Monday, July 18, 2016

First 3D Printing Experiment

3D Test 1
We are getting into 3D printing.  It is nice for testing ideas with scale model boats.  Also, if we want to make multiple models to test out software for a train of boats it would be nice to be able to just 3D print parts for the boats.

For our first 3D printing experiment we just paid to print the design.   We also got a new friend in their forum that did the 3D design.   We are now learning FreeCAD since that is what he used and it looks good.   We can open his design and make small changes so far.   The ShapeWays price goes up fast with the weight of the object so we printed 4 very small floats.  

The idea we are looking at here is a sort of 4 float SWATH design.  There is minimal flotation at the waterline so the waterline can go up and down with waves without changing the lift of the float very much, so not much tipping.  This should make for a very stable platform.   I think the idea is very promising and we will explore this more.

This model is really too small to make a good test in the winds of Anguilla.   I have always used outdoor wave tanks (pools and ocean) and so don't have control over the wind.   This means winds are always very high for my scale models.  When I get to 5 foot models it is like we are testing house size boats in simulated hurricane conditions, which is ok.  But smaller than that does not really work. But the point this test was really to test 3D printing.  That did work.

We have ordered a 3D printer so we can print our own larger floats and will do so as soon as it gets here.   Takes a couple weeks for stuff to get here.

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