Wow. [Jim Smith] of Grass Roots Engineering has just put the finishing touches on his entirely 3D printed kayak. And it floats.
The individual parts were printed on [Jim's] massive home-made 3D printer, which is loosely based off a RepRap — except that its maximum build volume is a whopping 403 x 403 x 322.7mm.
The kayak itself is made of 28 printed sections, and to hold it all together, he has installed brass threaded thermoplastic inserts, which then allow the pieces to be bolted together. Silicone caulking is applied before assembly to ensure a watertight seal.
It was originally based off of a Siskiwit Bay kayak by [Bryan Hansel] but [Jim] has heavily modified it to suit 3D printing. It was printed at a layer height of 0.65mm to reduce print time, which still ended up being over 1000 hours! He even optimized the design to improve performance based on his own height and weight.
The hull is 6mm thick, with a custom rib structure to increase strength — you can also see the method of fastening the sections together in the following image:
In total it weighs around 65lbs, with 58lbs of that being ABS plastic — it used 7lbs of screws and brass inserts — wow! Oh and since the whole thing was 3D printed, [Jim] also added some handy features like camera mounts on the bow and stern. Talk about a big project!
Have you seen anything else this big printed on a hobby 3D printer? Our first thought is the Replica DB4 project by [Ivan Sentch] — He’s building an Aston Martin DB4 using a donor car… and a lot of 3D printed parts.