Using 3D-Printing to Test Stability of Thin-Walled Cylinders

Duke Engineering student, Sage Cooley, uses 3D-printing to conduct experiments on characterizing behavior of thin-walled cylinders — testing stability by crushing hundreds of cylinders.

“Thin-walled cylinders are simple and commonplace in terms of geometry, but they’re hard to model,” said Cooley . “If you think of a grain silo, you’ll get a general idea of the shape. There’s a lot of industries interested in learning more about their mechanics and behavior, but the easiest to understand is probably NASA. All of their fuel tanks are essentially thin-walled cylinders, and they want them to be strong and stable but as thin and light as possible.”