The PCU was assembled in late December and consists of 32 components housed in a 3D-printed, custom-made casing. In fact, the main part of the casing was printed in one go, surpassing the compressor casing to become the longest single print, taking 58 hours and 30 minutes! The whole casing used up 125 metres of Formfutura's Easyfil PLA.
The PCU is designed to handle a range of compressed air sources and regulate it to the desired flow rate and pressure before it is injected in the X-Plorer 1 propulsion chamber via the on-board pneumatic assembly. The 21 high quality Camozzi rapid fittings are housed in the PCU, which alongside the 24 additional fittings mounted on the X-Plorer for operational and monitoring purposes were kindly sponsored by the Technomatic Group IKE.
In normal operation, the PCU can supply up to 100 litres of air per minute, monitored and adjusted using an impressive acrylic flow meter, courtesy of Cole-Parmer, leading manufacturer of scientific equipment.
Across the project, the manufacture of all core components is now complete! Assembly continues, as the first stators were mounted last week and the assembly of the drivetrain is expected to start next week.
The team will meet later this week for a briefing and to assess progress for the X-Plorer 2.
Find out more about the services and products of Technomatic and Cole-Parmer following the links:
We are off to an exciting start to 2017 as all core components for the X-Plorer 1 have been 3D printed! Assembly has begun as the first 224 parts were completed on the 7th of January.
A trial to introduce parts with embedded metallic inserts is underway, and the manufacture of the nacelle will soon commence. The team will meet in two weeks' time to assess progress on both engines, and we expect that the core of the X-Plorer 1 will be assembled by mid-February.
For now, we would like to extend our warmest wishes for a happy and creative 2017!
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