Printing model boats

I am creating a 3D printed 1/20 scale model of an 8 meter shoal sailboat designed by me. This activity is so interesting it looks like more model boats are in my future. The forum will be a great source of suggestions for paint, material etc. Any information would be appreciated.`

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Thank you for posting! Great way to collect as much information as you can to help you out! Small request by me… please post pictures of the boat(s). Would love to see the finished product :slight_smile:

Hello Keith,

PLA should be fine as long as not direct sunlight, heat of sun will cause it to deform and warp.

On a 3DPrintlab model plane.
I did a Spitfire MkIX in PLA, Sun warps enough that the wings deform and make it hard to control

I’m Sure there’s "Builders on this Forum that could tell you if ABS or PET-G would be best from their experiences.

@Keithwspc that is awesome! I have never made a ‘model boat’ I have however made 100s of boats. I worked for many years with Volkskayak as an instructor before the insurance killed it. I have build a hand full of sailboats, a botter, a few skiffs, a proa, and worked on a number of others. I have been tinkering with a small catamaran sail boat design. I am very interested in your design I would be thrilled to see it.

Good morning tony:
Thank you for your interest.
Attached is picture of shoal sailboat model under construction.


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Good morning Keith:
Thank you for the information.
The model transverse frames are PLA and they are connected by longitudinals which hopefully will control the warpage.
The hull exterior plates will be sheets of TPU 1mm thick.

The shoal sailboat is an aluminum boat with retractable ruder and keel. The ruder and keel is of my own design. Before the boat can be built a model must be built to test buoyancy among other things.
The pictures attached are model under construction and boat drawings from my cadd system.


@Keithwspc That is super interesting. The construction methods look to be the same as a full size boat. The 3d printed ‘strong back’ is super cool. The design looks really awesome NICE JOB!!!


I Agree with Alex. @kitedemon .

That dose look awesome, I also like how you’re using different Filaments for different intended Purposes

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This is something I’d like to do, albeit on a smaller scale. I have a swimming pool and some model RC boats for the kids would be fun.

Good evening LEGOMmaniac,
Sorry for the delay in replying.
If you are unfamiliar with boat construction and have access to a purchased RC model boat I would
suggest you copy that boats hull design and print it with TPU filament. You should be able to buy the
RC controls and engine from hobby shops. To design your own hull it is necessary to be able to calculate
the boats buoyancy to position the waterline. This is necessary for the boat to set correctly in the water.
Also, if you use an inboard style engine you must have a water tight seal on the rotating prop shafts or use an open well. In this case the sides of the well must extend above the waterline or the boat will take in water. Also the inboard style engine must be above the waterline for the same reason.
Good luck.

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