‘Motor Additive Manufacturing Boat’, or MAMBO for short is the world’s first boat built from 3D printer using KUKA robots and finished by an expert’s hand. MAMBO is a strikingly blue and lightweight fiberglass boat, 6.5 meters long, 2.5 meters wide and weighing just 800 kilograms. The idea came from the Italian startup Moi Composites, which collaborated with leading experts from the automation sector, such as Autodesk UK, and the boatbuilding industry during the realization of the project.
At Autodesk’s advanced production facility in Birmingham, the first 50% of the boat, for example parts of the hull, were produced using KUKA robots. At the same time, a KR QUANTEC from KUKA printed the second half in Milan. Final assembly of the MAMBO was carried out in a shipyard. For this, the individual components were joined and coated in order to create a one-piece sandwich structure without hull-deck division. The makers want to use the different locations to demonstrate one of the strengths of 3D printing with industrial robots: flexible on-site manufacturing. This process was cloud-based, enabling the team from Moi Composites to monitor progress at all times.
All individual components of MAMBO are made of glass fibers, printed in 3D using the Continuous Fiber Manufacturing (CFM) process patented by Moi Composites. This innovative 3D printing process starts as a three-dimensional model that is processed by software and implemented using robots such as the KR QUANTEC. In this way, the KR QUANTEC can process continuous fibers that are impregnated with thermosetting resin.
CFM not only saves unnecessary weight but also enables a core to be printed that increases the stability of the boat. The technology offers further advantages, too: real-time curing without the need for specific molds. This reduces costs and lowers the profit threshold for companies even in the case of small or even varying batches.
Gabriele Natale, CEO and Co-Founder, Moi Composites said: “We have 3D printed a boat to give everyone the opportunity to experience the sea in their own way. Moi is broadening the spectrum of design possibilities by creating a one-of-a-kind boat in accordance with the owner’s wishes.”