D Printed Parts

The following section addresses the detailed geometry associated with 3D printed parts. While 3D printing is useful for complex geometry, it should not be used for simple geometry that can be more cost effectively produced with laser cutters or subtractive operations such as turn- ing/milling.

Decode-1: The Development of a Parametric Geometry for the SLS Nylon Wing Spar/Boom “Scaffold Clamp”

Functionally, this complex part

connects two foam wing panels;

  • • makes a structural connection between the wing spar and one of the tail booms; and
  • • allows the structural connection to be disassembled easily and repeatedly.

The key performance goals are to

  • • minimize weight, and
  • • minimize drag.


Multifunctional parts such as this can get very complex, and so it is desirable to partition the part into a number of subparts. This makes the development/management of the geometry more convenient. It also removes the need for a single, complicated, and often fragile “history tree” on which all geometry relies. By partitioning the geometry into functional/geometrical units, the creation of flexible parametric models is facilitated.

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