Beluga is the world's ﬁrst 3D printed sailing boat produced in one piece with MyReplastTM recycled material, developed as a joint project by Caracol and NextChem (Maire Tecnimont group).
In fact, for this project, Caracol wanted to show how its technology could enable the manufacturing of advanced parts with upcycled materials. Specifically, the 3D printed sailing boat was chosen as a symbol for new beginnings, restarting, and exploration, and here also becomes an emblem for innovation in the manufacturing world.
Traditional methods to produce sailing boats usually entail methods that require molds and use materials that are hard to recycle like fiberglass. Thus, Caracol has employed its proprietary robotic Additive Manufacturing system to produce the hull of the sailing boat in a single piece.
Working with its LFAM Robotic system at Caracol we can produce applications with very complex and ultra-light geometries. Thanks to the proprietary algorithms developed, it is possible to ﬂexibly orient the extrusion head to different angles, such as 45°. This enables the production of parts with completely suspended surfaces, with hollow, light, and geometrically complex structures.
Moreover, it is also a solution that is more respectful towards the environment. In fact, the developed technology also allows for the “direct printing” of recycled materials, like the Recycled Polypropylene with 30% glass fiber used for Beluga, and extrudes at a high speed to produce the whole boat in only 40 hours.
Certainly, circular economy processes that give new life to plastic waste are becoming vital sources of raw material for both design and industrial applications. Nonetheless, they still are not often used due to concerns about their performance and resistance. The sailing boat presented has been manufactured using MyReplastTM material. This material recovered through upcycling processes of waste is an example of how recycled polymers can be used successfully to produce advanced components with high-performance requirements.