22-year old Anthony Voilqué is an engineering student who grew up playing his favorite video game: Halo. Halo is one of the most popular and largest video games today. It depicts the adventures of Master Chief and his digital companion Cortana. Anthony has paired up with his friend Kirby Downey, to design and 3D print the body of a quadcopter, that’s based on the UNSC Falcon helicopter from the Halo: Reach game.
Falcon Helicopter: Video games extend their reach
Video games often get overlooked by mainstream media, depicting them as only for nerds who lock themselves up in their basements all weekend. But video games are some of the highest grossing entertainment bucks out there. Over 1.2 billion people play video games, and many games have been turned into movies, such as Tomb Raider, and Halo.
Video games have a huge impact on our culture, and it’s time that the mainstream started taking them seriously. After all, for those that do, they’ll be the ones bringing in the big bucks. Video games currently earn more money than the biggest blockbuster films.
For other film franchises such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings, they have their versions of video games. And those bring in the big bucks too. The Halo games have earned over 3.5 billion dollars to date.
There’s aren’t many other video games that have earned as much as the Halo franchise. The loyal Halo Nation fanbase keeps the game alive, with repeated playing and discussions. Many players like to bring Halo into their other hobbies.
This is how Halo began for Anthony Voilqué and Kirby Downey. For many players such as them, they want to bring their video games to life. Their favorite Halo games have sold over 70 million copies to date. That number doesn’t even include copies that have been resold. Anthony and Kirby belong to this loyal Halo Nation fanbase, where they continue the fun, even after playing.
Falcon Helicopter: The UNSC Falcon designers
Anthony Voilqué partnered up with Kirby Downey, who is a 3D designer. Voilqué is a second year engineering student at the French Institute for Advanced Mechanics. His studies focus on mechanisms, and robotics. He also plans on becoming a designer. Together, they designed and built the body of a quadcopter, modeled on the UNSC Falcon.
Falcon Helicopter: Designing a fictional flying drone
The Halo game’s Falcon actually only requires two rotor blades, but that’s fantasy after all. A real life quadcopter requires four to get off the ground. But that was only a small design modification. The team created a quadcopter that actually looks like its video game counterpart.
Voilqué and Downey began by designing the quad’s shell with the aid of a design program called CATIA. CATIA was created by a large software corp called Dassault Systemes. The pair do admit that you can use any type of 3D style software, including Freecad or Solidworks.
They tried to 3D print as much of the quad as they could. Everything was 3D printed except for the electronics and the camera. The drone is made from nine separate parts, and four optional legs for the landing gear. The quadcopter was built on an Ultimaker 3D printer. All the parts together took about thirty hours of printing.
They used a 0.2 mm height, and 25% infill for the structural parts, and 10% infill for the drone shell. The quad was made from 250 grams, or half a pound, of infill, a plastic material used in 3D printing.
Falcon Helicopter: Try and try again
Together, the pair made two drones. Voilqué knew nothing about flying and had to learn through time. The design had to be improved upon. With his first drone, it didn’t fly at all during the first flight.
He had to tweak all the settings on the fly control card. Due to weight and vibrations, it never flew like a commercial drone. It would fly against him.
After his attempts at making the first Falcon quadcopter, he decided to try to make a second one. He made one that was easier to fly, but it lacked the shell. His second attempt was stronger, and was more easily printable.
Falcon Helicopter: Plans for the future
Voilqué’s and Downey’s work hasn’t stopped here either. They both continue to work on their design. It’s a work in progress. Their next goal is to create a quad that is more aerodynamic.
Voilqué has big plans after he graduates. And they don’t all involve Halo themed drones either. He has an interest in working in the medical field. He feels that by combining mechanics and health care, he can create an advanced level of medical assistance. These studies have already started in the health care field.
Voilqué has a valid way of prototyping. His advice is to stop wasting time, and start making prototypes. A 3D print is a quick way to see if what you have designed really works. And while you’re waiting, you can be working on something else.
Anthony Voilqué and Kirby Downey have accounts on MyMiniFactory. You can view all of their 3D projects on this site. If you’re interested in printing out your own 3D UNSC Falcon quadcopter, there are also files and plans on the site available for download. From here, you can print out your own UNSC Falcon flying drone. The membership community also shares their experiences and tips.
Anthony Voilqué and Kirby Downey are the engineers of the future. In a few year’s time we’ll see exciting new quadcopters, and UAVs that will do things that no one has ever dreamed of before. It takes a dedicated person to stay focused on an engineering project, and to tweak and adjust, until their project works one hundred percent.
And for these guys, they won’t just stop there, they’ll keep on making better models. Fortunately, the toy and drone industry is ready for adaptability, and change. The possibilities to market new flying drones is nearly endless.
Originally posted 2015-09-24 06:12:49.