Imagine owning an impressive 100-meter long yacht. What’s the best way to enter a harbor in style? The bow of the luxury yacht KISMET is now adorned with a massive majestic jaguar, good for scaring off any maritime threats. Materialise was delighted to help make this yacht owner’s dream come true by assisting with software solutions and Additive Manufacturing expertise which made it possible to 3D print this adventurous predator. Without a wide range of integrated software solutions, this challenging project would never have materialized!
Another Breed of Cat
This feline was no ordinary species; it needed to be large, robust, and yet refined. Design enhancement software Materialise 3-matic helped to attain the optimal model by creating new volumes via sweep operations, hollowing the design and integrating the jaguar’s glowing eyes.
After this, the jaguar’s design was cleaned up in STL editor Materialise Magics to make it 3D printable. Materialise Magics was used to orientate the design and fix flipped triangles, bad edges, holes and other defects. Since the fearless jaguar was too big to be printed in one part, the design was split in different sections according to the curves of the jaguar’s body. To ensure easy assembly of parts after the build, connector pins and holes were integrated into the cuts with Materialise Magics’ Boolean operations function.
The Predator’s Printing Process
You need a large printer to print a four-meter long, two-meter tall jaguar. That’s why Materialise’s patented Mammoth Stereolithography machines were the right 3D printers for this challenging job. But this weighty jaguar couldn’t be printed without proper support. Why? Support guarantees that the jaguar won’t move in the vessel filled with liquid polymer and that the layers are built in the correct place. Manually calculating the necessary support would demand much time and effort therefore Materialise e-Stage, Materialise’s automatic support generation software, came to the rescue! Particularly important when dealing with short lead times, Materialise e-Stage calculated exactly where the jaguar needed support and designed it in an optimal way, thus facilitating support generation and reducing the risk of human error.
Using our Materialise Build Processor, we sliced the jaguar model and its support. Just as you need a convenient interface when sending a document to a 2D printer, the Materialise Build Processor serves as a user-friendly interface between software and the printer. With a single click, it sliced the file into more than 5,000 layers and communicated the build order to the machine!
To keep track of all the various components built on different Mammoth machines, and to ensure that its creation process was efficient, Materialise Streamics helped to get an overview of what was where. This automation and control system provides a digital board with a graphical analysis of all builds planned and executed and allows to check the real-time status of all the parts. Via Materialise Streamics, Materialise knew every movement of the jaguar at any time so that taming its creation process became a piece of cake.
No Catnap for This Guy
In general, cats like a pat but this one received extra-special treatment. Materialise’s finishers polished its entire body with sandpaper and covered it with protective and aesthetic coatings. To ensure that it could resist the force of the sea, its hollow inside was reinforced by a heavy 3D-printed internal structure. Extra reinforcement was specifically important since one of the jaguar’s legs is extended seaward.
With the jaguar’s parts all shiny and polished, it was time to ship them. To prevent damage and simplify the transport, they were wrapped in foam designed with Materialise Magics’ FormFit function. This function enables easy creation of STL files for packaging and mills the foam accordingly. In this way the parts were optimally supported and protected during their transport to the yacht. Upon arrival, the jaguar was assembled and after some final checks, it was time to shine!
Proof that Materialise’s Software Platform has all the tools in place for even the most challenging applications, this project was a roaring success. Materialise is honored that its signature software packages Materialise 3-matic, Materialise Magics, Materialise e-Stage, the Materialise Build Processor and Materialise Streamics, all contributed to bringing this project to life.
Have a look at the infographic and video!