3D Printing has proved to be an extremely valuable tool in producing components for wind tunnel testing. A large number of complex, unique parts can be built in just a matter of days and can be an extremely cost-effective way to produce models for a wind tunnel. Independent studies have shown that SLA (Stereolithography) produces the most accurate parts, also giving a very good surface finish which is easy to sand smoother if required.
Graphite have many years’ experience producing parts for wind tunnel use, and we understand that part accuracy, repeatable results in the tunnel and getting data you can trust are all of the highest importance. We also understand how expensive wind tunnels can be to run, and why getting parts on time for a test date is vital.
We recommend our Ceramic loaded SLA resin for such components, as it has the lowest shrinkage (greatest accuracy) of any SLA material. It is also the stiffest 3D printed plastic available, with flexural modulus up to 10,000 MPa. Combined with a very low water absorption rate, it ensures that parts are stable and repeatable over time.
SLA is also one of the only technologies which allows pressure tapping holes to be designed and built into the component at no additional cost. For very thin components, and for High Speed Wind Tunnel (HSWT) Supersonic applications, we can also metal plate components where necessary.