RE: Artificial ice shapes using SLA

From: Caffrey, Tim (
Date: Mon Jun 01 1998 - 20:53:39 EEST

The Boeing Commercial Airplane company's RP Center built ice shape models
that were used by the Aerodynamics Laboratory on early 737-400, -500, and
-600 wind tunnel test models. This was in the 1993-1994 time frame, with
SL5154 acrylate in an SLA500. I remember building 150 stl files in one build
(10 copies of 15 different geometries), small, organic shapes standing on
edge, roughly 14 inches in height. (That was a cool build to watch auto

The creation of ice shapes using StereoLithography saved a bundle of money
for the Aero Lab on that test program. Previously, the shapes had been
CNC-machined in metal, since CNC was then the best way to replicate the
complex lofting of the surface geometry of the ice formation. Disposable SLA
ice shapes saved something like 80% of the costs of machining. Later ice
shape models had integral pressure port channels designed into the SLA
geometry, further reducing the post-op time and model/tunnel downtime.

You may want to contact Jeff Dark or Mike Miller of Boeing's RP Center for
further information. They both subscribe to the rp-ml. The designer/customer
was Dale Mortimer of the Aerodynamics Lab.

Tim Caffrey
Plynetics Express, Inc
1425 Payne Rd
Schaumburg IL 60173

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Monica & Glenn Whiteside []
> Sent: Saturday, May 30, 1998 4:54 PM
> To: Rapid Prototype Mailing List
> Subject: Artificial ice shapes using SLA
> Importance: High
> Dear rp-ml:
> Does anybody know how I can get in touch with Mark Skeehan from Lockheed
> Martin, Marietta, GA?  He was the author of the award-winning presentation
> at the March 2, 1998 SLA Users Group Meeting entitled "Artificial Ice
> Shapes for FAA Certification of the C130J Aircraft."  
> Anybody else out there try stereolithography for artificial ice shapes for
> testing and certification of aircraft?
> Thanks,
> Glenn Whiteside
> Cessna Aircraft
> e-mail: <>

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