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3D printed Oil Tank and Fuel Tanks - Printable Version

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3D printed Oil Tank and Fuel Tanks - TS Rupcich - 09-28-2018

Hi guys,

Quick Thoughts/question.....

I'm in the process of doing a 285 conversion.  The size of the oil tank is of some concern.  I'm in sparsely populated area/region, where fuel cardlocks are common, but high grade 2 stoke oil is not.  In order have more than 4 hrs of oil on board, I'm looking at getting an easy fillable form fitted 6-10 litre oil tank 3D printed.  Would anyone else be interested?  Like all things, the big cost is set-up/design the actual printing would be fairly cheap (in aviation terms anyways)

As I intend to use my mosquito on the farm chasing livestock and checking crops (and landing in them from time to time), I want the extra fuel (and oil) but, not keen on the optional tank location.  I talked with John about external fuel tanks this spring.  He thought a pair of 5-8 gal tanks were possible.  Looking at getting a couple of football tanks made for my Mosquito (keeping in mind the weight limits).  As my imagination starts going into overdrive..... having them look like rocket pods could be cool, particularly on a turbine....

The guy I'm looking to 3D print everything is pretty keen on doing it just because its going on a helicopter, but if there is potential for follow on sales.... so much the better (and cheaper for me).  His print bed is 28'x8' and can print 3lbs/hr, which is crazy big.

If any ones has thoughts drop me a line


RE: 3D printed Oil Tank and Fuel Tanks - Daryl - 09-28-2018

I don't have any knowledge of the materials used in 3D printing.  Do you have any concerns with the printing materials not being resistant to petroleum products?  I'd hate to have an oil or fuel leak, or fuel contamination causing engine problems.  I also recall there being an issue with the oil tank cap seal having a reaction with the oil.  All things to consider before going too far.

If this is a non-issue, I think the idea is awesome!


RE: 3D printed Oil Tank and Fuel Tanks - japhillips87 - 10-31-2018

I would avoid this. Unless the guy has a multi-tens-of-thousands dollar printer, I simply wouldn't trust it. I have a printer, albeit a small one, but I would not trust it with my life. There are just too many things that could go wrong.


RE: 3D printed Oil Tank and Fuel Tanks - Dick Campbell - 11-02-2018

My suggestion is - it's an experimental aircraft, so experiment. Mitigate the risks with preflight tests, and see what works. Be prepared to auto. Smile


RE: 3D printed Oil Tank and Fuel Tanks - rjward1775 - 12-11-2018

I'd be happy printing a mold and building a fiberglass tank from that. It's a fairly common practice for 3d printing.