The 3d DLP printer Leo and I built for the University of Groningen is being put to good and frequent use. Dennis, the technician using the printer was so kind to send me a short video he made during the print process. You can also see some of the model manipulation using Monkeyprint…
The printer is mostly used for printing fish body models for flow tunnel testing — in this case box fish. The Ocean Ecosystems group of the University of Groningen currently has a research focus on box fish including drag coefficients and dynamic stabilisation features. Box fish have been claimed to have extraordinarily low drag coefficients — a myth put into existence by car manufacturer Daimler which exploited this theory quite extensively for marketing purposes — and also body shape features that cause self stabilizing effects when exposed to a flow. Both notions are somewhat contrary to the behaviour and ecosystem of box fish who are slow but dexterous and agile swimmers manoeuvring through the complex topologies of coral reefs. For this, low drag is not really needed and self stabilizing would be quite negative as it would prevent quick changes of direction or speed.
Fortunately, box fish can easily be mimicked by 3d printed models as they have a stiff and strong carapace which encloses the body: there’s no undulatory motion as propulsion and steering is exclusively carried out by the fins. Check out some of the models of different sizes and species below!
Thanks to Dennis of the University of Groningen for providing the video and images!
In the mean time, I have been quite busy with the my new DLP printer’s electronics, so you can expect a new post on this within the next couple of days!
See you, and make sure to stay tuned!