Tuesday, December 19, 2017

3D Printed Model Catamaran V2.0

Above: Catamaran V2.0
Challenge: To produce a working model of a boat that would be powered by and engine or sail.
Background: Following extensive testing of the initial prototype discussed in the previous two posts the student concerned decided to redesign the base of the catamaran, removing the centre piece and attemping to show a more traditional catamaran style.  The student concerned in this series of prints related to this project is a ten year old, who has shown considerable skill with the design and creation of a number of school projects during the course of the year.  The initial design featured in the previous print came about as he discovered a 'hull' basic shape had been added to the Tinkercad basic shapes interface.   This led to a discussion about creating a 3D Printed model boat.   Extensive testing has shown the PLA to be ideal in water situations, the buoyancy proving to be excellent in allowing a boat shape to sit perfectly in the water, this updated version even more so than the original.  The original design featured masts - this revised version did not, as the masts in the first version were purely cosmetic.   One key element that will need to be addressed is the mounting of the motor to power the book.  A custom made piece will need to be printed and designed (altering the above shape) to house the motor and prevent it from getting wet.
Above: Hull showing underside
Level of Difficulty - Medium,  essentially this task has been about completing a prototype basic structure and to test the viability of printing with PLA in 3D, this has been a resounding success, however the level of difficulty is to increase significantly as additional features are to be added to the shape to include masts and a housing unit for the motor,   to successfully add these features will be a challenge.
Time frame: Redesigning the hull of the boat, and making the changes that were made from the initial print has also significantly altered the time to print the model.  The first version took ten hours, the V2.0 time (again with 8mm nozzle, standard Ultimaker settings) was seven hours, and potentially could have been reduced further relative to the depth of the hulls.
Size: Each hull was 15cm long and 5cm deep, they had a thickness of 2cm.   The bar to join the two hulls together are 8cm across, 5mm thick and started three cm from the bow and stern of each hull.
What would we do differently: the students are enthusiastic and really seem to be onto something here.   The basic design has again exceeded the brief.  The boat itself as noted previously seems extremely stable and is not easily able to be flipped - we have continued testing it by dropping it from heights up to two metres and the boat continues to float, hence we would do little differently at this point.
Next steps for students: The designs greatest challenge will be incorporating a power source successfully to act as a way to propel the boat while in water.   The students have the possibility of using a sail in some capacity although this will complicate issues relating to the material that the sail is made from. 

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