Quadcopter Design Challenge Mates 3D Printing, Cloud Software and CAD Modeling

Posted by Betsy Lillian on March 14, 2017 No Comments

Boulder, Colo.-based Frustum, a provider of generative design and topology optimization software, has announced the winners of its “Generate Quadcopter Challenge: A GrabCAD Challenge for Topology Optimization.”

Hosted on the GrabCAD Community platform, the challenge invited participants to use Frustum’s cloud-based Generate software to optimize the design of a lightweight, 3D-printed quadcopter.

Using Generate and traditional CAD modeling software, designers were asked to create an optimized quadcopter airframe design by using constraint-driven design methodology. Judging criteria included mass reduction from meta design space, payload delivery, takeoff and soft landing, flight for 50 meters, flight time, ingenuity of design space(s), design aesthetics, and ingenuity of load case(s), says Frustum.

“Working with the GrabCAD team and its brilliant and global community of engineers gave us a myriad of innovative designs,” comments Jesse Blankenship, CEO and founder of Frustum. “We had more than 200 entries, most embracing the freedom additive manufacturing brings and creating designs not possible with traditional manufacturing techniques.”

The first-place winner was Salva Serrano, co-founder of Ootro Estudio, an Orihuela, Spain-based architectural and design studio specializing in 3D modeling and digital manufacturing.

“With my proposal, I tried to explore the possibilities of Generate as a structural design tool. I focused on securing the entire frame utilizing the topology optimization process – from the landing feet to the arms that hold the motors. It was fun to watch the software sculpting the shape of the frame as a virtual Michelangelo,” says Serrano.

Design submissions were evaluated by a panel of Frustum employees, including Blankenship; Robert Wilson, president of Aerospace Advisory Group and former president and CEO of Honeywell Aerospace; and a member of the GrabCAD software organization. The winners received cash prizes of $2,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively, as well as a free subscription to the Generate platform.

Taking second and third place, respectively, were Carlos Fuentes from the U.S. and Michael van der Bent from the Netherlands. More on the winners can be found here.

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