Dec 13, 2017 | By Benedict

Scientists and engineers from the Polytechnic Institute of South Ural State University have used 3D printing to develop a reliable brushless electric motor for aerospace equipment. The motor could be used in drones and quadcopters.

(Image: Oleg Igoshin)

With consumer drone shipments expected to hit the 13 million mark in 2018, there is currently a big market opportunity for companies to come up with new components for unmanned aerial vehicles of all varieties.

Unsurprisingly, one of a drone’s most critical features is its brushless motor, which uses a system of permanent magnets on its rotor (the rotating part) and electromagnets on its stator (the stationary part). A computer charges up the electromagnets and generates motion.

Now, with the help of 3D printing, scientists and engineers from the Polytechnic Institute of South Ural State University have developed a patent-pending compacted engine configuration consisting of an electric motor with coils made of a light metal alloy. The setup has a distributor with a variable cross-section.

“Nowadays, all drones, quadcopters, and electric helicopters use such electric motors as a main motion driver,” says Viktor Fyodorov, an associate professor of the university’s Department of Aircrafts and Automatic Units. “The issue becomes the increasing of power of such machines and their implementation in manned aviation.”

The Russian motor, however, manages to break through that power barrier, boasting 3 kilowatts and an active system mass of about 750 grams. Its makers also say the motor is highly reliable, since it has only two components, the rotor and stator, making it less likely to malfunction than a piston engine which has more moving components.

Additionally, the combination of electric motors and highly efficient electric energy sources leads to improved performance and reduced environmental impact.

Scientists and engineers involved in the 3D printed motor development include Andrey Sogrin, associate professor of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering’s Department of Aircrafts and Automatic Units; Pavel Lykov, a research fellow of the Department of Science and Innovation; and Vitaliy Varkentin, an engineer in the Department of Mechatronics and Automatization.

The project was overseen by Fyodorov, who is also deputy director for research activity at the Polytechnic Institute.

In addition to the rise in commercial drone sales, military forces are also using UAVs more and more to carry out surveillance and other missions. In the U.S. Marines, for instance, 3D printing has been heavily used to develop new military drones.

The practice has also been carried out in Russia, where this latest electric motor was developed. In 2016, Russian defense firm UIMC demonstrated a fully 3D printed scouting drone that can be printed and assembled in a single day.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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The Power wrote at 12/13/2017 5:39:53 PM:

There are plenty of 3+KW BLDC motors on the market @ 850g and they are relatively cheap and pretty efficient. This does not seem like much of an innovation from the info presented. Does it drastically increase efficiency? Does it beat the $130 price point for existing competitors?

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