Development and Application of 3D Printing for the Manufacture of Boat Parts

PI: James Anderson, UM Advance Structures and Composites Center

Collaborators: Douglas Gardner UM School of Forest Resources, Hinckley Yachts, and Back Cove Yachts.

A disproportionate amount of the cost of building a boat goes to the dozens of smaller parts, such as doors, hatches, and ducts. Each piece requires one or two molds and a substantial amount of labor. If these parts were 3D-printed instead, significant resources could be saved for work on larger boat parts. The two main barriers to adopting this method are a lack of knowledge on the durability of printed materials as well as which plastics and printers should be used, and how they should be set up for operation.