Right now, solving a great of environmental & sometimes industrial issues requires underwater inspections, hence the need of remotely operated underwater vehicles aka ROVs. Most of the times, these devices are controlled by an operator on a surface vessel. The only thing is that, such type of technology is not sufficiently popularized yet.
One technology that has recently been released on the market is an omni-directional compact underwater ROV with an integrated 4K UHD camera, named FIFISH V6. Fabricated byQYSEA Technology, a specialist of underwater vehicles & robots, the solution raises the attention today as the handling of the device during underwater operations has been optimized by a 3D printed tool: protective covers for the device’s smart vector thrusters.
QYSEA Technology produces ROVs for both consumer & industrial use. Since its launch in April 2019, the company’s latest solution has become popular in the consumer market. One of the tools that would make the device outstanding is the FIFISH V6, a camera that deliversrobust performance including maximum dive depth of 100m, an optimal 4.5 hours dive time, and a wide operational temperature range from -10 to 60°C.
Put simply, without this camera, the user wouldn’t have this immersive underwater experience for scooting, filming, and inspection. The camera is backed by a 6 smart vector thruster system equipped to ensure rapid omni-directional movements.
AM therefore first comes into play at the design level, that requires a perfect representation of the embedded thruster, a circular motor and an enclosing protective cover.
Due to the extreme environments of underwater operations, it was necessary to protect the vector thrusters – thus the protective covers first – as they should deliver enough mechanical strength and durability to avoid any damages.
While traditional processes have shown their limitations, in terms of time, cost & design, QYSEA Technology called for the support of WeNext, a China-basedindustrial additive manufacturing service bureau,which harnessed Farsoon’s latest Flight™ Technology for the product development.
This Flight™ Technology offers a large build volume of 400 x 400 x 450 mm which enables the production of 150 protective thruster covers in a single build. QYSEA Technology seemed satisfied with this 3D printed tool, as it fabricated over 30,000 thruster protective coverson Flight HT403P systems for end-use parts in 2019.
“With the help of Flight™ Technology, during design iteration, QYSEA was able to accelerate development cycle from over 30 days to less than 7 days. For end-use part production, series production cost of customized thruster protective covers is reduced by 80% compared to the traditional manufacturing process. The end-use part produced with the FlightTM laser sintering technology are able to achieve an improved size accuracy and feature resolution, while meeting the requirement for performance by passing functional tests including temperature, collision and fatigue. 3D printing also offers an alternative supply chain to reduce inventory cost, which is especially valuable for QYSEA’s quickly growing and changing product line”, explains Farsoon that relates this customer experience.
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