Boston Whaler is a company many will know of and they are a major name in the marine industry for those who don’t, their boats are trusted and known for being long lasting. There are however a limited number of the original 1958 Boston Whaler boats though that launched the company, those that do exist are treasured collectors’ items.
Many Boston Whaler fans though wanted something to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary and so the company set about having some replicas made of the original, but not simply die cast models with a few decals stuck on something really detailed and as carefully made as the original.
EMS rapid prototyping and 3D print service company were therefore contacted byBoston Whaler. The brief for the 3D print service business was to create a highly detailed model that would be a real collectors’ item, certainly more than a toy.
EMS started by getting hold of one of the original boats, still in great condition showing the efforts put into these revolutionary boats with their then unique hull design, also foam filled to make the boat unsinkable, since copied hundreds of times.
EMS scanned the original to create a CAD model on their computers that featured full color
and every detail of the original down to the benches and steering wheel. These were then made into reality with prototypes being produced using 3D printing in full color using the 3D printing equipment EMS have made by ZCorp, the Z Printer.
The Z printer prints in full color and uses laser sintering of a powder meaning that there is no waste as the unused powder can be reused with the finished pieces simply pulled out from the machine.
2000 copies of the limited edition Boston Whaler model were eventually to be made based on the prototype EMS made using 3D printing, which was ideal as it is perfectly suited to printing bespoke one off designs that would be impractical with traditional manufacturing methods including tooling and casting.
The entire process took EMS only two weeks from start, when they acquired an original Boston whaler, to end with the scanning and 3D printing easy work for the experts and the process in between of ensuring that the scan data was optimized to make the model as
accurate as possible a simple job for them as well. EMS have been working in rapid protoyping for many years, all that was required for the 3D print service part of the job was to click print wait a couple of hours and then remove the prototype model from the powder, use an airbrush to remove excess powder, with 3D printing mistakes and waste are almost unheard of.
This profiles perfectly how well suited 3D printing is to these kind of projects where a detailed prototype is needed but costs and timeframes need to be kept down to make such short run productions practical.
The models were shown off by Boston Whaler at their 50th anniversary event and all 2000 were soon after snapped up by fans and collectors.