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C.H.A.M.P. Handrail Clamp


NASA was looking to utilize the new additive manufacturing capability on the International Space Station (ISS). They wanted to design a complementary Handrail Clamp Assembly (HCA) which is currently utilized by astronauts to provide rigid mounting locations required in a microgravity environment for normal daily operations. The complementary HCA design will be referred to as the CHAMP (Clamp for Handrail with Additively Manufactured Parts). The printed part will be analyzed to further their understanding of the effects of microgravity on the fused deposition method of manufacturing.

The clamp was to be 3D printed and made to form to the handrails throughout the space station. As the rails had a variance in size, I choose to have the inner edges of the body like a hexagon instead of a smooth round surface. That ensured that at least 6 points were in contact with the handrail, preventing slippage. There were two different options, one with the seat track interface printed into the body, and one with the mounting holes to secure the seat track interface or like attachments.  The unit was a hinged clamp with a T-bolt latch. This allowed for a bind and quick adjustment of the clamp.

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