G-WING: A NOVEL SOFTWARE TOOL FOR TOOLPATH-CENTRIC DESIGN OF WINGS FOR MATERIAL EXTRUSION

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Date

2023

Authors

Valenti, Justin D.
Bartolai, Joseph
Yukish, Michael A.

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Publisher

University of Texas at Austin

Abstract

A novel software tool for the design of small aircraft wings to be fabricated with material extrusion is presented where the key requirement of the tool is to minimize the time from identified need to realized capability. The tool, named G-Wing, uses rapid design algorithms based on lifting line theory to determine the outer-mold line of the wing based on desired aerodynamic behavior. The resulting wing shape and flight-load distribution are given to a structural design algorithm to determine the internal structure of the wing based on both expected flight loads and manufacturing constraints. Finally, manufacturing instructions in the form of G-Code are created directly from the wing shape and internal structure. This process removes explicit geometric modeling and slicing from the critical design path and directly converts airfoil coordinates to perimeter G-Code points, minimizing the introduction of geometric error. This process has been used to design and fabricate multiple small aircraft wings that have successfully flown. G-Code for an example wing section is shown to be lighter and require less build time compared to G-Code generated by a standard CAD-slicing toolchain.

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