Engineering Simulation with SimScale: Drone Aerodynamics

Learn how to use engineering simulation to investigate two different propeller designs for a 3D printed mini quadcopter
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Instructed by Anna Flessner Design / Design Tools
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  • Lectures 12
  • Length 32 mins
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 4/2016 English

Course Description

The cornerstone of this course is engineering simulation and I will use an example focusing on the aerodynamics of drones to teach you how simulation can be incorporated in engineering and design.  

For this course, we will be using SimScale, which is a browser-based software. The platform can be directly accessed at 

We will start off the course with a very short introduction to aerodynamics and how a propeller works.

Then we will jump into creating the physics-based simulation of a 3D printed mini quadcopter using SimScale. 

To conclude the course we’ll take what we have learned and discuss how engineering simulation can be used to optimize the design of the propellers. In the hand-on exercises you will be using SimScale to simulate the quadcopter with 2 different propeller designs so that we can compare their aerodynamic performance.

Prior knowledge of basic engineering concepts and CAD design are helpful but not required for success in this course.

What are the requirements?

  • A computer and internet connection

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Optimize the design of a 3D printed mini quadcopter by applying the principles of aerodynamics
  • Solve engineering problems with SimScale, the browser-based engineering simulation software
  • Gain new insights into engineering simulation

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is meant for makers, drone enthusiasts, and students who want to learn how to use engineering simulation to optimize and improve their designs. This course is probably not for you if you're looking to learn detailed theory about engineering simulation or product design.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: What is this Course About

Lecture 1 provides a brief overview of the course Engineering Simulation with SimScale: Drone Aerodynamics and what students can expect to learn. 

Section 2: The Basics: An Overview of Aerodynamics, Simulation, and SimScale

In Lecture 2, we will discuss the basics of aerodynamics and how a propeller works.


In Lecture 3 we discuss the concept of engineering simulation and why it can be a useful tool for engineers, designers, makers, and students alike. 


In Lecture 4 we will talk about SimScale and I will give you a brief tour of the platform including the Dashboard, Public Projects and the SimScale Workbench. 

[EXERCISE 1] Creating your SimScale Community Account
Section 3: Creating your Drone Simulation in SimScale

In Lecture 6, we will log in into SimScale, create a Public Project, and upload the CAD geometries of Drone 1 and Drone 2

[Exercise 2] Uploading a CAD Model

In Lecture 8, we will go through how to set up the mesh for Drone 1 using snappyHex. 

[EXERCISE 3] Creating a Mesh

In Lecture 10, we will move to the Simulation Designer tab and set up our incompressible fluid flow simulation. 

[EXERCISE 4] Setting up and Running the Simulation

In the final lecture of the course, we will view the results of the simulation in the SimScale post-processor. 

Section 4: Applying What you Learned
Final Review
10 questions

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Instructor Biography

Anna Flessner, Engineer, Community Manager at SimScale GmbH

I'm a recent graduate of the University of Illinois with background in civil and structural engineering. 

I've been working at SimScale GmbH for almost a year and engaged with our growing community of engineers, designers, maker, students. I'm excited to share my knowledge of engineering simulation using the SimScale platform - a browser-based tool that is accessible to everyone. 

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