Nicholas Lira

Document Type

Honors Thesis


The production of a 3D printed aircraft requires a procedural design and testing process to guarantee reliable manufacturing. To begin, an aircraft model is created in Computer Aided Design (CAD) software or selected from available sources. In this study, a DG-1 Version 2 model was chosen from OpenVSP, then the responsibility of production for the fuselage and wing sections were divided up into two teams. AeroSpac3D took on the fuselage, and DS Wingsquad worked on the wings. After model selection, the next step was to optimize a stiffening structure for each section in ALTAIR Hyperworks to resist forces defined by bending, torsion, tension, and pressure. The stiffening structure generated is then exported and projected on the original fuselage or wing model in CAD software. The new CAD model, with a stiffening structure, is printed, and the mechanical testing begins to validate the design procedure. In the testing phase, loads simulated in optimization are reproduced to better understand the quality of the print and the deflections generated from loading. If failure occurs, iteration of the design must take place before printing may continue. At the time of writing this paper the wings had been printed but the fuselage had not.

Publication Date






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