Suitability of Rapid Prototype Modelling for Hypersonic Tunnel Testing

Dinda Pradipta Asmaradani Vasile


This paper documents a study aiming to determine if rapid prototype models built using the University’s Objet30 3D printer are suitable for use in hypersonic tunnel testing in the T-ADFA Shock Tunnel Facility. Suitability is assessed based on model survivability and behaviour in T-ADFA, part characteristics, cost, time, and the variation between predicted ANSYS deflections and actual deflection of the 3D printed objects in T-ADFA. Rapid-prototype (RP) modelling is an economical manufacturing technique of particular interest to the aerospace industry as it can produce intricate geometries quickly, reducing the delay between design and ground testing phases, which potentially enables faster new aerospace vehicle introduction. This thesis project demonstrates that 3D printing can be used successfully to rapidly fabricate viable shock tunnel models. The aim is achieved through the analytical and experimental deformation characteristics evaluation of 40 x 40mm 3D-printed flat plates of variable thicknesses, as well as computational analysis and manufacture of both simple and complex geometries, being a 10 degree half angle blunt cone and sharp cone, as well as the fabrication of a space shuttle geometry.


Rapid prototype; Rapid prototype modelling; Hypersonic; Hypersonic tunnel testing; 3D Printing; 3D Printer; Objet30

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