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Aerial vision: a team of engineers from the AMRCs

by:Tuowei     2019-06-07

Additive layer manufacturing and the use of drones have recently increased (


large number of 3D printed drones have been provided for a range of applications.

From Hobby flights to reconnaissance and humanitarian assistance, small wingspan and fixed wing aircraft are used for applications.

The key drivers in the development of these vehicles are manufacturing lead time and cost, with an additional focus on easy assembly.

With this in mind, DPG-

Design and prototype group of University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC)-

Undertake an internal project, design and build a low

Cost UAVairframe abs m-

Grade 30 thermoplastic materials are produced using its forstratasys Fortus 900 mc FDM machine.

Print the natural selection of relatively large components such as UAV body and molten deposition modeling (FDM)

Due to its lower initial investment, material cost and simplified process, the technology has been selected on top of stereo forming and selective laser sintering.

Usually, an aircraft manufactured by a limited company needs a large amount of supporting materials around its components to prevent deformation of the frame structure of the aircraft during the manufacturing process.

The use of the bracket material increases the cost of the material directly and, in some cases, significantly increases the construction time.

This is the result of the machine having to change between the construction and the support structural head after each printing layer.

More efficient self

However, the support design is limited to the maximum angle in the vertical direction of the machine (layer height).

This requirement brings heavy geometric constraints to the designer, especially for small aircraft working at low Reynolds numbers, in which case performance depends largely on specific and precise

The manufacturing aspect of the operational design project is led by Mark Cocking, addiemanufacture Development Engineer: 'By understanding the capabilities of FDM processes and related software, we are able to manipulate the design to include many unique features, and prevent building deformation.

All the components required for the fuselage can be combined to a single component within the DPG Fortus 900 machine, using ABS for less than 24 hoursM30 material.

Before the design of additive manufacturing optimization, the fuselage will take more than 120 hours of production time.

'With these limitations in mind, we have created some conceptual CAD models for evaluation.

series of configurations.

Sweep angle, string length, cone ratio and wing section are considered.

Development Engineer John Mann is responsible for the detail design and CADmodelling of the aircraft: 'The whole fuselage is specially designed for additive manufacturing.

For different requirements of aerodynamics performance and FDM manufacturing, the best configuration seems to be hybrid-wing-body.

There are many advantages to this type of design: mainly for this project, it is suitable for FDMtechnology.

Since each half has a smooth front and rear edgespan.

'Critical Factors This configuration allows all geometry to remain below the critical angle where the material needs to be supported.

In addition, during the down selection process, the aerodynamic advantages compared to the conventional fuselage and wing design were considered, as well as the potential as a series of new technology test platforms.

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)

Used to optimize chosendesign and to evaluate lift, drag, pitching moment and other properties at a range of angles.

Sam Bull, the development engineer, conducted these analyses: 'The final structure consists of two wing parts, mixed from the thick folding part of the fuselage to the thin conventional part of the outer wing, he said.

'The trailing edge extends near the center, where the folded wing contributes to the longitudinal stability of the tailless design.

'Upper left corner: fuselage as manual testLaunch Glider

The Acatapult system will be used to launch the electric version currently under development.

Above: quickly evaluate the performance of different concepts using ansys cfd during the preliminary design phase of the project.

The finite difference process also allows the design to combine the swept wing with the straight leading edge to suit the low Mach number flight area to be operated by the drone.

The nine-part fuselage consists of only nine parts, all of which are made using a finite difference process: two wings, two elevators, two masts, two wing end bars and a central spine.

None of these components need support materials during the build process.

The plane was designed to divide into two halves around the central spine.

This configuration allows for the construction of a larger wingspan in fdm machines, making transport easier.

pair of short poles (front and rear)

Clip in a socket formed within each winghalf to provide quick setup-

Flight time is up.

The low number of parts contributes to the rapid manufacturing time of the fuselage.

The fuselage has an I wing.

5 M, weight below 2 kg m.

The inner structure of the wings is half

Monocoque for multiple purposes: * in the manufacturing process, unsupported thin-walled structures must withstand deformation as the height of the building increases * aerodynamic loads around the wings in flight distort the skin and create bending moments, especially in

Wing structures must bear these loads * due to the requirement to minimize the number of fixings and reduce the number of parts, the structure must contain a solution that is easy to assemble two and a half parts of the wing.

In this case, the two positioning masts are used to break the wings together without any additional fixing, while adding rigidity and strength to offset the launch and flight loads.

In this case, the rear edge elevator of the control face is designed to be stuck on two hinges extended from the outer wing.

The Elevon control is achieved by acting the servo directly on each wing.

The servo system is fixed on the installed faucet and is located inside the aftsection of the body.

The wingtips are covered by flat end fences, which are sandwiched at the end of the portion of the wing.

Turn them off to cross the airflow and help reduce induced resistance.

The wing end fence also provides a degree of swing stability and serves as a fixed structure for the elevator.

To prove the design, the drone was tested for flight as aradio-

Gliders control slopes.

The stability of the aircraft is good, and the aerodynamic noise at the speed is small. it is an efficient wing design.

Dr. Garth Nicholson, senior design engineer, oversees the project: 'Following successful flight tests, the fuselage is currently being further optimized to incorporate hybrid wing blades and dual-pipe fan propulsion to facilitate the objectives

Future development plans include:

Board data recording of flight parameters, GPS autonomous operation and surface deformation technical control.

'The concept of a new pipe fan design is also under study,' he revealed . '.

Through this project, AMRCs DPG has proven a relatively large design for manufacturing.

For a finite difference process, thin-walled parts can be optimized so that only materials need to be manufactured without any supporting structure, thus saving a lot of manufacturing time and cost.

For more information: www. amrc. co.

Relevant articles in the UK: flight status Designer: AMRC design and prototype production group weight to frame: <2 kg wingspan: 1.

5 metresTarget payload 3 kgAerodynamics: low resistance and low noise mixing-wing-

Body plane type: double wing part providing stability and lifting design Cruise speed: 20 m internal structure per second: half

Monocoque, there are two main sparsprodution: Machine materials for Stratasys Fortus 900 mc Ltd: abs m-

30 manufacturing time of production grade hot plastic machine: <24 hours (

All components on a print sheet)

Assembly: Co-shooting control: Radio-

Direct control-

Aerial vision: a team of engineers from the AMRCs new design & prototyping group (DPG) have designed, manufactured and flight tested a prototype unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) airframe constructed entirely of ABS plastic, using fused deposition modelling (

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