Design Engineering
Showcase

Research and Development of the Feather-Wing Model, Built Using Hyperganic’s Additive Manufacturing Software.

Student
Tom Woodburn
Course
Design Engineering MEng
Supervisor
Dr Connor Myant
Theme
Modern Motion

This Engineering Master’s Thesis, conducted with partner company Hyperganic Technologies A.G. (Hyperganic), involved the software development of the Feather-Wing 3D model. Feather-Wing is a concept design for a biomimetic aircraft wing. The wing’s geometry is coded using Hyperganic’s generative design software with the aim of being manufactured by 3D printing. The project supports Hyperganic’s mission to create a 3D modelling software optimised for Additive Manufacturing (AM) workflows, enabling customers to maximise the fabrication benefits of their 3D printers. Feather-Wing demonstrated the ability of Hyperganic’s 3D modelling software to support the design, and export to 3D printing control code, of high geometric complexity models.

 — Research and Development of the Feather-Wing Model, Built Using Hyperganic’s Additive Manufacturing Software.
The features of the Feather-Wing design are: biomimetic feathers distributed at the wing-tip and on the airfoil; compliant mechanisms attached to the feather’s base, and a Bowden Cable routing system connecting the wingtip mechanisms to the central body of the glider. All geometries were generated using the “Turtle Graphics toolkit”, the project’s novel development within the Hyperganic software.

Process

When design engineers are using Hyperganic’s 3D modelling software they require computationally fast geometry generation algorithms and easy to use app interfaces, for an efficient modelling workflow. Thus, two objectives drove the software development of Feather-Wing:

  1. Provide evidence that Hyperganic’s geometry generation engine enables quick design of high complexity geometries.
  2. Demonstrate that generating objects through algorithmic scripting in Hyperganic custom-built apps enables an adaptive design workflow.
 — Research and Development of the Feather-Wing Model, Built Using Hyperganic’s Additive Manufacturing Software.
Image two shows the three biomimetic feathers, “c)” – the most geometrically complex feather (with features mimicking the barbs, barbules and hooks of flight feathers) has 8500 features and generated in an average script runtime of 0.95 seconds.

Outcomes

  1. Objective one was measured by testing the computational performance (script runtime) of the geometry generation algorithms on biomimetic feathers designed at discrete degrees of geometric complexity. Image two shows the three biomimetic feathers, “c)” – the most geometrically complex feather (with features mimicking the barbs, barbules and hooks of flight feathers) has 8500 features and was generated in an average script runtime of 0.95 seconds. The complexity test suggested the algorithms are sufficiently fast for a modelling workflow.
  2. An adaptive design workflow was achieved by developing the “Turtle Graphics toolkit” (a library of code scripts, which were executed within a custom-built Hyperganic Print app to generate and display the Feather-Wing model’s geometry). Image three shows how pairing the parameters of the geometry generation function to User Interface features in the app, enabled a fast design workflow.
 — Research and Development of the Feather-Wing Model, Built Using Hyperganic’s Additive Manufacturing Software.
Image three shows how pairing the parameters of the geometry generation function to User Interface features in the app, enabled a fast design workflow.

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