Caracol and NextChem Collaborates to Debut One-Piece, 3D-Printed Composite Sailboat

September 06 2021

Large-scale additive manufacturing (LSAM) specialist Caracol (Lomazzo, Italy) is debuting Beluga, a 3D-printed sailing boat prototype manufactured in a single piece using recycled polypropylene (PP) and 30% short glass fiber on September 4 as part of Milan Design Week.

Beluga is the product of a joint research project between Caracol and NextChem (Rome, Italy), a green energy company that produces MyReplast recycled plastic materials.

The goal of the project was to manufacture what the partners say is the world’s first 3D-printed, one-piece sailboat. According to Caracol, fiberglass and other traditional materials used to build sailboats can be difficult to recycle, and require the production of molds for infusion. For Beluga, Caracol employed its proprietary, robotic additive manufacturing system to produce the boat’s hull in a single piece, no mold required, using recycled MyReplast PP reinforced with glass fiber for stabilization during printing and increased part rigidity and performance.

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