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  #21  
Old 12-12-2013
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Re: 3D Printing of Sailboats

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As a holder of a BS in Biology who is going for his masters in bioengineering I can tell you the future is 3D printing without a doubt.
They will print food from cartiredges with 30 year shelf life which will stop loads of starvation and famine. They will have industrial sized printers which are towed in 18 wheelers and brought to job sites toconstruct buildings. 3d printers will create microscopic bots which are injected to your blood stream and provide real time information on your hdl, ldl, blood and hormone levels ect. These bots will also be able to remove plaque from arteries or signal that a person is about to have a stroke or heart attack ect.
3d printing will result in arms and munitions factories underground including by terrorist.
printing will result in sailboat manurfacturing as well as cars, houses, objects, foods, literally the possibilities are endless.

If any of you have kids I strongly encourage you to have them pursue a science education or engineering education as the fields of bioengineering, protein and gene therapy, 3d printing and manurfacturing will have incredible oppertunities.
great thread!

Print food? I don't see how it is possible the printing costs would undercut Twinkies that have a 30 year shelf-life
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  #22  
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Re: 3D Printing of Sailboats

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Originally Posted by avenger79 View Post
we have one here. it can do a 3' cube part. takes forever and is very cost prohibitive. it is fun to do though. we had a very small scale one in our cubes for a bit, again fun to play with but after a while it becomes dull. they are useful for one off parts or interference checks. to actually try to print parts off faster or more economically than machining and fab, may be a very very long way off.
It's already here. There are some parts that are being printed right now for commercial purposes. It is limited to things that are difficult to machine, and can't be cast for strength purposes, but as prices have dropped it is getting more common.

Many casting molds are already being printed since it's faster to print them than to wait for traditional methods.
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  #23  
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Re: 3D Printing of Sailboats

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But I have an off topic queston why would you want buried conduit? what if you needed access? It seems to me that could be a barrier
Because it's easier to run new electrical lines thru conduit than by having to chase lines around the boat.
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Re: 3D Printing of Sailboats

One of the issues that has been discussed is cost - will it be cost effective for a builder to buy/lease a machine to 3D print their hulls? That seems like an important consideration. But what if it isn't necessary?

For example- today, if I want something 3D printed, I don't have to have a 3D printer (but I do ). I can go to a web site, upload my design, pay for it, and receive the printed product by mail.

I don't know how likely it is, but it's conceivable that something similar could happen - companies could spring up whose sole purpose is to 3D print large scale items. Suddenly, the manufacture of boat hulls is commoditized, and the builders wind up focusing on design and finishing.

Just a thought.
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Re: 3D Printing of Sailboats

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Because it's easier to run new electrical lines thru conduit than by having to chase lines around the boat.
I totally understand the simplicity of it...I'm not an electrician, but I see how conduit in a house works.. in a good scenario, but if there is a clog in the conduit or something drops on it and dents it to the point of not being able to re-thread a line

And I don't think you would make the conduit part of the house and in the worse case scenario you can remove the wall from your house and run new conduit

and when you do this you aren't in the middle of a storm with no power to your (insert one: navigation, autopilot, ssb, etc)

But this coming from not having worked on the wiring of a boat
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Re: 3D Printing of Sailboats

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One of the issues that has been discussed is cost - will it be cost effective for a builder to buy/lease a machine to 3D print their hulls? That seems like an important consideration. But what if it isn't necessary?

For example- today, if I want something 3D printed, I don't have to have a 3D printer (but I do ). I can go to a web site, upload my design, pay for it, and receive the printed product by mail.

I don't know how likely it is, but it's conceivable that something similar could happen - companies could spring up whose sole purpose is to 3D print large scale items. Suddenly, the manufacture of boat hulls is commoditized, and the builders wind up focusing on design and finishing.

Just a thought.

Or, if you are a designer, you don't have to be a boat builder. You could sell your design to people who have a 3-D Printer (and hope they don't give it to everyone on the internet)

that said

people have been able to buy 2-D printers for sometime now (both photocopiers and computer printers) and I don't think there are many people who are running a publishing company that way. And while there have been a few self-publish successes through vanity presses (sort of the book version of what you are saying for a 3-D boat) I don't know of a lot of people who are making it financially viable.
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Re: 3D Printing of Sailboats

Here's a link to a TED talk on Contour Crafting. The speaker asserts they can build a 2,500 sq ft home in 20 hours. The printer borrows from the idea of CNC machines using multiple tool heads and uses a grasping tool to insert items and another head to spin on rebar extensions. The design even addresses plumbing, electrical and interior finishes.

While not precise enough for boat building it's not hard to see the possibilities or how fast this technology could develop.

And think about this - a hull shape is in part defined by the ability to remove the finished hull from the mold. 3D printing could print any hull shape the designer could imagine.

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Re: 3D Printing of Sailboats

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Originally Posted by titustiger27 View Post
people have been able to buy 2-D printers for sometime now (both photocopiers and computer printers) and I don't think there are many people who are running a publishing company that way. And while there have been a few self-publish successes through vanity presses (sort of the book version of what you are saying for a 3-D boat) I don't know of a lot of people who are making it financially viable.
I disagree. I'm pretty sure that most book publishers outsource their printing these days, and even newspapers have started to move away from printing in-house. So really, not only has it already happened, it's already common.
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Re: 3D Printing of Sailboats

The one in that keeps getting raised is the cost of the machines. I frankly don't see that as a particularly big impediment. Go take a walk around any long term boat builders yard and you will see hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars worth of molds rotting pretty much everywhere. Switching to a printer eliminates all these costs immediately.

As an example, I am working with a builder that just invested in four more molds to build a 20' boat. Each mold costs about $100,000 plus between $10,000 and $20,000 to ship it to where it is needed. So this small builder now owns about $750,000 worth of molds that have no residual value. Should people stop ordering boats, there is no way to recover any money from these things. Which means there is a huge financial risk for every mold that needs to be built.

In addition, the ease of switching from one boat to another is as simple as loading a different program into the database. So instead of needing molds spread all over the world to reduce shipping costs of individual boats the file could be emailed to the buyers nearest printing company, allowing delivery cost to be minimal.

In short, I don't think the printers will be owned by industrial print shops not boat builders, then the raw hull will be trucked to a builder for finishing work and systems install. But the cost of the machine is of negligible concern.
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Re: 3D Printing of Sailboats

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Originally Posted by titustiger27 View Post
people have been able to buy 2-D printers for sometime now (both photocopiers and computer printers) and I don't think there are many people who are running a publishing company that way. And while there have been a few self-publish successes through vanity presses (sort of the book version of what you are saying for a 3-D boat) I don't know of a lot of people who are making it financially viable.
Quite a bit of printing is now print-on-demand. Nautical charts are all POD now, as are a lot of textbooks. We have a digital press that is really not much more than a beefed up copier, and it can turn out a full-color 60-page saddle stitched book for under $1.50.


Anyway... I think 3D printing is very exciting. I bet race boats will be the first to use it. You could create crazy microfoams and vary the thickness exactly as a designer specified to create super lightweight hulls.
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