Written By Tess Via 3Ders.org
A group of students from Wentworth Institution of Technology (WIT) in Boston, MA have worked in teams to create fully functional additively manufactured Hexacopter drones, so named for their hexagonal shape.
The Hexacopter drone was the product of an assignment meant to bring together 65 students from several different faculties, such as industrial design, mechanical engineering and manufacturing studies. The students were tasked with creating a fully working hexacopter drone by incorporating six different manufacturing processes. Among these processes were CNC turning, CNC milling, resin casting, vacuum forming, laser cutting and 3D printing.
According to the students involved, 3D printing was the defining manufacturing process for the drone’s design for, as student Nathan Ouellete explains, “It offered a unique aspect to our design, where we were able to control something in three dimensions as opposed to just milling it in two dimensions. It offers you a whole new path to prototyping.”
The Wentworth Institution of Technology has put a strong focus on 3D printing within their curriculum in recent years, even launching a 3D printing course last fall.
As one student says of the experience, “Having an entire semester to learn about the processes of 3D printing – learning about the two technologies, the different printers and materials used – really prepared me to understand the capabilities of 3D printing and how extensive we could get.” The course, based on the free Stratasys 3D printing curriculum, was an enormous success and focused primarily on Stratasys’ FDM and PolyJet 3D printing technologies.