Is it possible to 3D-print an entire boat and make it seaworthy?

On December 16 at 13.00 CET you will receive the answer.

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At 13.00 CET on Dec 16th a 4.2 meter long 3D-printed motorboat of model Pioner 14 Active Darkline, will be launched in the Gothenburg archipelago.

In the last few months, Pioner boats and the Swedish Research Institute RISE have collaborated to develop one of the first fully 3D printed boats in the world. Now we want to take it one step further and be the first to truly check if it is possible to use this innovative technology to manufacture boats which are seaworthy without excessive post-processing. And where would be a better place to do so than the Swedish archipelago during winter?

The motorboat itself is unique in its kind, not only because it has been 3D printed in one single piece but also because it has been manufactured in a recyclable material with almost no material waste generated. Using 3D printing instead of conventional rotational moulding makes it possible to manufacture customized boat designs in small series at low cost and with short lead times. The thermoplastic material used can be ground down and reused if needed. In addition, by cleverly adapting the original boat design for 3D printing it was possible to manufacture it with less than 4% material waste generated.

Real world functional testing is needed to validate 3D printing as a viable alternative manufacturing technology in the marine industry. Therefore, we invite you to participate in a livestreamed first-time launch and test of the boat.

Please note: This experiment is the first of its kind globally and we DON’T KNOW if this will work. The cold winter conditions, the uncertainty of the outdoor environment, and the use of a real engine, is different from launching the boat indoors in a pool under controlled circumstances. This is an experiment designed to be a learning experience. You are invited to participate but there are no guarantees of a successful launch.

The boat has been developed through a collaboration between Cipax AB, Cipax A/S, owner of Pioner boats, and the Swedish Research Institute RISE, within the research project DiLAM. The project is supported by VINNOVA, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas through Produktion2030.

RISE is Sweden’s research institute and innovation partner. Through international collaboration programmes with industry, academia and the public sector, RISE ensure the competitiveness of the Swedish business community on an international level and contribute to a sustainable society. RISE offers unique expertise and over 100 testbeds and demonstration environments for future-proof technologies, products and services. When it comes to 3D printing, RISE has expertise throughout the value chain from design to final product.

Pioner is the leading brand of leisure boats in Scandinavia with over 350.000 sold boats and 60 years of experience. Pioner made boating and boat-life available to a broader audience by introducing rotational molding as a production method in the late 50’s and with all boats still being produced in Björkelangen, Norway. Today Pioner is yet again exploring next generation technologies that help us move to a more sustainable future and to better customer satisfaction. 3D printing is one such technology as it combines minimal waste with maximum flexibility to create the boat that the customer need.