In collaboration with Delft University of Technology, we created a project on a 3D printed, long-range, fuel-powered drone. In recent years, there have been many advances in electronics as well as an increased use of multi-rotorcrafts. Even though there are many multi-rotorcrafts, their weakness is low endurance. We wanted to see what 3D printing can do and how we can make a long-range, fuel-powered drone using this technology. Find out our results!
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS OF THE DRONE
In terms of the control systems we chose a more recent, control by pitch adjustment. By using complex variable pitch rotors, it is possible to have a more fine-tune control of the rotor. Furthermore, variable pitch rotors influence each rotor individually, which allows a single combustion engine.
We decided that for the structure subsystem, an H frame works better. This means the rotors are located at the ends of the cross beams, so you can mount different components on the center beam. Moreover, this also prevents problems due to rotor flexibility and simplifies the landing gear.
Power generation subsystem
In terms of the power generation subsystem, we chose a single combustion engine. In this case, the mechanical transmission can power all four rotors. With that, a fuel-powered engine allows a much longer flight time as compared to electrical ones.
ADVANTAGES OF USING 3D PRINTING TO PRINT A DRONE
3D printing makes the drone lightweight and the variable pitch system can be embedded into the drone arms which provides more stability and protection.
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