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Model of the Month – April

Congratulations to Karl Payne, our Model of the Month winner for April!  Not only is his Quad copter design complex, but it also follows through with accurate joints to demonstrate motion and how easy it is to store.  Oh, did I mention you can download it and 3D print one of your own?


About Me

My name is Karl Payne, I’m 22 years old and live in Corvallis, Oregon. I am currently attending Oregon State University and pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Fine Arts. I’m an active member of the OSU Aerial Robotics team there, and enjoy working on design and build projects in my free time.


Previous CAD Experience

I’ve been working with CAD software since high school. I was a member of a FIRST robotics team, which gave me ample opportunity to design and build mechanisms and devices. I also took every drafting and shop class the school had to offer and started with Autocad 2007. From there, I eventually tackled the task of teaching myself Inventor (which I accomplished thanks to some great documentation and help sections). I even entered a state drafting competition, in which I placed 3rd . In college I learned SolidWorks for my degree and Civil3D for some contract work during the summer.


Currently, much of my 3D modeling time is dominated by school projects and aerial robotics. In the time that I find to work on personal projects, I’ve been working with laser cutting and engraving. I’ve really enjoyed the versatility of the laser cutter, and how quickly one can go from digital design to physical product.




The Quad Copter Project

The project came about when one of my buddies on the robotics team mentioned that Autodesk had come out with some new software. Having a lot of great experience with their previous software packages, I went to check it out. After being really impressed by the functionality claims, I signed up for the Student Modeling Project and got to work. I quickly realized Fusion was one of the most capable software packages I’ve ever used and it lived up to every expectation.


The Quad copter itself is a design based around functionality. I wanted to make sure I could manufacture the frame myself, without having to send out work to an outside source. The arms were designed to be 3D printed so they would be easy and inexpensive to replace if broken. I also made them to be versatile; so many motor sizes can be used. The flat layers of the frame were drawn with lots of mounting holes and slots for whatever electronics I may need. They will be laser cut to start with and then eventually CNC’d out of carbon fiber. My favorite design feature is the folding arms. This allows the copter to be stowed away without fear of breaking props or bending the frame.


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Overall I had a great experience using Fusion, and had a lot of fun designing this copter.

Download the model here for you to create.


Congratulations once again to Karl on winning the Model of the Month!  If you have any questions for him, please feel free to post them below, and if you decide to start printing one out make sure to share your work as you go.  Happy flying!



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