How Nirvana Systems is quickening their prototyping from weeks to hours
Nirvana Systems has been renowned since the nineties as a leading world manufacturer of paramotors and other equipment for motorized paragliding. Recently they’ve also become a builder and supplier of autogyros. In both of these areas, 3D printers find a place as an exceptional aid in motor-part prototyping.
Nirvana Systems is renowned since the nineties as a leading world manufacturer of paramotors and other equipment for motorized paragliding. Recently they’ve also become a builder and supplier of autogyros. In both of these areas, 3D printers find a place as an exceptional aid in motor-part prototyping.
TRILAB 3D printers help their designer Jan Kovalovský in several areas: “Typically what I’ll make on the 3D printer is a model for a part that I need to mount onto, say, a paramotor. Once we’ve verified its shape and its compatibility with the rest of the frame, we can move on to producing it from a composite material using a female mold that we can once again easily print on the 3D printer.”
3D printing has found another use here, directly in the final products themselves. For example their tool holders, alarm-clock covers, and cruise controls are plastic parts fitted on without further surface treatments.
“Thermoplastics’ working temperatures are a limitation for exterior parts, so you won’t find too many printed parts there,” Kovalovský adds.
Before 3D printing arrived at Nirvana Systems, wood was their main modeling material. Designs were back-adapted after the shaping of their prototypes. Kovalovský uses this fact to illustrate the main advantages of TRILAB 3D printers: “With 3D printing, the whole design process becomes significantly simpler and faster for us. For example the fact that we don’t need expensive metal molds saves us both money and the weeks we’d spend waiting for a mold to arrive.”
So among the 3D-shaped items in recent years you’ll find autogyros’ headlights, cruise controls, tablet holders, front-wheel fenders, jackets for measuring tools, and a blade-shaped components that fully eliminate axial torque of their paramotors.
Another attractive and practical use of 3D printing is for the battery-distancing grid that they use in the power supply for their autogyros’ electronic systems: “Instead of having a special part custom-produced for us, we designed a tray for positioning the individual batteries and then made it using 3D printing,” Kovalovský notes.
He then goes on to explain that the only disadvantage of 3D printing for direct use lies in the limited temperatures of the polymers used—and then adds: “But this is a small price to pay for the fact that 3D printing is otherwise the ideal way to produce complex molds—both male and female.”