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Case Study

Cobra Aero uses multiphysics simulation to optimize UAV engine for thermal mitigation

Cobra Aero UAV Engine Stats

0.92 lbs




Renishaw AM500


Lightweighting Design Analysis



Cobra Aero, headquartered in Hillsdale, MI, designs small UAVs. They started looking for a way to design and manufacture lighter more efficient engines to decrease drag on their UAVs and increase overall flying time and efficiency. Combining some of the toolkits in nTop Platform they were able to change the air-cooled engine cylinder design from an external fin structure to an internal lattice structure to achieve exactly what they needed and wanted.

“Testing showed that the new lattice structure was more efficient at cooling than our fin design. In every case, at every different RPM, less cooling air was required to maintain proper engine temperature…exactly what we were hoping for… Overall the design is just cleaner, simpler, a tighter package that prints perfectly and presents itself a lot nicer on the engine.”

Sean Hilbert, President of Cobra Aero

Overall this case study proves that the use of multiphysics simulation to account for factors like temperature, flow velocity, stress and pressure allowed for Cobra Aero to design an optimal air-cooled engine cylinder. Along with these factors and accounting for lightweighting as well as DfAM, the design of the part came together to provide incredible results. AM offers design freedom and this case study shows how that design freedom is realized.

Design Analysis

Download case study here.

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