3D Printed Underwater Jet-pack - Designed in the U.K

Archie O’Brien a design student from Loughborough University has designed a completely new water jet propulsion system which incorporates 3D printing. His design not only looks slick and compact, it is assembly using additive manufacturing. This significantly reduces the production cost compared to similar products on the market. The CUDA is strapped on like rucksack and allows you to seamlessly glide through the water with a handheld controller for navigation.

What started out a simple university project is now set for full production in 2019. Identifying the opportunity Archie set out to create a 3D printed underwater jet-pack, making this technology more accessible. With potential applications in both recreational and beach rescue for water safety, this is an exciting time for the CUDA 3D Printed underwater jet-pack

Archie originally wanted to shrink the engine of a jet ski and incorporate this into a jet-pack however after thorough research it was identified that a new propulsion system was needed. A blend of manufacturing methods was used however with 45 components being 3D printed, additive makes up the majority of the build. The 3D printed components are coated with a layer of epoxy resin to improve water resistance and durability. Archie tested these components and they show no sign of deterioration or water damage even after being exposed to near freezing temperatures for weeks at a time.

3D Printed Underwater Jet-pack
3D Printed Underwater Jet-pack

The predominant 3D printing material used is PLA, which we manufacture right here in the U.K. This material is easy to print with and can’t be beaten on price when it comes to 3D printing materials. The significant incorporation of Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) technology makes this product even more fascinating. What might be seen as the most basic additive manufacturing technology is being used to create and complex device made up of many components. This is an impressive feat and has allowed Archie achieve his goal and make this technology more accessible.

Utilising SLS technology Archie designed an impeller made from 3D printed carbon fiber infused powered. This impeller powers the centrifugal pump sucking in water from the front and shooting it out at a higher speed from the rear funnel at the back. The use of carbon fiber infused 3D printing material gives strength and toughness to this crucial component.

We look forward to seeing how much this 3D printed underwater jet-pack will retail for when released next year. Maybe we’ll test one out for ourselves at 3d Print Works. However, the Clyde estuary might be a little on the cold side of for the 3D Print Works team.

Source: 3D hubs