Educational model of Tokamak by ITER October 02 2020
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor or ITER is a nuclear fusion research and engineering project and the world's largest magnetic confinement plasma physics experiments. They aim to prove the feasibility of fusion energy production on Earth. Tamás Szabolics, Development Engineer from the Hungarian Centre for Energy Research says that "ITER uses the stars' energy source to produce abundant energy on Earth for future generations. This technology is also CO2 neutral and does not produce long term nuclear waste."
A tokamak is a device that uses a powerful magnetic field to confine hot plasma. It's one of several types of magnetic confinement devices that are being developed to produce controlled thermonuclear fusion power.
Fusion is the process when two light nuclei are fused together. Typically two types of hydrogen are fused to make helium and a neutron that holds most of the energy. This is used to generate energy like in the other types of power plants by heating up water, which will generate steam that runs the generators to produce electricity. "The groundbreaking in fusion is that we would like to put a star in a "bottle", which is one of the most challenging tasks of all times," says Tamás.
When Tamás attended the ITER communication meeting for the first time, his Czech colleague presented an ITER model which was done by molding. The model was a great educational tool; however, this model wasn't very accurate to ITER Tokamak . This was when Tamás got the idea to create a 3D printable model. As he says, "I told my idea to Laban Coblentz, Head of Communications at ITER. He was supportive, and they send me the original plans of the machine. After we got them, we could start working with our mechanical engineers to simplify the models to be ready for 3D printing." Shortly after a couple of iterations on the model, the first 3D printable ITER package was ready to be printed by the general public.
"The purpose was to make an educational tool for schools and teachers and also to make 3D printing enthusiasts a new item on their bucket list 😊," Tamás explains. The model with assembling instructions can be found here. Whether you are an engineering enthusiast or want to get your hand on a visual teaching tool that makes the explaining that much easier, you will love this model.
Tamás has decided to use PLA Extrafill for this project after discovering Fillamentum materials online. "I found Fillamentum PLA Extrafill Vertigo Grey on All3DP and on 3D printing influencers Youtube channel. It is a really great product and really looks like it would be metal," he told us. It was only natural the multi-part multi-material model of Tokamak was finished with the same series of materials.