Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM), a large-scale 3D printing technology developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and Cincinnati Inc., was used to fabricate a 34’ catamaran boat hull mold. The goal of this project was to explore the feasibility of using BAAM to directly manufacture the mold without the need for thick coatings. The catamaran boat hull mold was designed with an additional 0.15” thickness of material on the mold surfaces. After printing, the mold was immediately machined and assembled. Alliance MG, LLC (AMG), the industry partner of this project, experimented with mold release agents on the carbon-fiber reinforced acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (CF ABS) to verify that the material can be directly used as a mold. A steel subframe was manufactured to provide structural integrity. The mold was printed in twelve individual sections. Each section was about six feet long, and three sections were printed simultaneously in approximately twelve-hour builds. All mold sections were printed over a five-day period, and the total amount of material used was 5,500 pounds of CF ABS. The success of this project will significantly reduce the time and cost necessary for manufacturing large resin infusion molds using the BAAM process.
- Define the basic Big Area Additive Manufacturing process.
- Understand the general process of additively manufacturing a boat hull mold from design to fabrication to machining to final assembly.
- Describe the advantages associated with additively manufacturing a mold that does not require costly coatings.