MAMBO, the world’s first real 3D printed fiberglass boat

MAMBO, the world’s first 3D printed fiberglass boat.
MAMBO, the world’s first 3D printed fiberglass boat. Credit: Moi Composites

The Italian startup Moi Composites has introduced MAMBO (Motor Additive Manufacturing BOat), the world’s first real 3D designed and printed fiberglass boat. It uses a continuous fiberglass thermoset material that makes the products strong, ultra-durable, and very light and thus demonstrates the next generation of design and manufacture.

MAMBO is digitally crafted in a patented 3D printing technology, Continuous Fiber Manufacturing (CFM), which involves the use of generative algorithm-guided robots to 3D print continuous fiber composite materials. The robots are capable of depositing continuous fibers impregnated with thermosetting resin in order to create products with optimized performance, starting from a three-dimensional model of the object.

The boat is equipped with a real navigation system, cork flooring, white leather seats.
The boat is equipped with a real navigation system, cork flooring, white leather seats. Credit: Moi Composites

This allows the creation of fiber-reinforced products with mechanical characteristics comparable to unidirectional fiberglass, without the aid of models, molds, and other tooling equipment. In this way, it is possible to obtain not only prototypes but real products in small batches or unique pieces, efficiently and profitably.

The sections were printed using two KUKA Quantec High Accuracy robots in Milan and at the UK facilities of project partner Autodesk. The printed parts were assembled and laminated at the Catmarine shipyard, creating a one-piece sandwich structure with no hull-deck split. This has resulted in a novel and hybrid industrial system.

The various sections were printed using two KUKA Quantec High Accuracy robots in Milan.
The various sections were printed using two KUKA Quantec High Accuracy robots in Milan. Credit: Moi Composites

The 3D printed fiberglass boat is 6.5 meters long by 2.5 meters wide, has a dry weight of approximately 800 kg. It is equipped with a real navigation system, cork flooring, white leather seats, and a 115 hp engine. The hull is an inverted tricycle inspired by the Arcidiavolo racing trimaran by renowned Italian-born British designer Sonny Levy.

The project partners include a team of global experts in automation, composite materials, and the nautical industry: Autodesk, Catmarine, Confindustria Nautica, Mercury Marine, MICAD, Osculati, and Owens Corning. With fittings and a sleek, shiny coat of paint in snapper rocks blue color, the realized boat will be officially launched and displayed at the 2020 Genova Boat Show.

To date, MAMBO represents not only the first boat made with innovative three-dimensional production techniques to be used in real sailing but also a window into an ocean of possibilities and an invitation to reflect on the way we judge the realization of possible or impossible ideas.