Successful realization of a flapping wing micro-air vehicle (MAV) requires development of a light weight drive mechanism that can convert the continuous rotary motion of the motor into oscillatory flapping motion of the wings. The drive mechanism should have low weight to maximize the payload and battery capacity. It should also have high power transmission efficiency to maximize the operational range and to minimize weight of the motor. In order to make flapping wing MAVs attractive in search, rescue, and recovery efforts, they should be disposable from the cost point of view. Injection molded compliant drive mechanisms are an attractive design option because of manufacturing scalability and reduction in the number of parts. However, realizing compliant drive mechanism using injection molding requires use of multipiece multigate molds. Molding process constraints need to be considered during the design stage to successfully realize the drive mechanism. This paper describes an approach for determining the drive mechanism shape and size that meets both the design and molding requirements. The novel aspects of this work include (1) minimizing the number of mold pieces and (2) the use of sacrificial shape elements to reduce the impact of the weld-lines on the structural performance. The design generated by the approach described in this paper was utilized to realize an operational flapping wing MAV.
Integrated Product and Process Design for a Flapping Wing Drive Mechanism
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Bejgerowski, W., Ananthanarayanan, A., Mueller, D., and Gupta, S. K. (May 19, 2009). "Integrated Product and Process Design for a Flapping Wing Drive Mechanism." ASME. J. Mech. Des. June 2009; 131(6): 061006. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3116258
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