Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Mechanical Engineering - Cooperative Education

Research Sponsor

Shao Wang

Abstract

Our group has teamed up with Dr. Williams from Discovery Lab Global to research the capabilities of 3D printed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The goal of our project is to deliver a 3D printed glider prototype which can later be fitted with electronics for controlled flight. The glider must also carry a payload of 2 to 3 pounds in addition to the electronics. These requirements must be met all while using a basic 3D printer with low cost plastic

Throughout the Fall 2017 semester, our group made a significant amount of progress by completing the conceptual design portion of the project. A morphological chart was created to organize the various brainstorming ideas and to assist us in coming up with practical combinations of design function which we could incorporate into hand drawn concept sketches. These three different concepts were judged using a weighted decision making matrix to find the most practical solution. The weighted values from the decision making matrix were derived from the objective tree where we chose quality, cost, and safety as our main categories.

As we began the Spring 2018 semester, we continued our project by entering the embodiment design stage. In this stage we decided on which embodiment principles to apply to our design, and began researching planes to base our design off of. As we concluded the embodiment stage, we entered the detailed design portion of the project. Using SolidWorks, our group created multiple parts that would eventually be assembled into an operational glider. As a result of continuous revisions to our models, we reached a point where we felt confident to send our part files to be printed in The University of Akron’s 3D print lab. Once printed, the parts were assembled, glued, and wrapped in packaging tape. The testing of this initial prototype took place at The University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium which enabled us to toss the glider from a reasonable height. The test flight was unsuccessful, but provided us with important observations to further revise our glider. The newly revised glider has been sent to the print lab to enable us to repeat the testing process.

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