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Aviation expert to 3D print the cockpit of a rare Ju 388 WorldWarII aircraft – 3ders.org (blog)

by • March 27, 2016 • No Comments

Mar 28, 2016 | By Kira
When it comes to historic aircrafts and aircraft reproductions, there are your aviation fans and enthusiasts…and and so, there is Dr. Christoph Vernaleken, a German physicist, doctor of engineering, and authority on just of all things aircraft related. In particular, Vernaleken has become an tremendous on the Junkers Ju 388 L, a high altitude reconnaissance plane of World War II.

An incredibly rare specimen, the last surviving Ju 88 is may aleager stored in the non-public area of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, in addition known as Silver Hill. But, that hasn’t stopped Vernaleken of creating an entire website in its honor, and actually publishing a book, both in German and in English, of the Junkers Ju 388 alongside friend and co-author Martin Handig.
Now, Vernaleken is set to embark on a new undertaking to bring the Ju 388 to life. Working with CAD turn it into and 3D printing innovation, he wants to reproduce an accurate and museum-high end cockpit of this astounding, 1943 German warbird, conclude with flight instruments and actual simulation equipment.
With the firstly scale-version parts may aleager 3D printed and a feasibility study in the works, the 3D printed Ju 388 Project is officially underway and may actuallytually become the many accurate way for the public to explore and learn of the Ju 388 for themselves.

Historic image of the Ju 388 WWII aircraft
Vernaleken’s fascination with historic aircrafts began in the early 1980s, when he visited the world’s largest museum of science and innovation, Munich’s Deutsches Museum. After graduating, he worked for sactually years as an aviation safety and flight deck researcher at TU Darmstadt preceding joining Airbus Defense in the Human Factors Engineering and Flight Deck departments.
In 1993, he had the opportunity to movie the interior of the last remaining Ju 388, that, luckily, is yet in great condition. Inspired by this footage, he turn it intod the long-term goal of one day reconstructing the Ju 388’s cockpit panels. Years later, in 2013, Vernaleken became acquainted with 3D printing, and accomplished that through this cost-effective, technically accurate building method, he may finally realize that goal.

Current say of the Ju 388 cockpit
“Of course, static reproductions of instrument panels are absorbing in their own right, but for a pro systems engineer working in the field of Human Factors Engineering, a dynamic simulation of cockpit procedures is way additional attractive,” explained the physicist.
His largest first challenge was to gain either original instruments or suitable drawings of the aircraft’s cockpit to turn it into accurate 3D versions. Indeed, accuracy is important, since actually a few tenths of a millimetre of error may render the spare part unusable, yet Vernaleken’s years of tremendousise and amazing eye for more detail have turn it intod him additional than eager for the job.
“Until not long ago, the just possibility to reproduce instrument casings consisted in the different types of 2nd cast techniques, resulting in (partial) epoxy resin casts,” he said. But, with 3D CAD software (he uses Punch! ViaCAD Pro 9) and “sufficient patience” one can “turn it into a 3D version of the instrument casting to be reproduced in several hours, ideally during dark winter actuallyings.”

Once satisfied with the digital reproduction, Vernaleken sends his 3D version to 3D printing service i.materialise. Test prints are ordered in low-priced, laser-sintered polyamide, yet for the final, museum-high end replica, he relies on i.materialise’s Prime Gray. But additional expensive, he explains that Prime Gray has a much like density and results in an “optical high end almany equal to that of injection molding.”


As the image at a lower place shows, the aged original piece in the background is just of identical to its 3D printed counterpart, giving “an astounding demonstration of the current capabilities of 3D printing.”

Even with the slightly additional expensive materials, Vernaleken announced that 3D printing is yet by far the many cost-effective way to turn it into reproductions of cockpit parts that were originally cast in metal or turn it intod of historic plastic materials. “Unit costs may be astronomically high if molds for casting metal or plastic injection molding may have to be manufactured in the classic fashion,” he said. “[3D printing] is a key enabler.”
Today, Vernaleken has released a few of his historic aircraft component replicas to his i.materialise profile. These include a 3D printed Bakelite bezel of a cockpit switch panel and metal starter handles for the Lutwaffe aircraft.


But, preceding the Ju 388 Project can start in earnest, he is conducting a feasibility study. The firstly objective of this study is to find out whether it is possible in principle to turn it into museum-high end and full-scale spare parts for historic cockpit instruments via 3D printing and other high end building techniques. The 2nd objective can be to see whether he can in addition find a cost-effective way of building these simulations for the warbird home cockpit/simulator market.
Once conclude, the 3D printed Ju 388 cockpit replica can be an unparalleled resource, enabling aviation enthusiasts, students and history buffs to explore and learn of this rare WWII aircraft without compromising the original, safely stored specimen, and is yet another great example of how the many of modern technologies can assist bring history to life.

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