Canadian Manufacturing

3D design used to create digital model of Antarctic expedition

Engineers can create digital model of ice drill to simulate sub-glacial conditions



San Francisco—A British expedition to Lake Ellsworth in Antarctica is using Autodesk digital prototyping software to help discover new answers about the evolution of life and effects of climate change.

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) engineers will transport equipment overland for three days to the sub-glacial lake where they will use a hot water drill to melt a 2.2-mile hole in the ice covering the submerged lake to extract water samples.

According to the group, the team will have a window of 24-hours to gather their samples before the hole re-freezes.

This exploration of one of Antarctica’s sub-glacial lakes has been planned for 15 years, but the team lacked the tools to adequately try and test their plan to ensure they could gather the samples they need in the time-frame allowed.

Through the use of Autodesk’s digital prototyping and simulation technology for sustainable design, BAS engineers can create a digital model of the drill.

This will allow them to simulate the conditions they will be working under, test and analyze their approach and make necessary adjustments before they embark on their expedition.

As a participant in the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program, designed to help groundbreaking environmental projects such as this, BAS received Autodesk’s digital prototyping portfolio, including Autodesk Showcase, a visualization tool, and Autodesk Inventor Publisher for technical documentation.

The team will use Autodesk Inventor Publisher to visually and interactively communicate how the drills and its components work to colleagues and partners.

Autodesk Inventor automatically coordinates changes across the digital model, streamlining the analysis, experimentation and eventual optimization of a design.

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