3/15/2018 | 2 MINUTE READ

Lehvoss partners with Livrea Yacht to build 3D printed sailboat

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World’s first 3D printed yacht to compete in the 2019 Mini-Transat solo transatlantic yacht race.

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The LEHVOSS Group, which includes LEHVOSS North America (Pawcatuck, CT, US) and its parent company Lehmann&Voss&Co (Hamburg, Germany), announced March 14 it is partnering with Livrea Yacht (Palermo, Italy) to build the world’s first 3D printed sailboat. Since work began on the design in 2014, LEHVOSS Group has supported the process development and engineered its LUVOCOM 3F customized 3D printing materials specifically for the application.

The innovative yacht, called the Mini 650, is the ambitious project of two Italian boat builders, Francesco Belvisi and Daniele Cevola. They are building it for the 2019 solo transatlantic yacht race, called 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 (Palermo, Italy), 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 customized 3D printing materials engineered and supplied by LEHVOSS Group are based on high performance thermoplastic polymers, such as PEEK. “To achieve the required mechanical properties, these polymers are reinforced with carbon fibers,” says Thiago Medeiros Araujo, LUVOCOM 3F market development manager for LEHVOSS Group. “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.”

According to Belvisi who is the chief technology officer of OCORE, “The yacht will be highly competitive thanks to the light and strong 3D printed parts. 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.”

Commenting on the partnership with LUVOSS Group, Cevola, managing director of OCORE says, “We are excited to have them on board for this innovative project. LUHVOSS Group is a widely recognized global manufacturer of customized 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 Group believes strongly 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.”


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