Material characterization, Racing on AM power, Underway on AM, and Bio-mimicry
AM Part Characterization
It is well established that 3D printing produces an-isotropic parts and these parts often have less than optimum material properties.
Several students and faculty at USNA have done material characterization of 3D printed parts including polymer and metal parts.
Methods used range from simple optical microscopy, to hardness measurements, to tensile data, to EBSD and EDS.
USNA competes annually in national Formula SAE car competitions producing a new race car every year.
Over the last two years we have incorporated 3D printing into design and build aspects of the race car. In 2019 several aspects of the car including intake piping and other elements were 3D printed at USNA.
Underway on AM
Since 2017 USNA has been working with NAVSEA on several projects to bring 3D printing to Navy ships and to print items that will be beneficial to ships and submarines.
Projects have included printing a 1" ball valve and testing on 3D printers in environments similar to those seen shipboard.
Using the model of a seabird beak, students used 3D models of common birds for a bio-inspired design of UAV/UUV nose cones. Examples of birds used include the gannet, comorant, and albatross.
This novel project shows the broad range of applications for 3D printing and CAD design.
Testing of the beaks was conducted in USNA's 120 ft tow tank with accelerations and high speed photography recording data of the beak in order to better model of a UAV/UUV nosecone.