The University of Warwick has built the “most 3D printed vessel on the grid” for the upcoming European International Submarine Race using a Stratasys Fortus 3D Printer.
The Godiva 2
Stratasys EMEA, a subsidiary of Stratasys Ltd, the 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company, announced that, using a Stratasys Fortus 3D Printer, six engineering students at The University of Warwick have built a 3D printed submarine which is set to race at the European International Submarine Races in Gosport, UK (July 6th -15th 2016).
The ‘Godiva 2’ submarine features numerous 3D printed parts designed to withstand the harsh ocean environment, including the fins, feet, propeller, interior steering components and many other fixings.
Having won the prestigious innovation award at last year’s championship for the high-use of Stratasys 3D printing within the prototyping of the submarine, the team decided to this year go a step further.
This saw them extend the use of 3D printing technology to include the manufacture of final production parts capable of performing in actual racing conditions. Using their Fortus 3D Printer, the students used Stratasys’ advanced ABS-M30 material – ideal for end-use environments due to its strength, functionality and ability to perform under complex shapes.
According to Josh Dobson, Project Leader of the Warwick Submarine team, the use of its Fortus 3D Printer has been integral to building the submarine in time for the race, as well as keeping costs within the university’s tight budget.
“Our extensive use of 3D printing remains one of our strengths,” said Dobson. “Our Stratasys Fortus 3D Printer is very much at the heart of our design and manufacturing process, providing significant benefits that simply could not be achieved via traditional methods.
“Using this technology, we were able to 3D print final parts for the submarine 90 percent faster than using conventional manufacturing and also saved £2,000-£3,000 in manufacturing costs. These are parts that can perform in the harshest waters, which is incredible given the speed and cost at which they can be produced.
“The material development over the last few years at Stratasys has been integral to the evolution of 3D printing from beyond solely a prototyping tool right through to where we are today; 3D printing parts for direct use on our submarine,” continued Dobson. “All the parts were produced from ABS-M30, apart from the propeller blades which were 3D printed by Stratasys in the USA.”
Dobson also explained how having access to this technology gives them the flexibility to produce parts which are extremely complex and multi-functional parts cost-effectively and on demand.
He continued: “For example, our fixing feet are an incredibly complex piece of geometry and have been 3D printed to perfectly fit the hull at virtually no additional cost, yet remain as functional and strong as a traditionally manufactured part.
“In addition, by creating the part using 3D printing, we’ve reduced material wastage by about 75 percent compared to machining the part traditionally from a solid piece of metal, which bodes well for a future of more sustainable manufacturing,” he added.
Running for its fourth year, the academic project challenges final year Masters engineering students to build and race a human-powered submarine at the annual European International Submarine Races.
The project involves designing and manufacturing the submarine, which the students perform under the supervision of WMG’s Dr Ian Tuersley and in their pit area within WMG’s Engineering Hall.
The team of six students, known as ‘WarwickSub’, derive from various multi-disciplinary backgrounds including mechanical and manufacturing engineering. In addition to building a one-of-a-kind submarine, the students spend a significant amount of time engaging with other school pupils to encourage the uptake of STEM subjects, as well as working with industry partners internationally to learn more about the latest innovations in engineering.
“The Warwick Submarine team is a credit to their university which exemplifies the exciting future of British engineering,” concluded Sig Behrens, General Manager, Global Education at Stratasys. “We are seeing rapid growth in the number of applications that disrupt traditional manufacturing processes to increase speed and reduce costs leveraging our Fortus line for final part production. It’s an exciting future – and for the engineers of tomorrow – it is critical that they learn this technology now as much as possible, as the demand for 3D printing design skills becoming increasingly common.”