Winners of the SimScale Drone Challenge Announced

SimScale Drone Challenge - Winners

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

The goal of the challenge was to optimize the design and performance of a 3D printed mini 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 4 performance metrics and now the winners have 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 reducing the weight from 8.56 grams to 6.32 gram (ABS plastic) and 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 - drone part simulation

For propeller modifications, he tested 4 different designs using an MRF analysis in SimScale.

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

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

Awadh Kapoor

Awadh Kapoor

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 2, 3, and 4 blade propeller design.

akrem propeller 3

The modified design with a four blade propeller increased the lift from a baseline of 2.19 N to 8.47 N for a 4 blade propeller. Drag force must be analyzed in the next stage of their analysis.

akrem plot

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, strong arm using a bent hollow tube construction which allows the wires to be threaded through.

Richard Tegelbeckers

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

Richard Tegelbeckers

For full details see his SimScale Public Project here.

The Prizes

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

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