Implementation of lightweight design in the product development process of unmanned aerial vehicles

DS 87-5 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 5: Design for X, Design to X, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Junk, Stefan; Schröder, Werner; Hangst, Nikolai
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, Business and Engineering, Germany; 2: Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Unmanned Aerial Systems, Germany
Section: Design for X, Design to X
Page(s): 011-020
ISBN: 978-1-904670-93-3
ISSN: 2220-4342


The development and manufacturing of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) require a multitude of design rules. Thereby, additive manufacturing (AM) processes provide a number of significant advantages over conventional production methods, particularly for implementing requirements with regard to lightweight construction and sustainability. A new, promising approach is presented, with which, through the combination of very light structural elements with a ribbed construction, an attached covering by means of foil is used. This contribution develops and presents a development process that is based on various development cycles. Such cycles differ in their effort and scope within the overall development, and may only comprise one part of the development process, or the entire development process. The applicability of this development process is demonstrated within the framework of a comprehensive case study. The aim is to develop an additively manufactured product that is as light as possible in the form of a UAV, along with a sustainable manufacturing process for such product. Finally, the results of this case study are analyzed with regard to the improvement of lightweight construction.

Keywords: Additive Manufacturing, Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM), Lightweight design, Design for X (DfX), Case study


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