Deep-Z: a 3D-printed submarine

A small 3D-printed submarine survived a 200-meter (656.16 feet) dive into the depths of Lagos d'Iseo, in Italy.

Martin Baumers, the scientist behind the Deep-Z project, wanted to know if 3D printing can be used to build low-cost devices for deep water exploration.

To start his experimentations, the researcher build the submarine model using Polyamide 12, also known as Nylon 12, as the standard material. This is a very strong material often used in airplanes, cars and medical products.

Baumers glued Jacques, the Lego diver, in the seat of the submarine with epoxy resin, and the connected a camera protected by a 3D-printed waterproof housing.

"We were fortunate to be able to do our first deep water experiment on Lago d'Iseo because it has a very useful depth profile ("bathygraphy") with a large flat bed," underlines Martin Baumers.

Jacques and Deep-Z survived the underwater pressures. The equipment emerged intact, and the experimentation opens the way to a new era in deep water exploration.