Composites construction (including lay-up, vacuum bag molding and vacuum infusion) and assembly on the prototype took 14,000 hours. Prior to lamination, the core materials were thermoformed to create the complex curvature required for the deck and hull. Sandwich materials were cut to shape, heated to 105 C and then vacuumed to the mold. Next, layers of SPRINT prepreg, combined with sandwich materials, were added in various densities and thicknesses, depending on the area of application. After each layer, the boat builder performed a splash vacuum for a few seconds to stabilize the plies to the complex structural shapes.

The weight of the completed composite structure is approximately 7,200 pounds, accounting for less than 25 percent of the total weight of the yacht. According to Silver Arrows Marine, that figure is around 35 percent for most yachts.

The exterior of the Arrow460-Granturismo requires 78 individual molds. The hull is made in four parts, while most boats in this class size use just one, according to Silver Arrows Marine. “This is partly because so many shapes are curved and complex, but also to ensure all the parts can be replicated for production in the future,” says the company spokesperson. “There has been an emphasis on producing high-quality, production-friendly parts so future boats will be assembled in the most time-efficient manner.”

Silver Arrows Marine has begun marketing the Arrow460-Granturismo, rumored to have a starting price tag of $1.7 million. The boat builder anticipates production to start by the end of the year.

The 3-D Printed Smart Bus

Application: The Olli autonomous mini-bus

Contributor: Local Motors

“Wow” Factor: The Olli is an autonomous, IBM Watson-powered mini-bus made with composites through large-scale additive manufacturing.

Over the past few years, the world has adopted new ways of getting around. While traditional taxis aren’t completely obsolete yet, many people now use Uber – an app that lets you summon a driver from wherever you are to get you where you want to be. However, one company, Chandler, Ariz.-based Local Motors, has introduced technology that could take the driver out of the equation.

In June, Local Motors unveiled Olli – a self-driving, 3-D printed electric mini-bus made with CFRP. According to Local Motors, Olli was born out of a contest the company held last year in Berlin. The winning entry from 24-year-old Colombian student Edgar Sarmiento became the basis for the design. Olli can carry up to 12 passengers and is the first self-driving vehicle to integrate the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of IBM Watson.