3D Printed Hull – V10 complete

update: link to CAD files

Finished printing the latest hull design This had to be printed in three sections due to issues with excessive overhang at the bottom portion of the hull, and is held together using M3 stainless steel cap screws. There is a hole in the center of the bottom section so an analog temperature sensor can be installed and potted.


Initially the top portion of the hull was intended to be clear. During the first attempt to print the top, the printer jammed after 80% of the part had been printed. Unfortunately I will have to order more clear filament, so in the mean time I can pressure test with this yellow print (which finished without any issues).

Next  I plan to cover the exterior in clear epoxy to seal any voids or cracks in the prints and then pressure test the hull design with the o-ring installed to see if it will stay water-tight at 3m depth for 60 minutes. This buoy design is intended to float at the surface, so the pressures will be much less, but I want to test at an extreme condition to make sure it will not leak over extended use. Those electronics and sensors are expensive!


8 thoughts on “3D Printed Hull – V10 complete

    • Yes, I just posted a link to the STL files for the three buoy hull pieces. The files are intended to be printed using mm as the base units.

  1. Hey Nick, have you considered ABS instead of PLA for the buoy? It will probably leak a lot less than PLA. If you don’t have access to an ABS printer, I might be able to run your print at HackerLab in Sacramento.

    — JV at UCDavis

    • Hi Jim,

      Thanks for the offer, I think you are right about the ABS being better material for the hull. Initially I had planned to just coat the two halves in epoxy, but maybe I should bite the bullet and try printing ABS on my Printrbot now that I have the heated bed.

      I was not aware that there was a hackerspace in Sacramento, I will have to visit one of these weekends. Thanks for the comment.

      —Nick at UCDavis

  2. hey nick. i required some data for my project which is the design and analysis of a wave buoy. so for the initial design i require some buoy dimensions, weight and gm values.. could you probably help me out?

    • Hello Bonny,

      Sure thing, I’ll try to help out however I can. Can you email me a list of specifications that you need? My email is nickraymond99(at)gmail.com. Just replace the (at) with the @ symbol. I can share all the dimensions of my 3D printed buoy, if it would be helpful.

  3. Hello Nick,
    We (HereLab.io) are a public good IoT organization collaboratively developing a water quality pod. We are working with schools, orgs, municipalities and small-scale entrepreneurs to deploy a community-led LoRa network, so all can design, develop and deploy sensors in the built, social and natural environments.
    Our collaboration to develop the WQ Pod is with an open source hardware outfit in Europe and with two manufacturers and an open data service — to enable realtime low-cost temp, pH, DO, salinity storage, retrieval and visualization.
    We have downloaded your stl files and are thrilled your vision for an enclosure so closely matches our own.
    Would you like to collaborate in any way on this project with us? We’re developing a needs analysis for a local aquafarmer this week and will be deploying sensors to provide ‘piggy-back data’ for an EPA funded nitrogen/DO initiative here. Love to share more and learn more about your projects.
    I will email you at your gmail address as well — so you’ll have mine.
    Thank you so much!

  4. Pingback: Buoy Float – pool filter | Open Source Ocean Data Buoy Project

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