Jan 17, 2019 | By Thomas

TAHOE Boats, part of White River Marine Group, the marine manufacturing arm of Bass Pro Shops, has announced its new and revolutionary T16 boat design engineered with families in mind. Using innovative 3D printing technology, the T16 delivers a lightweight design and better affordability with an uncompromising commitment to quality and performance.

“The brand new T16 will make watersports and fishing accessible for more families across the country,” said White River Marine Group Marketing Director Maurice Bowen. “Using an innovative design and build process, we’re expanding the market and making this new model lighter, easier to tow and more affordable without sacrificing any of the performance and quality our customers have come to expect.”

White River Marine Group worked with Thermwood, utilizing Thermwood’s Large Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) system to custom-print the tool used to manufacture the boat’s hull. This is the first time 3D printing has been used on actual boat production at this scale. TAHOE Boats says this boat-building advancement led to greater efficiency in the planning, design and construction of the T16.

Photo courtesy of Thermwood

Thermwood 3D printed the master pattern for the boat hull at its Development/Demonstration Labs in Dale, Indiana. The pattern was printed in six sections from 20% carbon fiber filled ABS. The joints between the pieces were machined, pinned and bonded together. Then the assembled hull was machined to final size and shape. According to Thermwood, the entire process was completed in ten days. The mold was sent to White River where it was sanded and finished with a proprietary coating.

Thermwoods says that with its new Vertical Layer Printing, which wasn’t available at the time this mold was made, the mold can be produced in even less time. In fact this type of pattern can now be printed as one piece in just over two days, eliminating the machining between sections and the bonding process. This should cut build time almost in half.

“Additive manufacturing has the potential to dramatically change the way boats are built” says Thermwood’s founder, Chairman and CEO, Ken Susnjara.

Master patterns, such as the tool created for TAHOE Boats, are used to make molds for high production rates where multiple molds are required. For larger boats or lower production rates, Thermwood says it may be possible to print the mold itself rather than a pattern from which multiple molds are made. Thermwood has also been working on this approach and has recently announced the successful production of a seven foot long, 1/7 scale model of a yacht hull mold using Vertical Layer Printing.

Features of the T16

The T16 offers seating for up to six passengers. Molded, gel-coated storage below the seats allows for easy compartment cleaning. Like other TAHOE boats, the T16 features a sport steering wheel, swim platforms and a telescoping four-step boarding ladder. The all-new T16 is available in 14 different color and graphic combinations.

The T16 comes equipped with either a 60- or 75-horsepower Mercury outboard motor, powering speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Lightly loaded with the 60HP, it will use an average of 2.6 gallons of fuel per hour at 4,000 RPMs for a range of approximately 100 miles. Its average weight, including boat, motor and trailer, is 2,200 pounds, making the T16 easy to tow behind a mid-sized vehicle.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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