3D printing allows for the physical production of some unique geometries that simply aren’t possible with other processes. If you design around these strengths, it’s possible to create parts that vastly outperform more conventional alternatives. With that in mind [Advanced Engineering Solutions] created a metal 3D printed heat exchanger it’s half the size and four times more efficient than the one it’s designed to replace. Video after the break.

Gyroid filling divides the internal volume in two, ideal for heat exchangers.

Manufactured from aluminum alloy using a laser powder fusing (LPBF) machine, the heat exchanger is designed to cool transmission oil on military helicopters by using fuel as a coolant. Looking somewhat similar to a Fabergé egg, it uses a gyroid “filler” for the actual heat exchange part. An interesting characteristic of gyroids is that they create two separate interlaced volumes, making them ideal for this application.

It was printed in one piece, without any movable support, just an internal grid to support the input and output gyroids. The only post-processing required was threading and surface cleaning of the ports. Since metal 3D printing is still too expensive to really allow for very iterative prints, a significant amount of design and simulation time was invested before the first print.

Whether you’re printing heat exchangers, housings, or wings, be sure to consider the strengths (and weaknesses) of 3D printing.

thank you for the tip [Keith Olson]!

3D Printed Heat Exchanger Uses Gyroid Infill For Cooling

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