Winners of the SimScale Drone Challenge Announced

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SimScale diy Drone design Challenge - Winners

Last week, we announced the winners of the SimScale Drone Challenge on our forum. To help you get to know their work better, here are their drone simulations in closer detail.

The goal of the challenge was to optimize the design and performance of a miniature 3D-printed quadcopter. In order to preserve the inspiration of the original design (provided by GrabCAD user Nathan), participants were asked to make modifications to the propeller blades and to the arms of the structural frame, proving their design by:

  1. Increasing the lift
  2. Reducing the weight
  3. Maintaining the structural integrity of the frame
  4. Making a 3D-printable design

The designs were judged based on these four performance metrics and the winners have just been announced. Check out the winning designs below.

 1st place: Awadh Kapoor

Awadh modified the original frame (below left) to a hollow circular cross-section (below right) with holes along the length that reduced the weight from 8.56 grams to 6.32 grams (ABS plastic), and also reducing the displacement. In addition to being lightweight, the hollow frame makes it possible to put the wires inside the arm for protection. The arm has no sharp corners and is symmetric, making it easy to 3D print.

Awadh Kapoor - diy drone part fea simulation von mises stress

For propeller modifications, he tested four different designs using an MRF analysis in SimScale.

Design 1: A new design based on the propeller of the spitfire that was modified using Javaprop
Design 2: A design based on the original propeller that was modified using Gemfan and Javaprop
Design 3: Same as Design 2 but with changed pitch and airfoil chord.
Design 4: Same as Design 2 but with three blades.

Design 3 was chosen as it increased the lift of the original design from 2.19 N to 4.67 N at a rotational speed of 2100 radians per second.

diy drone lift variation with rpm for all designs and final assembly

Awadh Kapoor diy drone propeller design

For full details, see his SimScale Public Project here.

2nd place: Akrem Mouffouk

Akrem used parametric modeling in CAESES to improve the design of the drone propeller for a two, three, and four-blade propeller design.

diy drone propeller design winners

The modified design with its four-blade propeller increased the lift from a baseline of 2.19 N to 8.47 N for a four-blade propeller. Drag force must be analyzed in the next stage of their analysis.

diy drone design challenge simulation results

For full details, see his SimScale Public Project here.

3rd place: Richard Tegelbeckers

Richard used SolidWorks to modify the design of the propeller frame. He achieved a light but strong arm using a bent hollow tube construction, which allows the wires to be threaded through.

Richard Tegelbeckers diy drone propeller frame design cad model

He 3D printed his design showing a reduced weight of 7 grams for the arm.

Richard Tegelbeckers diy drone arms 3d printed

For full details, see his SimScale Public Project here.

The Prizes

Each of the winners of the SimScale Drone Challenge will receive their very own drone, including the 3D-printed frame, assembly items, and a controller. We are looking forward to seeing the final designs up in the air!

To discover all the simulation features provided by SimScale, download the document below.

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