3D printed kayak really floats, took 42 days to print

3d printed kayak
© Grass Roots Engineering

These days, 3D printing is going more and more large scale. While there are still many small applications for the technology, inventors and engineers are making increasingly useful objects with the printers. Case in point, Jim Smith of Grass Roots Engineering who has built the world's first 3D printed kayak.

It took Smith 42 days to print out the 28 different sections that comprise the kayak. In order to be able to make it, he had to modify his home-built large scale 3D printer to print the pieces in a heated chamber so they wouldn't break or warp. Once bolted together, he sealed the cracks between the sections with silicone to make it water tight.

The kayak measures 16 feet 8 inches [5.08m] long and 1 foot 8 inches wide and cost around $500 to make using ABS plastic.

The design was based on Siskiwit Bay kayak by Bryan Hansel but modified for 3D printing and optimized for Smith's height and weight. He used a 0.65mm print height to build the section pieces, with the hull measuring 6 mm thick "with a built-in, internal rib/support structure to give it strength, yet be lightweight and use less ABS plastic." He also added attach points for cameras and other accessories he may want to add later.

The total weight of the kayak is 64.58 pounds. Check out the video below to see more.

3D printed kayak really floats, took 42 days to print
The colorful watercraft is actually 28 different 3D-printed sections that have been bolted together.

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