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Research Papers

Integrated Product and Process Design for a Flapping Wing Drive Mechanism

[+] Author and Article Information
Wojciech Bejgerowski

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742wojbej@umd.edu

Arvind Ananthanarayanan

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742arvinda@umd.edu

Dominik Mueller

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742demilla198@gmail.com

Satyandra K. Gupta

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742skgupta@umd.edu

J. Mech. Des 131(6), 061006 (May 19, 2009) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3116258 History: Received June 04, 2008; Revised January 11, 2009; Published May 19, 2009

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.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic of the compliant mechanism for flapping wing action

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Figure 2

Shape synthesis from the mechanism concept

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Figure 3

Biplanar design of the drive mechanism frame

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Figure 4

Fixed and free dimensions of the mechanism body

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Figure 5

Kinematic representation of the model

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Figure 7

FEA model and results

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Figure 8

Optimization of noncritical shape elements

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Figure 9

Five-piece mold design for body-frame fabrication

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Figure 10

Parting surface design for in-mold fabrication of the body-frame

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Figure 12

Allowable gate locations in molded mechanism frame

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Figure 13

Weld-line locations for the three gated mold

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Figure 14

Weld-line locations for the three gated mold with sacrificial elements

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Figure 15

Sacrificial elements for absorbing weld-lines

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Figure 16

In-mold fabricated body-frame

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Figure 17

Assembled MAV containing the in-mold fabricated mechanism

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