Additive Manufacturing Materials and Design Considerations for Thunniform Propulsion

Thomas Spencer
2018 The Equilibrium  
A series of polymer fins were designed and made using additive manufacturing techniques, to be tested by the Human Powered Submarine team at UCSD in a wet submarine that utilizes a thunniform method of propulsion. A 3D printer was also constructed in order to print these fins efficiently. Designs were inspired by the shape and semi-flexible properties of fish caudal fins. Materials utilized included polylactic acid (PLA), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonate (PC), PC-ABS blends,
more » ... Nylon, and thermoplastic urethane (TPU) polymers. Of these materials, polycarbonate proved most practical for this application. Factors that were qualitatively considered during the practical testing were the material properties of a specific polymer, the surface area of the propulsive fin, and the shape of the fin. The low-cost polycarbonate processing techniques used in this project are also applicable to the additive manufacturing field in general. student research
doi:10.5070/q23141215 fatcat:56vll2a4njbrjdmrmhjbkry2c4