Virtual and Physical Prototyping, Vol. 6 (1): 147-156, vol.6, no.1, pp.147-156, 2010 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)
In this study, a 3D CAD solid model of a sample agricultural irrigation emitter was created and the flow behaviour was simulated in its labyrinth channels by using a flow simulation technique. Referenced by the original design, the channel geometry was modified and the emitter was re-fabricated using rapid prototyping/additive manufacturing techniques. The flow behaviour is then re-investigated based on the re-shaped channel geometry of the labyrinth structure. The predetermined optimum pressure in the pipe was validated experimentally for both the original design and modified designs. As a result, the optimum pressure in the pipe and the flow characteristics for original both the design and modified designs of the emitter were validated. This study contributes to further research into the development of agricultural irrigation equipment aided through the utilisation of additive manufacturing and computer aided engineering tools.