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Come to the Charlotte Maker Faire next weekend (October 10th) to see me and my 3D Printed Kayak at Discovery Place museum. I will not be bringing my large scale printer this time as the transportation logistics are tricky due to the size with the heated chamber. For more info check out: cltmakerfaire.org

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May 5th, 2015

Today I was featured on a segment for PBS Charlotte about careers in the additive manufacturing industry:

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I have completed construction of a completely 3D printed, customized Kayak. The Kayak measures 16ft 8in [5.08m] long and cost around $500 to make. It is made of ABS plastic, machine screws, brass threaded inserts and a little bit of silicone caulk. That’s it. And it floats. And I can Kayak around in it. In order to print such large, solid sections of Kayak, I had to modify my home-built, large scale 3D printer to print the parts inside a heated chamber so they would not warp or crack.

The Kayak

The Kayak is comprised of 28, 3D printed sections. Each section has brass threaded thermoplastic inserts so the next corresponding section can be screwed into it. Silicone caulk is only used between the sections to ensure it is watertight. This design was initially based on the Siskiwit Bay kayak by Bryan Hansel, but heavily modified for 3D printing. The shape of the kayak was tweaked to optimize performance based on my height and weight. To reduce print time and material usage, the kayak is printed at a 0.65mm layer height. It features a 6mm thick hull with a built-in, internal rib/support structure to give it strength, yet be lightweight and use less ABS plastic. On the bow and stern of the Kayak I added attach points for cameras, handles and future add-ons.

Kayak Specs:

Spec Imperial Metric
Length 16ft 8in 5.08m
Width 1ft 8in 0.52m
Total Weight 64.58lbs 29.29kg
  • 3D Printed ABS Plastic Parts 58.15lbs 26.48kg
  • Screws 4.54lbs 2.068kg
  • Brass Threaded Inserts 1.89lbs 0.86kg
Print Time 1012.65 hrs [42.19 days]

Largest section of the kayak (#15) on the build plate

Inside the Heated Chamber during printing

Inside of Kayak, bolted sections and structure

Sealing section joints with silicone

Kayak on the dock

Kayak on the water



UPDATE: The Kayak CAD and BOM is now posted here:

3D Printed Kayak STLs, CAD, and Bill of Materials

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