MINI NASA INGENUITY HELICOPTER

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Introduction: MINI NASA INGENUITY HELICOPTER

About: Electromechanical Engineer, Product Designer, Maker. I love to make prototypes and teach others in the process. I graduated from UCF and spent two years working at NASA.

Hey guys, in this instructable I will be showing you how to make a simple small 3d printed or cardboard version of NASA's helicopter, called Ingenuity, which recently made history on Mars as the first spacecraft to successfully fly with rotors as the method of propulsion. This project is great for all ages and lets you own a small piece of history!

Supplies

1. Toy helicopter: https://amzn.to/3xy7xeh

2. 3D Printer or Cardboard

3. 1/16" Diameter Brass Rod or something similar like toothpicks: https://amzn.to/3xyIEiL

4. Mylar Gold/Silver Film: https://amzn.to/3u7JUar

5. Spray Adhesive: https://amzn.to/3vq42F5

6. NASA Sticker: https://amzn.to/2QHLdhJ

7. Scissors for the film/cardboard

8. Snips for cutting the rod

9. Hot Glue

Step 1: Dissassemble Toy Helicopter

Use a small screwdriver to remove the 4 screws from the body of the toy.

Carefully remove the electronics and try not to put too much pressure on any of the thin wires.

Set aside until the body is ready for the final assembly.

Step 2: 3D Printing the Body and Feet

Step 3: ...or Make Cardboard Body

Print out the attached flat pattern on standard 8.5"x11" paper. Be sure to set the scale to 100% or it will not be correct. You can alway use a caliper to double check the dimensions called out on the page as the model is drawn at 1:1 scale.

Step 4: Apply Metallic Film and Attach Legs

This step is optional but if you want to use the film, simply cut a piece of film to 5"x5".

Use spray adhesive to coat the film and the body. Carefully begin scraping with a piece of cardboard to smooth the bubbles out.

Use scissors to trim excess film from the edges and fold any remaining film.

Puncture the film with the brass rods, cut to 3", and insert them into the body. If you are using the cardboard version, you will need to use hot glue on the inside to hold them in place. If you are using the 3d printed body and the legs are a little loose, just apply a small amount of glue on the ends of the rods and press them back in place.

Step 5: Final Assembly

If your body is covered with film, you will need to make a small slit along the opening of the body to get the electronics in.

Tuck everything neatly inside the body with the usb connector facing down. Use a small amount of hot glue on the inside to keep the electronics from ejecting during a crash.

Step 6: Off to Mars!

That's it! Now go build your own little fleet of Mars Helicopters!

Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for taking the time to read my instructable. If you liked it, please consider voting for the contests in which I've entered it into.

STEM Contest

Participated in the
STEM Contest

2 People Made This Project!

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14 Comments

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birdsoft
birdsoft

7 months ago

Very nice, did replicate one ;-)

IMG_1378.jpeg
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armadillozenith
armadillozenith

8 months ago

Fantastic! I was just watching Ingenuity videos this week and thought 'There should be working models available of this!'
(Great way to engage young people with latest space developments and STEAM subjects.)
Re the body rotating, my first thought was that - assuming your rotors are identical, angled and geared equally - I'd check for any slight difference of mass in their respective rotating driveshafts/geartrains, and seek to balance that out.

0
Proto G
Proto G

Reply 8 months ago

Thank you, that was my goal!

0
Techhlp
Techhlp

8 months ago

I like it that you selected to implement a very recent innovation, one that’s making news around the world even now. Looking around your shop I saw what I actually planned to build, a mars rover around the same scale, utilizing inherited suspension methodology from Sojourner’s “rocker-bogie” mobility system. Now seeing this I believe I will change the wheels from what I got, seen here: https://www.surplusgizmos.com/2-Aluminum-Wheel-with-Rubber-Tread-_p_1125.html
Your selection is far more suitable for gripping uncharted terrain and is a closer match to those used in the fleet of Mars rovers.

0
Proto G
Proto G

Reply 8 months ago

Thank you! I designed the wheels based off of the Sojourner rover and 3d printed them with silver PLA. I added some inverted tank treads I had laying around from a different project.

0
Nikolaos Babetas
Nikolaos Babetas

8 months ago

Great project! I really like how you explained how the actual helicopter functions too! Keep it up!

0
Proto G
Proto G

Reply 8 months ago

Thank you, I'm really glad you liked it!

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Witheredboi
Witheredboi

8 months ago

Well done!

0
Proto G
Proto G

Reply 8 months ago

Thank you!

0
cantarosabela
cantarosabela

8 months ago on Step 6

Wow it’s awesome I can’t wait to do it ;) thank you

0
Proto G
Proto G

Reply 8 months ago

Thank you! :)

0
chi239
chi239

8 months ago

Very good! One of your pictures shows a 6-wheeled vehicle. Is this also your creation?if yes, do you have an instructable om this?

0
randofo
randofo

8 months ago

Nice model. Very cool. :)

0
Proto G
Proto G

Reply 8 months ago

Thank you!