Lans Rover has recently incorporated 3D printing into the development of the sailboat with which it participates in the America's Cup. The team in charge of the development and improvement of the sailboat is incorporating new techniques in the production of parts and checking how these additions improve the results.
One of the earliest uses of the technology is for life-size prototype printing. A large number of prototypes and custom parts are produced and 3D printing has made it possible to make parts of all of them at a lower cost and production time than would have to have third companies.
Land Rover 3D prints parts for your sailboat.
Printed prototypes are placed in the right place to check how they fit with the rest of the pieces and detect errors in their production and development. This technique allows to reduce costs and production time.
One of the first final pieces to be produced using 3D printing is the end cap for the bowsprit. It has a complex shape to reduce air resistance but could be made from a single material. Making this same plug with traditional materials such as fiberglass would have been much more expensive.
3D printing of metal parts
However, the improvement they are most proud of is the parts that are beginning to print on metal. They have commissioned the Renishaw company for components to be made in thin layers of metal powder.
Among the first pieces that have been manufactured with this method we find a custom pulley with a saving in weight and efficiency.
Another example is the hydraulic system, which thanks to 3D printing has been able to be built with rounded corners. Thus improving the efficiency of fluid transfer.
Renishaw has communicated, in a general way without giving specific details that serve to help its competitors, that the weight of the new hydraulic system manufactured by 3D printing is 60% lighter and 20% more efficient than it would have been manufactured with methods traditional.