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post #2210 of Old 11-20-2013
Stumble
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Bob,

Those are some beautiful designs, but may I make a suggestion?

You were talking about casting some of the fittings on the boat by printing 3d molds. I would really recommend against this. Casting is great where strength and porosity aren't concerns, but in structural applications it is a little questionable.

When I was working for a titanium fabrication company we did a lot of custom work with 3d printed molds, but instead of casting we used a process called sintering. It is similar to casting in that a mold is made then material is poured in, but unlike casting it uses powdered metal which is then heated and held under high pressure. The heat/pressure causes the powder to fuse into a solid mass, but without the voids typical of a cast part.

Basically you get the formability of a cast part with the strength of a machined part. Once you make the decision to make custom parts, the cost between the two is pretty minimal. Sintered parts are more expensive, but not terribly so.

Greg Rubin
Attorney
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