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MAKER: Stronger Frames by Mimicking Nature

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Make It!

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Dustin Jack Hallenbeck University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown

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Dustin Hallenbeck is a senior, mechanical engineering technology student at the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown minoring in mathematics. Dustin focuses in innovative product design and advanced manufacturing processes

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Tumkor Serdar University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown

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Serdar Tumkor is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Dr. Tumkor has more than 20 years of experience in education, having taught at Stevens Institute of Technology and Istanbul Technical University. His engineering experience includes design, manufacturing, and product development. He has been lecturing Manufacturing Processes, Machine Design, Engineering Design, and Computer Aided Technical Drawing courses.

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Quadcopters and first person view drones (FPV) have become extremely popular over the last few years while the prices were decreasing. Quadcopter includes mechanical and electronic components that needs to be designed lightweight. Quadcopter components are made of carbon fiber composite or PE. The purpose of this study is to design of a lightweight but stronger quadcopter frame. A nature inspired quadcopter frame has been designed and manufactured with additive manufacturing. A finite element analysis (FEA) is completed before designing the nature inspired frame to see the stress distribution on a solid frame. Actual forces are applied to simulate and see the high stressed regions of the frame, then further modified the frame structure to reinforce these sections by increasing the density of the scaffold inside the frame. This non-homogenous honeycomb structure resemble the internal structure of the bones. The structure of the frame can be engineered to provide higher rigidity while maintaining the light weight benefits. The purpose of this paper is to review recent improvements in design of quadcopters and to report a lightweight frame design using additive manufacturing. This design process will start with a solid frame, which will then be modified to optimize its strength to weight ratio by increasing the amount of material in highly stressed cross-sectional areas to strengthen it, while decreasing material in other cross sections with lower stress concentrations.

Hallenbeck, D. J., & Serdar, T. (2016, June), MAKER: Stronger Frames by Mimicking Nature Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25651

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