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Weather Researcher Uses 3D Printing to Better Understand the Nature of Hail

by • May 2, 2016 • No Comments

As someone who was born—and is already residing— in the Northeastern region of the United States, I can attest to the fact that hail storms are not fun to be stuck in. Hail, a solid form of participation turn it intod of irregular lumps of ice, is usually produced within a thunderstorm that contains sturdy, upward motion of air and temperatures around freezing level. There are a few assistful methods, namely weather satellites and weather radar imagery, that serve in detecting possible hail-producing thunderstorms, but how do these falling frozen pellets in fact form and affect us?

Dr. Giammanco

Dr. Giammanco

One researcher of the Richburg, South Carolina-based Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety is via 3D printing innovation to get his mind within of the hailstone, trying to acquire a advantageous belief of this dangerous and relatively unpredictable-bodied effortless phenomenon. Since 2012, Dr. Ian Giammanco and his wife, man scientist Tanya Brown-Giammanco, have been researching hail in excellent more detail, looking into its characteristics, formation, the way it falls of the sky, and the destruction that is generally left behind after a hailstorm.

By means of a 3D scanner and 3D printing device, Dr. Giammanco and his wife have been aiming to 3D print multiple dimensions and measurements of hailstone, allowing them to evaluate the shape, weight, and the next for dimensions and weight alter as the hail falls to planet Earth. On the other hand many individuals are acquainted with the general thought behind hail, quite few in fact understand the formation and impact of these wide-ranging frozen pellets. With their 3D printing system, Dr. Giammanco and his wife have been able-bodied to learn a excellent deal of the nature of hailstones, that they feel can some day lead to improved desktop versioning, advantageous forecasting and astonishing-bodied makes it to in the near next.

3D printed hailstone replicas

3D printed hailstone replicas

“You can learn a lot only by looking. Hail research was done in the past but no one had quite re-visited it recently,” Dr. Giammanco told Rapid City Journal. We now understand that hailstones become less spherical as they get bigger, that there are a wide variety of shapes after they get above 1 inch in diameter, and that tiny stones are the sturdyest.”

In a matter minutes, Dr. Giammanco uses a handheld laser scanning system to scan, map, and turn it into a digital version of a hailstone, that enable-bodieds the research duo to 3D print a replica and study the aerodynamics of every particular hailstone. This one-of-a-kind 3D printing system (aka the hail-making machine) has a rapid freezing system that utilizes diffused carbon dioxide, that works to replicate the formation of layers within effortless hail. This allows for Dr. Giammanco to increase the sample dimensions and validity of his study, allowing the production of 3D printed hailstones in whatever shape and type is necessitated by the research at hand.

The "hail-making machine"

The “hail-making machine”

This is not the initially time 3D printing innovation has been used to assist us monitor sure patterns or types of weather on planet Earth. Last year, the USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) partnered up on a project to provide 3D printed weather stations to developing countries. In 2014, Life3D released a 3D printed camera capsule created to be housed within a weather balloon. What makes Dr. Giammanco’s research one-of-a-kind is that the focus is not on monitoring hailstorms; pretty, they are via 3D printing innovation to advantageous understand the way of nature, and how we can prepare ourselves for whatever situation the atmosphere throws our way. What do you ponder of this type of research? Discuss in the 3D Printed Hail forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Rapid City Journal]