A team of University College London students partnered with Ogle models for their entry into the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge with the hopes of printing a sleek carbon-fiber frame and body. The development of the aircraft showed off the precision and versatility of SLA 3D printing. The students
Student groups in competitions like 3D Habitat in Space are showing great ingenuity these days. The ways in which they apply additive manufacturing principles often shocks even the professional class. However, these ventures often get too expensive for the groups themselves so they often team up with a design company. Ogle’s impressive work with the students is indicative of their willingness to engage with the engineers and designers of the future.
Hosted by Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the competition tasks UCL students with designing, manufacturing and operating a versatile unmanned aircraft for a variety of tasks, but especially for humanitarian mission simulations.
Developing the Unmanned Aircraft
“Following the wind tunnel testing, the results converged across a range of angles of attack and yaw positions. Pressure plots taken from the taps validated the aerodynamic properties of the design, which would not have been possible without Ogle’s expertise,” commented Sam Hiscox, team leader for the project. “With the computational fluid dynamics simulations validated, the team received their design report, for innovative use of materials and manufacturing techniques in creating a wind tunnel model.”
While the team could definitely design it, they still needed a lot of help with development and testing. Ogle supplied it in spades, giving them the equipment to test and fix all its strengths and weaknesses. They also recommended the use of SLA due to high precision, opting for 3D Systems’ ClearVue resin. The clarity of the resin allowed the designers to fully map out the pressure tapping pathways on the model.
University College London’s devotion to new 3D printing applications is quite apparent. The university has done a lot for manufacturing and materials science. This competition is another way of showing all the various ways additive manufacturing is colliding with advanced technologies.
Featured image courtesy of UCL.