Saturday, December 21, 2013

4 is better than 1. Or even 6

How Multi-copters are dominating the skies and our imagination.


               Vera Markus 

I’ve never been a big Fan of aviation, and most of the time you would associate aviation to planes, helicopters and Goodyear blimps. But something caught my interest as of recently and it comes in no surprise that buzzing flying lawnmower are making people look up to the skies.

So what’s with Quad copters and what are the true potential applications for Quad copters? Well people have been fiddling with it and there a 3 actually useful applications for Multi rotors.



Amazon                                                                              



Transportation 

We aren't talking about people transport (yet) it might carry an infant child like a Stork delivering a baby, but that’s very comical and highly unlikely. Very recently Amazon has announced their concept delivery system called Prime Air. Depending on how far you are from an Amazon warehouse, you can op for a Drone Drop-off for your online purchases, bringing a whole new definition to air delivery. Now there has been much skepticism on the idea and there are pretty obvious ones, free eastern gifts from the skies anyone? But there are more sensible uses like transporting food and medicine to hard to reach places like jungles or disaster zones.   



 BBC                                                                                    


Photography and Surveillance

The second really useful application is photography and surveillance. The BBC has already Adopted Professional Hex-copters for filming live news coverages and documentaries, being smaller and a whole lot cheaper that hiring a helicopter; these drones are suitable Arial shooters of the future. And again in a safety and rescue situation, multiple drones can be put out on the field to search for victims in dangerous situations like a forest fire or a flood.  Now I know I did mention surveillance which sounds allot like the controversial NSA or military spyings of late, let me assure the readers that there are laws and regulation prohibiting such acts use against civilians (Google up Philip Steel).


 Uni Adelaide                                          

Education

The third really useful application for Quad copters is in education.  Multi rotors are an easy concept to grasp; you get 4 to as many motors as you want, half of them spinning clockwise and the other half spinning anti-clockwise. You Get a Flight controller to help maneuver the copter in its Tilt, Role and Yaw. And you can add-on as many gadgets as you like; Grips, Cameras, Sensors, Paintball guns ,A laser show, you name it. This involves Physics , Electronics, Programing and a dash of Fun! Seriously who doesn’t want to see Drones take over the classroom and making teachers really wish they didn’t approve of this. I know I do.




How IME Does it 

Stay tuned and see how IME design a simple Quadcopter using Solidworks. You may also share with us your design so that we could share it with our followers as well.


PS: Have a Merry Christmas and Safe Holiday!


Friday, November 29, 2013

How can Flow Simulation help with your cooking?

It is amazing what Engineers could do when you give them a powerful software like SolidWorks. This week the engineers at SolidWorks simulated if we can cook 2 steak or 2 pumpkin pies at the same time - will it cook thoroughly?

This fun experiment is done in SolidWorks Flow Simulation, which uses Computational Fluid Dynamics for the calculations of 3D fluid flow and heat transfer.

Begin Experiment: 

SolidWorks T-Day 1SolidWorks T-Day 2
 (Photo source: my.solidworks.com)

The Flow Simulation software calculates how the hot air flows in the oven and whether the heat is distributed uniformly to cook the food evenly. They started with defining the internal fan of the convection oven, add heat source on the bottom and CFD simulation would let us see the heat circulation in the oven, surrounding the steak and pies. We can also use the temperature distribution plots to determine the heat the meat will be getting on each tray. In this case, it shows a temperature difference of 13 degrees so the bottom tray would actually cook sooner.

SolidWorks T-Day 3
 (Photo source: my.solidworks.com)

SolidWorks T-Day 4SolidWorks T-Day 5
 (Photo source: my.solidworks.com)

I particularly like these close to real life examples where we can relate what CFD is. If I run this before I start baking I'm sure it would increase my "productivity" and reduce "waste" too! :)

To learn more about how Simulation could help improve your designs and reduce prototypes and cost of error: 

 Click to Watch Now
CFD Solidworks Flow Simulation



Friday, November 22, 2013

CAD helping lives

CAD and CAM is not just about engineering or manufacturing, it is a necessity in our daily lives. The car that we travel in to go to work everyday, ships and aeroplanes that allows us to cross oceans and travel across the globe, our phones, computers, machines that makes us coffee, toasts, all these are at one point designed with CAD, and manufactured with CAM.

Therefore, CAD and CAM is really not as hard to understand or far from us afterall. With the aid of CAD/CAM, the products that we are using daily are safer and more reliable. Below is a story that I like about how Engineering and CAD is helping lives (a duck in this case):

Dudley the Duck with its New 3D Printed Foot
Dudley the duck is a lucky fella to be able to walk again after losing one of its foot in an unfortunate encounter with a chicken. It's prosthetic foot was designed in SolidWorks and printed with 3D printer. There are a lot of factors taken into consideration in designing a feasible and sustainable foot that is not only nice to see but also practical for a duck:
Requirement: Fully support Dudley’s weight
Solution: Main structural components (upper-leg, lower-leg, connecting pin for joints) will be composed out of a stronger ABS-type plastic final leg will be a medical grade plastic).
Requirement: Multi-jointed to allow for a smoother gate
The ankle joint allows for approximately 20 degrees of rotation while the knee joint allows has a curved flexible knee piece connecting the upper leg and lower leg which isolates the rotation of the knee while still acting like a shock-damper.
Requirement: Lightweight to reduce Dudley’s energy consumption.
We are testing several lightweight plastics out to see if it is both light and strong enough for our application.
Requirement: Realistic foot to allow for more effective swimming
- See more at: http://blogs.solidworks.com/solidworksblog/2013/11/dudley-the-duck-gets-a-3d-printed-foot.html#sthash.kVQfOl5G.dpuf


Requirement: Fully support Dudley’s weight
Requirement: Multi-jointed to allow for a smoother gate
Requirement: Lightweight to reduce Dudley’s energy consumption
Requirement: Realistic foot to allow for more effective swimming

 http://blogs.solidworks.com/solidworksblog/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/11/20130918_155628-numbers.jpg   http://blogs.solidworks.com/solidworksblog/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/11/Prosthetic-Duck-Leg.jpg 
(Photos taken from the SolidWorks Blog)

Isn't it great to see engineering surrounding us everywhere? Although I am not part of those who makes a difference in a duck's life (pun intended), I am proud to call myself an engineer and be part of the SolidWorks community who is giving back to the society. 

Happy Weekend to you :) 
 
Requirement: Fully support Dudley’s weight
Solution: Main structural components (upper-leg, lower-leg, connecting pin for joints) will be composed out of a stronger ABS-type plastic final leg will be a medical grade plastic).
Requirement: Multi-jointed to allow for a smoother gate
The ankle joint allows for approximately 20 degrees of rotation while the knee joint allows has a curved flexible knee piece connecting the upper leg and lower leg which isolates the rotation of the knee while still acting like a shock-damper.
Requirement: Lightweight to reduce Dudley’s energy consumption.
We are testing several lightweight plastics out to see if it is both light and strong enough for our application.
Requirement: Realistic foot to allow for more effective swimming
- See more at: http://blogs.solidworks.com/solidworksblog/2013/11/dudley-the-duck-gets-a-3d-printed-foot.html#sthash.kVQfOl5G.dpuf
Requirement: Fully support Dudley’s weight
Solution: Main structural components (upper-leg, lower-leg, connecting pin for joints) will be composed out of a stronger ABS-type plastic final leg will be a medical grade plastic).
Requirement: Multi-jointed to allow for a smoother gate
The ankle joint allows for approximately 20 degrees of rotation while the knee joint allows has a curved flexible knee piece connecting the upper leg and lower leg which isolates the rotation of the knee while still acting like a shock-damper.
Requirement: Lightweight to reduce Dudley’s energy consumption.
We are testing several lightweight plastics out to see if it is both light and strong enough for our application.
Requirement: Realistic foot to allow for more effective swimming
- See more at: http://blogs.solidworks.com/solidworksblog/2013/11/dudley-the-duck-gets-a-3d-printed-foot.html#sthash.kVQfOl5G.dpuf
Requirement: Fully support Dudley’s weight
Solution: Main structural components (upper-leg, lower-leg, connecting pin for joints) will be composed out of a stronger ABS-type plastic final leg will be a medical grade plastic).
Requirement: Multi-jointed to allow for a smoother gate
The ankle joint allows for approximately 20 degrees of rotation while the knee joint allows has a curved flexible knee piece connecting the upper leg and lower leg which isolates the rotation of the knee while still acting like a shock-damper.
Requirement: Lightweight to reduce Dudley’s energy consumption.
We are testing several lightweight plastics out to see if it is both light and strong enough for our application.
Requirement: Realistic foot to allow for more effective swimming
- See more at: http://blogs.solidworks.com/solidworksblog/2013/11/dudley-the-duck-gets-a-3d-printed-foot.html#sthash.kVQfOl5G.dpuf