DOI: 10.3390/machines12030187 ISSN: 2075-1702

Optimal Design of Quadcopter Chassis Using Generative Design and Lightweight Materials to Advance Precision Agriculture

Anurag Balayan, Rajnish Mallick, Stuti Dwivedi, Sahaj Saxena, Bisheshwar Haorongbam, Anshul Sharma
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Systems Engineering

This research addresses the imperative challenge of a lightweight design for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) chassis to enhance the thrust-to-weight and power-to-weight ratios, crucial for optimal flight performance, focused on developing an intriguing lightweight yet robust quadcopter chassis. Advanced generative design techniques, integrated with topology optimization, using Autodesk Fusion 360 software (v. 16.5. 0.2083), 3D-printing methods and lightweight materials like Polylactic Acid (P.L.A.), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (A.B.S.), and Nylon 6/6 play a significant role in achieving the desired balance between structural integrity and weight reduction. The study showcases successful outcomes, presenting quadcopter chassis designs that significantly improve structural efficiency and overall performance metrics. The findings contribute to aerial robotics and hold promise for precision agriculture applications with relevant performed simulations, emphasizing the importance of tailored design methodologies for other engineering domains. In conclusion, this research provides a foundational step toward advancing drone technology, with weight reductions of almost 50%, P/W and T/W ratios increment of 6.08% and 6.75%, respectively, at least an 11.8% increment in Factor of Safety, at least a 70% reduction in stress values and reduced manufacturing time from its comparative DJI F450 drone, demonstrating the critical role of innovative design approaches in optimizing operational efficiency for targeted applications.

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