small surface vessel

Small surface vessel

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Group project for students at UiT Norway's Arctic University, spring 2021.

The project's main goal has been to provide an extensible, adaptable "floating platform" which our university may use for educational and scientific purposes.

Mechanical Engineering students responsible for vessel hull: Jacob Ludvigsen, Jørgen Ødegård, Lasse Bertheussen, Thomas Karlsen.

The complete source (for the hull) is licenced under CERN-OHL-W, but individual components (such as servos and metal extruded profiles) may not be as such.

Feel free to copy and redistribute, and modify freely our complete source in accordance with the licence.

Parts of the project which JL, JØ, LB & TK aren't responsible for may be subject to different licence.

Automation Engineering students responsible for electronic outfitting and automation: Robin Liebert, Yuriy Yurchenko, Jakob Nystuen Sørfjordnes.

Sander Daniel Paulusma helped out also.

Robin Liebert and Yuriy Yurchenko wrote their excellent Bachelor's thesis in Automation Engineering on this project. You can read it here:

Their github repository:


Presentation of the group project. Norwegian.

presentation - 10.37 MB - 08/26/2021 at 13:11


Sluttrapport autodrone.pdf

Final report for the group project. Written mostly in Norwegian.

Adobe Portable Document Format - 18.81 MB - 08/26/2021 at 12:22



3D models of 3D-printable components and 2D models of laser cuttable components. Also included is licence and notice

x-7z-compressed - 3.20 MB - 08/26/2021 at 12:18


  • 4 × Hitec RCD HS-646WP watertight servo
  • 3 × aluminium L-profile L*W*H: 800mm * 10mm * 6mm
  • 4 × Hull end section 3D-printed
  • 2 × Hull mid section 3D-printed
  • 4 × Hull end section cover 3D-printed or laser cut

View all 10 components

  • 1
    Print hull components

    Print hull components using 3D-printer. (currently needed printer size: 300*250*450mm

    Recommended settings: 3 walls, nozzle diameter 0.6-1.2mm, Z-hop when retracted to avoid layer shift. Raft. Support. Cubic infill pattern. Print one component at a time, to limit time lost in case of print failure.

    Closed build volume strongly recommended, due to tendency to warp.

  • 2
    Produce other hull components
    1. Using miter saw or equivalent, make an appropriate number of metal guide pins. Remember to deburr them for safety and easier assembly.
    2. Cut aluminum profiles to length, and drill holes for mounting to hull ribs.
    3. Cut pieces of metal tube so that they barely reach from the bottom of the hull bow section to the top face of the "tube & servo fixture".
    4. With a turning lathe, make thruster mount axles. (details to come)
    5. Put axle, upper ball bearing, non-toxic water stopping agent and lower journal bearing into metal tube. Stake tube ends to avoid unintended disassembly.
    6. Make thruster mounts.
    7. Using a laser cutter or equivalent, make the top deck of your desired material.
  • 3
    Assemble hull components
    1. Put some glue in the guide holes on one side of one hull section.
    2. Insert guide pins and let cure.
    3. Put glue on the protruding part of the guide pins and slide on the next hull section.
    4. Apply even pressure until glue cures.
    5. Repeat steps 2, 3, 4, 5 as necessary until your vessel has reached the desired length.
    6. Try inserting nuts in recesses of hull ribs.
    7. If step 7 succeeds, fasten hull ribs to hull.
    8. Using glue, mount metal tube assemblies in hull passthrough holes / tube & servo fixtures.
    9. Cover hull with epoxy resin, or equivalent.
    10. With the current CAD files, you'll have to saw a small gap in the top of the hull to place the aluminum profiles. You will also need to drill two small holes on each bow end to fasten top deck end sections. This will be remedied.
    11. Mount servos.
    12. Mount servo gears.
    13. Mount aluminum profiles to hull.
    14. Mount top deck. (some waterproofing measures are recommended).
    15. Mount thruster mounts.
    16. Mount thrusters.
    17. Mount deck- and electrical equipment of choice.

View all 3 instructions

Enjoy this project?



phrogjlf wrote 09/02/2021 at 04:48 point

Several years ago I worked up a 'yacht' based off the Ramform.  It's designed to be moored in the Gulf of Mexico and use the Gulf Stream to maintain orientation by turning like a weather-vane with changes in the current.  The wider stern aids maintaining stability. 

No idea how to go from 2d to 3d, much less turn it to 3d printable.  Would y'all care for the challenge...?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jacob wrote 09/02/2021 at 06:46 point

That sounds like a neat idea, but it might not align with our project goals. If you share an illustration of your 'yacht' I could give further comments.

  Are you sure? yes | no

phrogjlf wrote 09/02/2021 at 23:22 point

I sent it in a message.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Tom Nardi wrote 08/27/2021 at 05:53 point

Impressive, certainly didn't think the craft was 3D printed at first glance.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jacob wrote 08/27/2021 at 10:45 point

Thank you, Tom! We initially wanted to cast it using GRP, but found that our 3D printed casting molds were surprisingly strong. The hull was printed, covered in epoxy resin and painted. No water was found to seep through using this method.  The lids were not watertight, however.

More 3D representations to come, as I create models of all the stuff we did by "eyeballing".

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jacob wrote 08/26/2021 at 18:35 point

Proposal for improvements:

- Longer hull with better fluid dynamic properties. (less steep bow)

- More buoyancy.

- Longer cross-hull deck to fit more equipment on top

- Hollow steering/thruster mount rods to enable full >360 degree steering.

- Employ slip ring solution on thruster mount rods to enable >360 degree steering.

- Change gear ratio for servo/thruster rod to enable >360 degree steering.

- Threaded steering/thruster mount rods for more secure fastening of thruster mounts.

- Larger gap between hull bottom and thruster mounts to ease assembly/disassembly.

- Replace ball bearings on lower part of hull passthrough tubes with plastic journal bearings.

- Slice hull into more parts, to facilitate use of smaller 3D printers.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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