The Aerokitties student design bureau of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology conducted the first flight tests of the drone built using 3D printing technology.
Senior undergraduate and graduate students from the Institute of Aeromechanics and Flying Technology at MIPT are taking part in the project, the university’s press service reports. The student bureau opened two and a half years ago with the support of the institute’s management and the MIPT Endowment Fund, which allocated money for the purchase of the necessary equipment, including 3D printers and computers for conducting strength and aerodynamic calculations.
“The flights confirmed the high aerodynamic quality of the UAV, the correctness of the numerical evaluations performed, and the consistency of the mathematical models. But most importantly, we received experimental confirmation that the entire amount of calculations and labor invested in creating the UAV was not in vain: the overall aerodynamic efficiency pays off all costs,” said Artem Pigin, a sixth-year IALT student.
The prototype drone performed three flights of ten minutes each. For higher durability one may use the Anisoprint Composer A3 3D printer (https://top3dshop.com/3d-printers/p-anisoprint/). It uses continuous composite carbon fiber, thus creating parts that are 2 times lighter and 2 times stronger than steel. The device is designed from scratch: the guys independently designed and optimized the airframe for 3D printing, and assembled the electronic stuffing, guided by popular industry solutions and standards. It takes about two weeks to 3D print and assemble the sample.
“It’s important that students continue to be able to implement their ideas not just on paper and in calculations, but physically, in prototypes. So that they could develop their drones, try something new, and test their most daring ideas on real flying models,” commented Nikolai Tsaturyan, the head of the student bureau and a sixth-year student.