Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a 3d printed drone!
Drones have become all the rage in the last few years. You can buy one in every toy-, or hobby shop, they’re in the news, under the christmas tree, there’s a whole South Park episode dedicated to them, Amazon is deploying a fleet of drones to deliver packages and in Japan, you can watch the Yakuza and the local police fighting a complete war by using drones.
Flying a drone is great fun, anyone who has ever tried it can agree. But what can be even more fun than flying an out-of-the-box vehicle? Building your own, of course! And that’s when 3d printing comes extremely handy. No matter what size, what type of a drone you are planning to build, the power of customisation and rapid prototyping is there by owning a 3d printer.
Designing and building one completely from scratch is a long road, with lots of trials and errors. Fortunately, the internet is swarming with free designs and helpful folks to get you started or even restarted, once you’re feeling stuck.
For example, here’s a full tutorial on Instructables, complete with STL files, so all you have to do is to print out the parts, order some extra stuff like electronics, assemble them, and you’re ready to take off!
Once you have your 3d printed drone ready, and learnt to fly it without constantly crash landing in the neighbour’s yard, it’s time to decide what to do with it.
Of course, you can simply fly it around, just for fun, but you might want to do something more challenging like doing some cool tricks with it.
Or, if you happen to have a friend with another drone, and some competitive spirit, you can go for some serious racing. Check out this insane FPV video about a drone-race in the woods.
If you prefer something, let’s say slower, and maybe more productive, you can even use your drone, to 3d scan your neighbourhood! Thanks to DroneDeploy you can fly around your house, with a camera-equipped drone, and later, turn the footage into a 3d file that you can even print out!
Whatever you do with these machines, be sure, to be aware of the local drone laws, fly safe, don’t harm anybody or anything, and of course have an amazing time!