Flapping wing micro aerial vehicles (FWMAVs) are anticipated to play a significant role in futuristic defense and civilian applications. Mechanism design and fabrication of micro mechanisms linkages imposes several challenges for sustainability to withstand cyclic loading conditions. Existing manufacturing methods such as electrical discharge wire cutting (EDWC) and injection moulding (IM) requires much human effort and involve cost penalty. The present work focused on fabrication of micro mechanism linkages using fused deposition modeling (FDM) to obtain functional parts swiftly. Design modifications are performed to improve the strength of Evans mechanism linkages and finite element analysis (FEA) is carried out for static as well as cyclic loading conditions. FEA results suggested that 50% of reduction in stress as compared to IM process. Fabricated parts are assembled and tested for its functionality. Further, the assembled Evans mechanism are parylene coated to reduce the friction among moving parts. Wind tunnel experiments are conducted to determine the lift and thrust forces of 3D printed mechanism. Comparative evaluation between IM and 3D printed mechanism suggested that, the aerodynamic performance is properly maintained due to the improved strength of mechanism by FDM and parylene coating herein. Hence, 3D printing is justified for fabrication of micro mechanism parts with less cost and minimal efforts in comparison to conventional manufacturing processes.
Journal of Aeronautics, Astronautics and Aviation 51(1), p.131-140