Ogar glide flights again thanks to Markforged’s technology
3D printing allows a 40 years old glider flight again
Ventry Solutions Inc, family-owned, fire fighter operated, manufacturing company in Idaho, United States. James Nails, CEO and also a pilot has been with and on airplanes since he was a small boy, he has enjoyed flying for more than 20 years. His vehicle of choice is his family’s Ogar glider.
A more than 40 years old’s Ogar glider piece needed to be replaced.
Ogar’s landing gear finally gave out. Only 65 Ogar gliders were made and replacement parts do not exist.
“They built those gliders one at a time and the parts don’t go back and forth,” Neils said.
Neils considered making the part himself until he met Quest engineers a reseller of 3D printing solutions as Markforged with offices in Idaho. He became very excited with the possibility of 3D printing the part.
They able to design to his parameters and get him back in the air, integrating SOLIDWORKS and a Markforged X7 printer. We optimized the part’s geometry for weight using topological studies, then added carbon fiber reinforcement for maximum strength.
“I started looking at the material properties” Neils said, “Weighs less. Twice as strong” Let’s 3D print it!”
“That’s a big advantage of 3D printing this part, too” Quest Sr. Application Engineer, Brandon Adkins added. “It’s light. In the air, every ounce matters.”
The outlook is promising, as the part has been installed for several months. Neils says he is putting the part to the ultimate test this winter by leaving the tail down in storage.
“The stress loads most occur when the glider’s just sitting there,” Neils said, “when it’s up in the air, there is no load.”
Neils says this experience has opened his eyes to more improvements he can make to his glider with 3D printing.
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