The measure of: Mambo 3D-printed fibreglass boat
Image credit: Project Mambo
An Italian tech start-up has revealed Mambo, believed to be the world’s first 3D-printed fibreglass boat.
Mambo ('Motor Additive Manufacturing BOat'), introduced during the 2020 Genoa International Boat Show, was built by Italy’s Moi Composites via its continuous fibre manufacturing (CFM) process.
Boasting a sleek, shiny coat of paint in ‘snapper rocks blue’, Mambo is equipped with a navigation system, cork flooring and white leather seats. Moi says the unique shape cannot be achieved with traditional manufacturing. Guided by a generative algorithm, the technique deposits continuous fibres into a thermosetting resin to produce a material with the strength and durability of traditional fibreglass. This makes it much easier to shape and saves time and money, the firm said: “A rare 3D-printing capability: continuous fibreglass thermoset material makes products strong, ultra-durable, and lightweight and Moi’s robotic system allows for scalability in print size.”
Michele Tonizzo, CTO of Moi, told E&T that as the firm is an early-stage start-up, with only small robots used at the start, Mambo was printed by splitting the entire boat into more than 50 parts: “CFM technology is scalable via robotic machines of different sizes, and today, using our big, new robot and larger facility, we are confident we can realise Mambo in no more than six parts.”
Tonizzo added that Moi’s robotic system is composed of three components that need to work together perfectly: hardware, software and material. He explained: “The hardware is a numerically controlled machine, or a robot, equipped with our toolhead, which is able to deposit fibres. The software gives instructions to the machine on how to deposit the material in a smart and precise manner. And finally, we have the material that needs to be really reactive in terms of curing.”
Moi Composites believes its 3D technology will make once-unlikely concepts a more common reality. “The creativity of many designers is suppressed due to various factors: technological, geometric limits, or production costs,” the start-up said, “and there are countless noteworthy projects, destined to remain magnificent renderings forever. However, with CFM technology, these designs can become real.”
Length of boat: 6.5m
Width of boat: 2.5m
Dry weight: 800kg
Year Moi was founded, a spinoff of Polytechnic University of Milan: 2018
Speed of boat in first test: 26 knots (30mph)
Time it took from concept to production: 7-8 months
Rough total printing time: 2 months
Number of main components in Moi’s robotic system used for the CFM process (hardware, software, material): 3
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