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American Magic adopts Stratasys carbon fiber 3D printing for America’s Cup

The sailing team has signed a supplier agreement with 3D printing company Stratasys

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American Magic, a New York Yacht Club challenger for the 36th America’s Cup, is furthering its use of 3D technologies to gain a competitive edge in the world renowned sailing competition. Recently, the company divulged how it is utilizing Creaform’s 3D scanning to simulate and verify boat components. Now, it has announced a supplier agreement with 3D printing giant Stratasys for carbon fiber parts.

Made up of three elite racing programs, American Magic will be taking to the waters in 2021 to challenge in the upcoming America’s Cup—the highest prize in sailing and the oldest international sporting event in the world. The 36th America’s Cup will begin on March 6, 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand, where seven international racing teams will take to the seas. Leading up to the race, the sailing teams will compete in a number of America’s Cup World Series regattas, the Prada Cup and the Challenger Finals.

The sailing team still has some time to prepare for the upcoming competition and is hoping to leverage the benefits of Stratays’ Fortus 450mc 3D printer and its capabilities to print carbon fiber reinforced Nylon 12. Working with Stratasys, the team will evaluate and integrate 3D printed final parts into its competitive sailing yacht. The technology will enable the team to 3D print parts when necessary and re-engineer new parts after each qualifying race to improve performance.

American Magic Stratasys sailing
Stratasys Fortus 450mc 3D printer

3D printing offers a unique advantage to competitive sailing applications, as it can produce lightweight parts in a flexible, on-demand production environment. The racing boat are particular in that they need to be highly aerodynamic. In the case of American Magic, aerospace company Airbus actually assists in optimizing the boat’s design. To minimize weight, American Magic’s crafts integrate a number of  carbon fiber parts, including sail components, masts and hulls.

“The demands of sailing are very similar to the speed, loads and lightweight requirements mandated by aerospace. That’s why carbon fiber is such a natural choice for material,” said Pat Carey, Senior Vice President at Stratasys. “At Stratasys, we have decades of experience enabling leaders in aerospace and high-performance sports to transform their manufacturing processes through 3D printing. American Magic is a great example of innovative manufacturing leaders pushing the boundaries of success with 3D printing.”

American Magic will use Stratasys’ Fortus 450mc 3D printer for a range of applications, such as prototyping and the production of essential brackets, fittings and mounts. Initially, the 3D printed parts will be installed and evaluated on the team’s test boat, The Mule, a half-sized AC75 racing boat.

“The America’s Cup is a racing event like none other and tests the limits of design and manufacturing,” added Robyn Lesh, Design Team Engineer at American Magic. “Solid aerodynamics is truly the key, as our vessels must essentially ‘fly’ over the water with durable, extremely light-weight parts for racing. Whether it’s for developing prototypes, controllers, brackets or fittings–Stratasys 3D printing ensures we can quickly build, iterate and produce industrial-quality parts necessary to take home the Cup.”

Stratasys’ additive manufacturing technology has been adopted by a number of companies aiming to increase competitiveness in high performance areas, such as motorsports and winter sports.

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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