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Raise3D Hyper FFF™ Printers Revolutionize Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Development for Arctic Global Warming Research

Jun 21, 2023

In the realm of oceanographic research, Yonder Deep, an undergraduate student organization from UC San Diego, is making waves with their innovative approach to developing an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). Yonder Deep’s primary objective is to collect acoustic data of popping bubbles near the terminus of a glacier in Svalbard, Norway. This data offers valuable insights into the rate of glacial melting and its impact on global warming. The team is poised to deploy their AUV in the harsh Arctic conditions to gather data on the air bubbles that form in the water, which can then be analyzed to make conclusions on rising sea levels.

Yonder Deep, an undergraduate student organization at UC San Diego


As AUV research development can cost millions, the team turned to Raise3D printing technology as a cost-effective solution so as to make research more accessible. By constructing their own AUV using two Raise3D Pro2 printers, Yonder Deep aimed to democratize entry-level research. They were able to produce parts made from high-performance materials that can handle harsh environmental conditions. In addition, they utilized high speed and productivity from the Hyper FFF™ upgrade.

“We were amazed at the volume, speed and accuracy of the printers,” said Satchel Birch, President of Yonder Deep. “One of the biggest advantages of 3D printing is the ability to rapidly turn around prototype and part iterations. Instead of waiting on lead times for weeks on end, we can make parts in-house within hours.”

Rapidly turning around prototype and part iterations with Raise3D Pro2 printers


Raise3D’s Hyper FFF™ Upgrade Shortens Development from Several Weeks to a Few Days

One of the most remarkable and transformative advantages that 3D printing brought to Yonder Deep was its unparalleled ability to facilitate the rapid iteration of prototypes and parts. Unlike traditional manufacturing processes that can often take weeks, the team found themselves able to produce essential components in-house within a matter of hours, while making use the Hyper FFF™ printer upgrade. This newfound agility revolutionized their design process, enabling them to swiftly refine their concepts and embrace innovative solutions that were once deemed unattainable. In addition, the Hyper FFF™ upgrade allowed Yonder Deep to manufacture parts that needed to be replaced in just a third of the time that it would have taken had the printers not been upgraded. Parts that used to take more than 70 hours to finish were now made in 40 hours, something Birch considers instrumental for their project.

Producing essential components in-house within hours


3D Printing Allows for a Modular Design Approach

By harnessing the power of 3D printing, Yonder Deep surpassed the limitations of conventional manufacturing, allowing them to optimize their AUV’s performance by providing an easier assembly process for the outer shell of the AUV and embracing a modular design approach. This modularity bestowed their AUV with a remarkable level of adaptability, ensuring seamless integration of several sensors and facilitating the successful execution of various missions with distinct sensor requirements.

Exploring engineering principles and unleashing the innovative potential


Large Build Volume of Raise3D Products Enables Construction of Full Parts

The expansive build volume, 305×305×605 mm, offered by the Pro2 Plus played a pivotal role in the development of Yonder Deep’s groundbreaking AUVs. With their innovative projects and ambitious goals, Yonder Deep required a 3D printer capable of accommodating complex designs and larger-scale components that may require additional build space to create.

For Yonder Deep, Raise3D’s combination of large build volume, considerable speed and high accuracy was crucial for their production. This generous build volume enabled the Yonder Deep team to bring their visionary AUV designs to life in their entirety. This way, they can print an entire large piece instead of connecting multiple pieces and sacrificing stability.

By harnessing the capacious build volume, Yonder Deep was able to fabricate intricate structural components, sensor housings, and other critical elements, ensuring the optimal performance and functionality of their AUVs. The synergy between Raise3D’s exceptional build volume and Yonder Deep’s innovative spirit has propelled their research endeavors to new heights, driving advancements in oceanographic exploration and paving the way for future discoveries. In addition, the Raise3D printers in the Yonder Deep lab are the printers with the largest build volume on the entire UCSD campus.

Large build volume of Raise3D products enabling the construction of full parts


Raise3D Printers Support Educational Innovation

Yonder Deep’s success story showcases the transformative potential of 3D printing in education. By integrating 3D printing into the curriculum, students are equipped with the tools to explore engineering principles and unleash their innovative potential.

“3D printing has really allowed our team to explore so many geometries and creative design solutions that previously would not have been possible,” Birch said. “Students can bring their ideas to life and quickly think of how to improve and where to go next with their design.”

Students bring their ideas to life and quickly think of how to improve their design


Yonder Deep’s work exemplifies the immense impact of 3D printing technology on oceanographic research and education. By making the most of affordable solutions and rapid prototyping capabilities, they have democratized research and made significant strides in understanding climate change. Their innovative use of 3D printing highlights the limitless possibilities it offers, empowering students to shape the future through engineering, design, and critical thinking. Yonder Deep’s journey serves as an inspiration for others to harness the power of 3D printing and revolutionize their own fields of study. From the sun-kissed waters of San Diego to the frigid depths of the Arctic, Yonder Deep’s AUV stands as a testament to the transformative potential of 3D printing, enabling them to conquer challenges, push boundaries, and navigate uncharted waters with unprecedented ease.

Harness the power of 3D printing and revolutionize related fields

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