06.10.2020  12:00

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

Moi Composites, a polimi’s spin-off, presents the innovative product at 60th Genova Boat Show

MAMBO (Motor Additive Manufacturing BOat), the world’s first real boat in continuous fiberglass thermoset material, has been officially launched. Displayed at the latest Genoa Boat Show 2020, it demonstrates a new, unique way of shaping boats that cannot be achieved with traditional manufacturing.

MAMBO is an idea of Moi Composites, a Politecnico di Milano’s spin-off that 3D prints custom, powerful products using robots and advanced composite materials. Free of molds as well as traditional design and time constraints, Moi’s patented process innovation can produce strong, lightweight, unique objects in incredible new shapes, sizes, & performances, cost effectively on demand.

We participated in the Genoa boat show in 2017, and it was during this event that we came up with the idea of making MAMBO. We saw the project take shape first, then brought it to life, and finally MAMBO arrived today at the sea

says Gabriele Natale CEO & Co-founder of Moi Composites.

MAMBO was digitally crafted in patented 3D printing technology, Continuous Fiber Manufacturing (CFM); a truly innovative system, which, thanks to the use of robots expertly guided by generative algorithms, allows for 3D printing continuous fiber composite materials, with freedom of customization and high, mechanical performance which were unthinkable until now for 3D printers.

CFM technology involves the use of robotic machines, 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. This allows the creation of fiber-reinforced products with mechanical characteristics comparable to those of 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 lots or unique pieces, efficiently and cost-effectively. It is a new drive for the creativity of many designers, that today is suppressed due to various factors: due to technological, geometric limits, or production costs, there are countless noteworthy projects, destined to remain magnificent renderings forever.

Gabriele Natale explains:

We have 3D printed a boat, enhancing the concept of customization with a one-of-a-kind design created and tailored from the owner's mind, to give everyone the opportunity to understand and experience the sea in their own way. All this would not have happened without the support of our partners, who believed with us in this ambitious project

Moi’s partners in the MAMBO project 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.

MAMBO spans 6.5 meters long by 2.5 meters wide, has a dry weight of approximately 800 kg, and is equipped with a real navigation system, cork flooring, white leather seats, and 115 cv engine. The hull is an inverted tricycle inspired by the famous Arcidiavolo by Sonny Levi, on which organic forms chase each other and are transformed into structural and functional elements.

The various sections were printed using two KUKA Quantec High Accuracy robots in Milan, at Moi Composites’ headquarters and in Autodesk's AMF (Advanced Manufacturing Facility) in Birmingham, United Kingdom, to exemplify on-site manufacturing, considered one of the most important strengths of 3D printing. The printed pieces were joined and laminated, creating a one-piece sandwich structure, without hull-deck division. The tireless and uninterrupted work of the robots combined with the wise and passionate skill of the craftsmen of the yard have given life to a hybrid and new industrial system, as technological and digital as analog and tailored, which today enables the impossible to become possible.

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

Find out more: