US team for world-renowned competitive sailing event taps into durable carbon fiber for end-use racing parts

Taking the power of 3D printed carbon fiber to the water raceway, Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS) is unveiling a supplier agreement with the New York Yacht Club, American Magic– challenger for the 36th America’s Cup. American Magic is the combination of three elite racing programs and a leading yacht club – joining forces to win the America’s Cup, the highest prize in sailing and the oldest event in international sports.

Capitalizing on the advanced Stratasys Fortus® 450mc™, capable of 3D printing carbon fiber reinforced FDM Nylon 12™, American Magic is using high-performance technology to produce reliable, repeatable final parts for its competitive sailing yacht. Fully supported by the Fortus 450mc, engineers can design and 3D print with ease, innovating and re-engineering new parts after each qualifying race.

American Magic is one of seven international entrants in the high-profile America’s Cup, scheduled to commence on March 6 in Auckland, New Zealand. The 36th edition of the event boasts teams from the US, New Zealand, Italy, UK, Malta and Netherlands. Prior to the race, the teams will compete in multiple America’s Cup World Series regattas and the Prada Cup, the Challenger Finals.

With the need for high-speed, light-weight production parts for each vessel, additive manufacturing is ideally-suited for the demands of competitive sailing yachts. American Magic boats are specifically designed with aerodynamics in mind, and supported by the team’s Official Innovation Partner, Airbus. The boats are mostly constructed of carbon fiber material, including the critical sails, mast and hull.

“The demands of sailing are very similar to the speed, loads and lightweight requirements mandated by aerospace. That’s why carbon fiber is such a natural choice for material,” said Pat Carey, Senior Vice President at Stratasys. “At Stratasys, we have decades of experience enabling leaders in aerospace and high-performance sports to transform their manufacturing processes through 3D printing. American Magic is a great example of innovative manufacturing leaders pushing the boundaries of success with 3D printing.”

American Magic joins an elite group of Stratasys customers capitalizing on additive manufacturing to advance competitiveness in high performance environments – including auto sports, motor cross and professional winter games. Carbon fiber material is best suited to align with the requirements of complex, demanding racing – as teams capitalize on 3D printing to accelerate design iterations, workflows and final part production.

“The America’s Cup is a racing event like none other and tests the limits of design and manufacturing,” said Robyn Lesh, Design Team Engineer at American Magic. “Solid aerodynamics is truly the key, as our vessels must essentially ‘fly’ over the water with durable, extremely light-weight parts for racing. Whether it’s for developing prototypes, controllers, brackets or fittings – Stratasys 3D printing ensures we can quickly build, iterate and produce industrial-quality parts necessary to take home the Cup.”

American Magic is maximizing 3D printing for a broad range of applications, including innovative prototypes and essential brackets, fittings, and mounts. This work is partially aimed at improving aerodynamic loads on the team’s test boat, dubbed “The Mule”. The Mule is a half-sized version of the AC75 racing boats currently in production for the next America’s Cup.

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