can't use it in Aerospace.

    Effectively, you can make an aluminum alloy (you were right) but it is not a useful alloy (for me).

    Thanks for the reference.

    Marc
     
  8. Yellowjacket
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    Yellowjacket Senior Member

    Marc,

    There are some folks who are doing 6061, and you can heat treat that to T6 condition. No one that I know of is using the 7 series aluminum alloys for this process, for whatever reason. Mostly the 7 series alloys are supplied as forgings and parts are hogged from there, which is very strong, for aluminum, but not very transferrable to other manufacturing processes.

    We have also done some parts in 6-4 titanium, which is a very common alloy that we use in turbine engines and that should be plenty strong, you would just have to redesign the part to take advantage of the higher strength.
     
  9. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    Clearly scanning is not reverse engineering. I don't even think scanning has any place in reverse engineering unless there are free form surfaces which are certainly not common on an engine. The best price for RE would be with minimal overhead -retired engineers freelancing or off-shore.

    With good CAD models I think the best small volume production method would be to 3D print in a plastic that can work in a 'lost wax' casting. You could make one to size and then use the shrink parameters to print a pattern part to make production lost wax or sand cores.
     
  10. ThomD
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    ThomD Senior Member

    They have printed a Ti bike frame. They have printed a fully functioning 1911 45 handgun, including the barrel. In the latter case they claimed the gun would be competitive with cstom pistols at the 4K mark. That is price competitive, I don't see any way at the moment they would function at that level.

    At the moment the largest printer can't print a bike frame last I heard. But some day, maybe. It actually seems like something that would be size scalable easily. Though the time to print would grow exponentially.

    Complexity costs less in 3d printing, so you can make a fully curved surface faster than you can make the stitch and glue flat panel one, or no difference. So the thing it will take the longest to sort out is what kind of stuff this tech really is designed to make. And given those capabilities what stuff that we have never seen before should get made. For instance would a canoe hull with dimples, or a rotor sail (patent applied for) in it like a golf ball work better? Easy to 3D print. More difficult to mold with current tech.
     
  11. Yellowjacket
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    Yellowjacket Senior Member

    Yes, you can do an investment casting using "printed" patterns and you can readily incorporate shrink factors into the process, but buy the time you pay for the printed plastic part and then invest it and then pour it it is rather expensive. Been there and are doing that every day. It's all doable, but it's certainly not reasonably priced to do it that way. And when you are done you still have to machine mating surfaces and critical dimensions.
     
  12. oldsailor7
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    oldsailor7 Senior Member

  13. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    .

    "The Livrea Yacht Italia partnership's mission is to design boats of various sizes that all have a "distinct family feeling" and the 3D-printed version of the Livrea26, made using Windform materials, "expresses the true essence of 3D printing technology" bringing together the traditional and contemporary, combining advanced materials and building techniques."

    [​IMG]



    Is that 26 centimeters or inches?

    I call BS.

    .
     
  14. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    Its a 1:14 scale model, printed in parts:

     

  15. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    It's just another company trying to fool people into believing they're doing something they're not really doing.

    And what they are doing doesn't seem very good. Look at the video at 1:07 ...they can't even make a model that fits together, good luck on a real, full size boat.

    Reading from the original puff piece that oldsailor7 posted http://www.tctmagazine.com/additive-manufacturing/3d-printed-yacht-is-change-of-tack-for-boat-show/
    you would think they had actually made a boat.
    They have done nothing new at all. They 3D printed a small object in sintered metal, as a number of companies do.

    If you try and chase down Yam Marine Technology, who are actually going to make the real boats, you get a better idea of what the OP amounts to..
    http://news.softpedia.com/news/3D-Printed-Yacht-Model-Revealed-Is-Made-Out-of-Windform-427589.shtml
     
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