Check out this 3D printed kayak
Everybody has hobbies but they can be expensive. Kayaking is a great way to hit the water and get some exercise, as well as exploring new areas of river or coast. Sturdy kayaks can, however, be expensive to buy. If you are time-rich, but cash-poor why not make your own plastic kayak using a 3D printer. That is just what Jim Smith decided to do. 42 days, or 1013 hours later he was able to take to the water, after spending just $500. And his 3D printed kayak floated!
About the 3D printed kayak
Jim Smith, an engineer, used 28 printed sections of ABS plastic fixed together with brass screws and waterproofed with silicone caulk. His design was modified from traditionally designed kayaks used by Siskiwit Bay Native American Indians. Smith tweaked the original design to take into account his own weight and height, giving the finished kayak dimensions of 16' 8" in length and 1' 8" in width, with a weight of just under 30 kg. The hull is 6 mm thick and has an integral rib support structure to give it strength, use less ABS plastic and keep the weight down. Once it was in the water Smith was pleased to discover that not only did his 3D printed kayak float, it was able to support his weight.
Printing the 3D printed kayak
To cut down printing time and material costs Smith printed his pieces with a layer height of 0.65 mm. Jim Smith had already built and used his own large-scale 3D printer, but to make the solid sections for his kayak he had to make some modifications to it. By adding a heated chamber he was able to stop the kayak parts warping or cracking. During the printing of the kayak parts in ABS plastic the printer was set at a temperature of 112 degrees centigrade. Anyone interested in finding out more about Jim Smith and his design company, 3D systems, can follow his blog, Grass Roots Engineering.
What next for 3D printers?
As the price and scope of 3D printers fall, their uses expand, leaving open some future moral implications. A Dutch woman has undergone an operation leaving her with a partial 3D printed skull, while controversially the world's first 3D printed gun has already been made. More productively, a 3D printing company has produced a bike, leaving the way open for future uses in the world of sport.