It does seem that 3 D printed boats are here to stay . These boats are class legal and the biggest drawback is that the boats are not able to be built as light as the glass ones although they still can be built under weight.

Glass is also stronger in impact resistance however as time goes by it will be most likely that the materials used for 3 D printed IOM boats will get better

What is great about 3D printed boats is the big saving in labour time to build a new shape

Instead of having to make plugs and moulds, once the a drawing is complete  you can turn this into a STL file and the printer can start building your boat while you are asleep or doing other things .

So very good to produce new designs for trial .

I’m sure in the future it will be very easy to buy drawings from a verity of designers and print them out on your home printer or even send the drawing to a be built commercially by a 3D printer. This has to be good for the IOM class as cost of boats will come down.

 The other draw back for the home builder is  the amount of time needed to learn the different programmes to design the boat and set up the 3d printer slicing software however once you have a handle on it becomes fun especially  when  you print out different components for your boat rather than going to the shop!

Below is my first attempt to build a 3D deck for D5. The completed boat with glass hull was about 30gram heaver than the glass boats . What pleased me was how well the epoxy bonded to the PLA+ plastic .


Also the paint had good adhesion.

The deck was built in three sections that included the bulkhead in front of the mast

We are using  Delft Ship for lines drawing

Fusion 360 to draw deck centre case and components

printer is Prusa

PLA+ plastic  deck thickness is  0.8mm

Below are more helpful  links on 3D printing  

What is 3D printing 

3D Boats

Prusa  Printer

Delftship     Boat design software

Fusion 360     great for making components


3D printed radiosailyachts Forum