Using 3D Printing for Flow Mapping

Graduate students at the University of Maryland have used 3D Printing to solve an important problem in fluid dynamics for the Air Force.

By Greg Paulsen · September 09, 2014

Helicopter’s stir up a large dust cloud when landing or hovering.
Helicopters stir up a large dust cloud when landing or hovering.

Graduate students at the University of Maryland have used 3D Printing to solve an important problem in fluid dynamics for the Air Force.

Helicopter brownout is the phenomena when a rotorcraft performs a landing or hovering maneuver close to a surface with lose sand or sediment causing a large cloud to form around the aircraft. This is one of the most costly problems for the Air Force, since it causes the pilots vision to be obstructed and wear and tear on the machinery. At the University of Maryland a group of engineers are working on researching the fluid mechanics behind this process, with the goal of preventing or limiting it for current and future aircraft. One of the main objectives is to analyze how the flow changes when the surface topology changes. With the help of Xometry as well as Direct Dimensions, University of Maryland's Kyle Corfman was able to recreate an accurate and rigid piece of the sand bed surface after it was eroded by the rotor flow. Now accurate flow measurements can be performed within the crater formed under the helicopter, which was previously not possible. (Thank you to Kyle Corfman, Student – University of Maryland, Department of Mechanical Engineering)

The box represents the scanned sand section and the red piece is a tinted polyjet piece created using Xometry's Objet Connex 500 (PolyJet 3D Printer).
The box represents the scanned sand section and the red piece is a tinted polyjet piece created using Xometry's Objet Connex 500 (PolyJet 3D Printer).

Posted in Additive Manufacturability Tips

Tags

About Xometry

Xometry is your one-stop shop for manufacturing on demand. Xometry works with 32% of Fortune 100 companies, offering 24/7 access to instant pricing, expected lead times and manufacturability feedback. Xometry’s nationwide network of 4,000+ partner manufacturing facilities guarantees consistently fast lead times across a broad array of capabilities, including CNC Machining, 3D Printing, Sheet Metal, Metal Stamping, Die Casting, Extrusion, Urethane Casting, and Injection Molding.

Featured Content

Our Ultimate Guide to Manufacturing Across Your Product Development Cycle

While many companies claim to provide manufacturing on demand, very few come close to Xometry when it comes to truly delivering against scalable capacity of production-as-a-service, fast turns on quoting and production, and uncompromising high-quality products.

Read on  

The X-Tiles Video Series: Clear and Nickel-Plated 3D Prints, Pt. 3

Watch our video series, the X-Tiles, to help you distinguish between our 3D printing processes. In this release we're comparing nickel-plated prints and "clear" 3D printed parts to help you choose the best process for your project.

Read on  

The X-Tiles Video Series: Our Most Popular 3D Printing Processes, Pt. 2

Watch our video series, the X-Tiles, to help you distinguish between our 3D printing processes. In this release we're comparing SLS vs. FDM, SLS vs. SLA, and Carbon DLS vs. PolyJet to help you choose the best process for your project.

Read on