On Friday 2nd December 2016, a group of 14 enthusiastic DARE engineers went to Gearbox Services International (GBS), to take a workshop in “Designing for Manufacturing”. GBS, a company specialized in fixing gearboxes for multiple maritime and industrial machines, helped the Stratos II+ project with the manufacturing of the parachute clamp-band-system. For project Aether, GBS is helping with the manufacturing of the Instrumentation Section and Active Stabilization Section.
For GBS to be able to manufacture these components, DARE engineers must provide the company with detailed engineering drawings. However, the production of drawings which are easy understandable for fast production requires some skill, something which GBS is specialized in, but most students lack the experience for. Therefore, a workshop was organized at the facility of GBS, where the DARE engineers received a 3-hour training on how to improve their technical drawing skills, such that in the future DARE can manufacture more advanced parts, as well as to ensure that DARE pushes its engineers to the next level when designing rocket systems.
During the workshop, GBS engineer Ben Geurts explained how to implement tolerances and surface roughness in the engineering drawings, something which is barely touched upon in the Aerospace Engineering Bachelor program. Furthermore, he explained the essence of making clear drawings, to ensure that parts can be manufactured quickly.
In addition, to the theoretical part, the DARE engineers were challenged to put dimensions and tolerances on one of our own examples, the Aether Active Stabilization Section. “Designing something in CATIA is not difficult. However, making a drawing which is easily understandable by a machine operator requires some experience, which is essential here for fast and efficient production at GBS. The faster we can manufacture a part, the happier our customers are”.
After the theoretical and practical parts, the DARE students were taken to the GBS manufacturing hall, where they were informed about the various production techniques GBS possesses. You do not have to be a mechanical engineer to be amazed by a 5-axis computer controlled lathe or mill, or by “Laser-Cladding” (okay maybe just a little bit…).
After the company tour, we were presented with a gift from GBS, namely the fully manufactured Instrumentation Section and Active Stabilization Section for the Aether rocket! These modules are two of the most complex mechanical parts of the rocket, but these were no challenge for GBS who can manufacture such components in a day using their automated machines.
And of course, after the workshop there was an opportunity to talk with the GBS engineers during the Friday afternoon drink.
The workshop at GBS was amazing, and the DARE engineers learned a lot from the experienced engineers at GBS. DARE and GBS are looking forward to working together in the future on manufacturing more advanced rocket systems.