3d printing.

Anybody out there familiar with 3d printing technology and CAD software. I have been following this technology, right now there is a practical application with it to make fittings. There are printers that could do entire 1meter hulls but they are very pricey still > 10K. But for say 500 you can get a 3d printer and make fittings out of ABS.

Just wondering if there is anyone else out there considering such a venture?

I’ve been looking at this for about 2 years now… Not for hulls, but split moulds for fins and rudders.

“shapeways” offer a total online service…

I am not sure how their materials would cope with the curing temperatures I had in mind…


I use SLA and DLP daily to print parts from Cad data. If the parts can be made from plastic and be strong enough, it is a possibility. There are several places that will do LS Nylon parts. Just send them a SLA file and some $$. You should have your parts back in 2 to 3 days. I usually use the SLA to verify the shape and fit before going to production and not use it as the end product.

I have just checked back on the shapeways site… They have a couple of interesting new materials you can print in.
For my application, the ceramic option is great. It has a high gloss finish, and is heat resistant to 500c!
Unfortunately the maximum printable dimensions rule out a fin or hull mould, but its perfect for a split rudder mould and is cheap too.
To the other end of the scale, they offer a stainless/bronze hybrid. It is 8g cm3 which is almost enough for a bulb!
(Or you could print fittings in it as well.)
I’m sure there will be further materials in the future.


Jim coudl you make the fin mold in 4 peices, rather than just two and make some sort of high temp “centering device” to keep the molds aligned ???

or once you receive the 4 separate pieces. align the two bottom halves together and then epoxt/bolt, ect together to make one peice… and then do the same for the top??? I know not ideal… but if the price was right…