This is a remote controlled hovercraft called the Hoverquad R. It operates a little different from the average hovercraft in that it does not use an inflatable skirt. It operates using an air-bearing effect to create a frictionless surface to glide on. In addition to this, it is able to rotate about the center of the craft due to the positioning of the propulsion ducts.
This vehicle won 1st place in the IAM3D (Innovative Additive Manufacturing 3D) competition at the 2019 ASME E-Fest North, scoring the highest in every category judged on. Our team was pretty proud of it, so I hope everyone likes our design and concept. This was the first year that the student chapter of ASME at Eastern Washington University has competed in the IAM3D competition.
NOTE: Still collecting the controls-related stuff from the electrical engineering major on our team. We used an Arduino Mega with a custom designed shield to send signals to four RGB LED's, 2 4-in1 ESC's, and was powered through a PDB with a 4 cell lipo. Operation time before the battery would drain too much/overheat was around 10 minutes.
Also will be posting a full parts list soon. Feel free to comment if you have any questions.
Majority of the vehicle printed with PETG. The skirt, gasket, and living hinge are printed with TPU. The skirt needs to have the top and bottom layers set to 0 so that air can pass through.
Lift Pod Assembly
Basic Design Info
I designed this with Autodesk Fusion 360, and have included the design files as well (.STEP and Fusion Archive of the top level assembly).
Autodesk CFD was used to get an estimation of the pressures generated by the impellers in the lift pods, since around 1.1KPa of pressure was needed to lift the craft and payload.
It was designed with concrete/other smooth non-porous surfaces in mind, so a redesign of the skirt would be needed to better optimize it for porous surfaces. Basically, this vehicle is the hovercraft equivalent of a racing drone, and definitely handles like a racing vehicle.
The lift pods that I designed for this vehicle are a novel approach, in my opinion. They function as an air bearing and provide a completely frictionless surface for the vehicle. As can be seen from the video, the craft essentially glides everywhere, and doesn't slow down much when the propulsion fans are turned off. To brake, we needed to cut power to the lift pods themselves and use the TPU skirts as brakes to slow down.
Something to note when assembling the pods; there is a small hole for wires to go out of the housing, but we used 22 gauge silicon wire. Non silicone wire might not work, or modify the file to use different sized wire. (Again, .STEP and Fusion Archive files provided)
The only major issue this vehicle had was if one of the pods impacted a surface; due to the way the connecting point was designed, it often causes the propulsion duct part to split along layer lines (due to the print orientation). A redesign of this part would probably help the craft in the case of crashes.
Skirt, with no top/bottom layers
Skirt, no top/bottom layers