Customised and 3D-printed kayak from biocomposite

Concept demonstrated by a Swedish manufacturer

UPM Formi 3D material has been used for creating a kayak which can be customized based on users’ needs. The concept is developed by a Swedish manufacturer Melker.

The manufacturer has three main approaches to kayak production process:

  1. Complete kayaks by 3D printing
  2. Critical parts for customization of the mould replaced with 3D-printed mould-parts
  3. Hybrid kayaks: hull made with traditional method, deck 3D-printed

The kayak concept has been demonstrated and tested in real environment. After the kayak has been 3D-printed the manufacturer covers the kayak with a coating material and potentially a second layer to make it stiffer and even more durable.

Main benefits of using UPM Formi 3D material:

Ability to customize the kayak for three main categories of users:

  • advanced users (getting a perfectly tailored kayak)
  • users with abnormal body-measurements, users with disabilities, and woman in general – as almost all kayaks are typically designed for a typical male
  • users who wants the most sustainable alternative

Cost savings

  • Making a custom mould for a kayak with standard method is very expensive
  • Lead time with standard hand-layup with mould method vs 3D printing is the same or less

New alternative

  • Biobased materials can provide a 100% circular eco-system
  • UPM Formi 3D biocomposite is not only sustainable material but also has the right product properties for this purpose

“Using wood and biobased materials we can provide a 100% circular eco-system, where all parts of the kayaks body can be recycled and reused to produce new kayaks.”

Post-processing for outdoor use
Wood-like post-processing with a matte surface texture makes UPM Formi 3D the ideal material for any further processing needs.

Water resistance
Prints made from UPM Formi 3D grades don’t become brittle when exposed to moisture thanks to coated cellulose fibres.


Read more about UPM Formi 3D materials