Mar.18, 2014

Jim Smith of Grass Roots Engineering has created a completely 3D printed, customized Kayak. The 16ft 8in [5.08m] long Kayak is made of ABS plastic, machine screws, brass threaded inserts and a little bit of silicone caulk.

Jim has been working on 3D printing technology since 2008. In 2010 he designed a low-cost 3D printer with an incredible build volume of 403x403x322mm (16x16x13"). There have been many modifications afterwards including a higher resolution print head, build surfaces and control electronics. In 2013 the printer has been upgraded to have a heater build chamber in order to print soild ABS plastic parts with no qarping or cracking.

Largest section of the kayak, section 15, on the build plate

The Kayak is comprised of 28, 3D printed sections. "Each section has brass threaded thermoplastic inserts so the next corresponding section can be screwed into it. Silicone caulk is only used between the sections to ensure it is watertight." writes Jim in his blog.

"This design was initially based on the Siskiwit Bay kayak by Bryan Hansel, but heavily modified for 3D printing. The shape of the kayak was tweaked to optimize performance based on my height and weight."

Sealing section joints with silicone

"To reduce print time and material usage, the kayak is printed at a 0.65mm layer height. It features a 6mm thick hull with a built-in, internal rib/support structure to give it strength, yet be lightweight and use less ABS plastic. On the bow and stern of the Kayak I added attach points for cameras, handles and future add-ons." Jim explains.

The total cost is only about $500. Watch the video below that Jim Kayak around in it.

Thanks to Jim and Roy for the tip!


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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alidan wrote at 3/19/2014 5:42:52 AM:

@Boggie Man 500$ on plastic (if you dont make your own) 26.48kg (plastic cost) 18$per kg, so it sounds about right, would be cheaper if you make your own. running a 3d printer required 12-15 amps if a quick search is correct. and the smallest watt psu i can see that fits that is a 300watt one. now assumeing that 300 watts is the max and its constant (which it wouldnt be) 42 days would be 1008 hours of printing. power cost in america is 7.11-33.10 cents per kwatt but lets go an average of 10. rough math on that is (300 x 1008)/1000 to get 302.4 kwatt hours so the cost of energy is about 30.24$ now the cost of a fiberglass kayak is 1,800-3000+$ now if you factor in the cost of a printer its possible its more expensive, but if you leave the printer out, this was cheaper.

raven wrote at 3/18/2014 7:54:17 PM:

Look at his build.. he is not using belt, meaning the print speed is going to be a lot slower.

Boggie Man wrote at 3/18/2014 6:38:34 PM:

The $500 is only the plastic. The total cost is a lot higher. Running a printer for 42 days will cost a lot with that heated chamber. Plus parts, plus labor... you are almost better off just buying a fiber glass boat. Cool project none the less.

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