3D Scanning Helps Speed Design Developments For US America’s Cup Team

Jan 22, 2021 | 3D Scanning, Aerodynamics, CT Scanning, News, Performance

The design team for the US challenger for the 36th Americas Cup, is continuing to use innovative approaches to develop its monohull ahead of the races in Auckland, New Zealand during March 2021.

Designed with aerospace technology from Airbus, the 75-foot monohull, named Patriot, actually rises up on hydrofoils when it reaches a certain speed and flies across the water. This is a sailing world first to have a large-scale, fully foiling monohull.

The Patriot’s design team has been using metrology-grade 3D scanning technologies to make precise tweaks to a wide variety of the monohull’s intricate components. Such is the level of competition, even the smallest part of the boat can positively (or negatively) impact the performance of the monohull’s speed, handling and weight.

For example, the Patriot’s bobstay fairings were made with a hand shaped mould, but the mould did not fit the CAD model, and the team needed to undertake adjustments in order to make a part to fit into the fairing’s cavity.

The team 3D scanned the part, made the changes to the CAD model, and then sent it for 3D printing. While different design iterations were made in CAD to get the perfect fit, the team still saved hundreds of work hours for that one component.

One advantage the Patriot team has is that the 3D scanners and 3D printers are located on site, where the monohull is being developed and also where the team is training.

This means that whilst the team is training on the water, if something breaks, an issue arises, or a new idea to increase performance comes to mind, the design team has the technology and possibility to scan various parts, make fixes, and then 3D print new components—all in a day. The team can then go back out into the water and test the changes.

Find out more about the Patriot team’s scanning technology here.

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The PES Scanning blog provides information and news on the scanning and engineering services we offer. The blog also includes views from our team and information about projects we’ve been working on.

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