AE Unit 4: Frame Design

Using Autodesk to design and test engine frames

FRAME DESIGN OVERVIEW

 Download the Bug Bot Assignment

This unit will give us a chance to look at the physical structure of aircraft.  Earlier we built some gliders that were all solid components, but real planes of course have large metal frames and composite hulls.  In this unit, we get to learn how Autodesk can be used to create and test aircraft frames.  Over the course of the unit, you’re expected to learn the following:

  • How to use Autodesk Inventor to create a built-out frame
  • How to use Autodesk Inventor to simulate strain on a frame

Computer simulations continue to play an important role in aerospace engineering, because they help us make reasonable estimates about how things will function before we take the time and money to actually build them.  In this unit, we’ll spend most of our time in Autodesk, using it as a simulation to test engine mounts:

  • STEP 1: Learn how aircraft materials are made, and what various airplane frames look like
  • STEP 2: Use Autodesk Inventor to create a potential frame for an airplane engine and simulate a stress test on a similar frame
  • STEP 3: Use Autodesk Inventor to create and test a more detailed engine frame

When you’re all done, you will have learned one of the cooler functions of Autodesk Inventor: frame and truss strain analysis.  If you’ve had POE, then you’ll recognize some elements of what we work on here!   

PART 2: AUTODESK FRAME GENERATOR

(30 pts) About 3 days

Autodesk can do all the 3 dimensional modeling you remember from robotics and IED, but it can also help us model complex systems.  Here we’ll follow tutorials to turn a simple wire frame into a fully built engine mount, and then test a similar frame using the stress analyzer.

PART 2: AUTODESK FRAME GENERATOR

(30 pts) About 3 days

Autodesk can do all the 3 dimensional modeling you remember from robotics and IED, but it can also help us model complex systems.  Here we’ll follow tutorials to turn a simple wire frame into a fully built engine mount, and then test a similar frame using the stress analyzer.

PART 3: AUTODESK MODELING

(30 pts) About 3 days

The last – and most complex – part of this unit is to use the same system to take a new potential engine mount wire frame and investigate it with Autodesk.  You’ll use the Frame Generator and Stress Analyzer once again to model the forces of take-off and landing on the frame joints.

 Download the wiring information!

 Download the designing information!

 Download the building information!

Part 1: Frame Materials

Investigate how materials are created and how frames are constructed

Materials Life Cycle

As we start our learning of engine and airplane frames, we’ll start by looking at some materials.  The metals used in frames is made in many different ways, each of which leads to various material properties.  Once those processes are chosen, an engineer then needs to design the frame that will make the aircraft itself.  

In this part of the unit, you’ll watch a few videos and take some notes on different production processes.  You’ll also get a chance to look at aircraft frames and recognize some of the same truss structures you might have seen in POE.

GRADING & PROCESS

 Take 1 page of careful notes on metalworking processes

 Take 1 more page of careful notes on aircraft frames and engine mount designs

 Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your notes

Metalworking

Frame Building

Frame Designs

What’s Due In Part 1: Frame Materials

  • Metalworking Notes
  • Frame Notes
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Confirmation

Here’s what’s due in Part 1: Frame Materials

  1. Notes on metal working processes
  2. Notes on building and designing frames
  3. Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your engineering notebook

Part 2: Autodesk Tutorials

Learn how to use the Autodesk Frame Generator and Stress Analyzer

Autodesk Resource

 

We’ve mentioned many times that a lot of aerospace work happens in computer simulations.  This avoids a lot of wasted time, money, and materials building ineffective prototypes.  Here, we’ll learn how to use the Frame Generator in Autodesk Inventor to turn a wire model into a 3 dimensional frame model.  When this is done, it will be possible to place different loads on the model and see a simulated model of frame deformation and stress.

You’ll first get Autodesk Inventor up and running.  Then, it’s a matter of following a series of tutorials very closely to turn the provided wire frame model into an actual engine mount frame.  We’ll follow the tutorial step-by-step as we create this first frame.  Then a second tutorial will demonstrate how to use the stress analyzer to place loads on a frame and see what happens when the magnitude of those loads changes.

GRADING & PROCESS

 Take careful notes on the Autodesk interface and the Frame Generation process

 Follow the tutorial to turn the provided wire frame into the fully built engine mount frame

 Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your completed engine frame

 Take careful notes on the Autodesk Stress Analyzer

 Follow the tutorial to analyze the provided frame for various weight

 Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your completed stress analysis

Frame Generator & Stress Analyzer Overview

 

Frame Generator Tutorial

Stress Analyzer Tutorial

What’s Due In Part 2: Autodesk Tutorials

  • Frame Generator Notes
  • Frame Generator Tutorial
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Check-off
  • Stress Analyzer Notes
  • Stress Analyzer Tutorial
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Check-off

Here’s what’s due in Part 2: Autodesk Tutorials

  1. Take careful notes on the Autodesk Frame Generator
  2. Work through the Frame Generator Tutorial
  3. Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your completed frame
  4.  Take careful notes on the Autodesk Stress Analyzer
  5.  Work through the Stress Analyzer Tutorial
  6.  Have Mr. Benshoof check-off your completed stress analysis

Part 3: Autodesk Modeling

Using Autodesk to go through the frame analysis process

Autodesk Modeling Overview

For this last part, you’ll need to apply the process from the last part about how to build a frame and how to analyze various stresses on a potential engine mount.  You’ll start with the design brief and downloading the sample wire frame.  We’ll do our work with that wire frame initially.  If you want to learn how to make your own wire frames, we can do that too!

Starting with the given wire frame, apply your previous experience to build out the frame with the Frame Generator tools.  Make sure you use the right materials, joints, and finishes.  Then, use the Stress Analysis tools to investigate what happens to the frame with certain forces applied to it.

GRADING & PROCESS

 Review your notes on Frame Generation and Stress Analysis tools in Autodesk

 Use the same processes to build the frame for the engine mount template provided

 Continue to do a stress analysis on that completed frame

 Consider trying to build your own wire frame and designing your own engine mount!

 Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your completed frame & analysis

What’s Due In Part 3: Autodesk Modeling

  • Frame Generation
  • Stress Analysis
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Confirmation

Here’s what’s due in Part 3: VOR Navigation

  1. Use your Autodesk knowledge to build out the frame
  2. Complete a stress analysis on that completed frame
  3. Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your completed frame and analysis

Double Check: Unit Expectations

Check what you need to have completed by the unit deadline

The purpose of this shorter unit is to give you a new experience with Autodesk Inventor, and to introduce the Frame Generator and Stress Analysis tools.  You should have worked through two Autodesk tutorials that demonstrate how to use those features.  You should also have taken a bare wire frame and followed a similar process to generate and test that frame as well.  If you’re ahead of the game, you may have looked at creating your own wire models too!

The hope is that this gives you a sense of what many aerospace engineers do in their real work.  Many aerospace engineers apply very precise mathematics and scientific principles in computer models to make engineering designs and choices.  The kind of modeling we did here is something that many aerospace engineers do daily!

Engineering Notebook:

(Part 1) You should have taken notes on metalworking, engine mounts, and aircraft frames

(Part 2) You should have taken good notes on Autodesk’s Frame Generator

(Part 2) You should have taken good notes on Autodesk’s Stress Analyzer

Building & Making:

(Part 2) You should have followed the Autodesk Frame Generator Tutorial

(Part 2) You should have followed the Autodesk Stress Analysis Tutorial

(Part 3) You should have completed the Frame Generation and Stress Analysis on the provided engine mount wire model

Benshoof Checkpoints

(Part 1) Mr. Benshoof should have checked-off your notes on frame materials and structures

(Part 2) Mr. Benshoof should have checked-off your completed Frame Generator Turorial

(Part 2) Mr. Benshoof should have checked-off your completed Stress Analysis Tutorial

 (Part 3) Mr. Benshoof should have confirmed your final frame & analysis for the provided engine mount model