Fuse’s Rapid Prototyping Leader @deborah sat down with us to share an update on the prototyping of the On-Wing Engine Inspection Challenge.
The Fuse team is moving through the prototyping stage and is now working with an actual combustion chamber (remember our mock up combustor?) Having access to this piece of technology, we can now get an even better understanding of how insertion into the chamber works, as well as how the camera mechanism sits in this three-dimensional space.
The system components used create the arc need to be refined in order to develop the exact shape. We’re currently learning and understanding how the arc travels through the chamber – a factor that’s relevant not only for the mechanical portion, but also for how it’s viewed at different angles.
The system creates an arc as it’s moved through, and the pieces work together to create that right shape. The team is working on identifying how they come together in order to generate the desired shape, considering things like dimension tolerances, bending stresses, and spring forces. Deborah explains this process as the current focal point of the challenge.
Additionally, we’ve prototyped using different types of materials (like plastic and metal) and are currently working on identifying which materials will be best for the final product. The pros of using plastic include flexible shapes and wall thicknesses, whereas metal provides strength and dimensional stability. We’ve begun using mHUB’s microfactory to 3D print different versions, as well as GE Central Resources to test out different materials.
Overall, the team has had success making progress in discovering how it all maneuvers. And like all projects, innovations and challenges, there is always more work to be done. Comment below with any questions or comments, and be on the lookout for future updates!