Rapid Protoyping Shock Isolators

Project number: 
Northrop Grumman
Academic year: 
Project Goal: Design and manufacture 3D-printed shock isolators that mitigate high dynamic loads associated with the launch and flight of various launch vehicles.

The sensitive subsystems and electrical components within launch vehicles are at risk of damage during the vehicles’ launch and flight. Shock isolators protect the components by storing shock energy and releasing it over a longer duration, reducing the shock to a non-damaging level.

The team developed three variations of shock isolator designs: a solid infill design, a hollow/patterned infill design and casted design. They used a Formlabs Form3 Stereolithography 3D printer to print the isolators and casts. They used a proprietary resin material to create the solid and hollow infill isolators and room temperature vulcanizing compounds for the casted isolators. Each of the designs was attached to machined aluminum plates and cores. The team built a vibration and shock table with accelerometers and a concrete shaker motor to test that the isolator met the damping requirements.

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