This is my first post on DIYdrones, but I am not new to the site or the technology. Like most of you, I have been a drone enthusiast, and have had an interest, as well as some kind of involvement with RC for the past decade. With the new technologies coming out almost on a daily basis, building and flying drones has become easier than ever.

Another technology which I have taken an interest in, and have found to be a great tool to building custom drones is 3D printing. I bought my first printer 7 months ago, and have dove into the technology even more so than drones.

I know many of you own and operate 3D printers and most likely have more experience than I. So, I am not here to preach about how to 3D print or what machines you should be running, but rather to share my experiences with printing drone parts, as well as different materials and settings.

In December I began working for Airwolf 3D, and this has given me access to printing on a daily basis with several machines. So far I have tested 11 materials and have successfully printed with 10. Even though I work for a 3D printing manufacturer, I will remain unbiased as I know there are many capable printers on the market.

I would say that the most reliable and usable material to print with is ABS. Filament quality and color choice plays a big factor here, so please contact me for recommendations. My favorite filament is the ultimachines silver ABS, as it prints well and looks good. I have a very large print bed 12" x 8" x 12," so I am able to print entire frame pieces without piecing stuff together.

Of course I have printed several prototypes of multi-rotor aircraft, but most of them have been scrapped for more favorable designs. Below is my latest print, and I will most likely continue refining this one, and hopefully see it airborne soon.

I will post more pics as my builds progress, and will also introduce new material and technologies as they have been tested. Please feel free to ask me any questions.

 

Views: 3874

Comment by Joshua Johnson on January 8, 2014 at 6:34pm

I'd love to see some of your work on CADDrones.com!

Comment by Tyler Caros on January 8, 2014 at 6:36pm

Oh thank you I will check it out!

Comment by Joshua Johnson on January 8, 2014 at 6:42pm

Sounds good!  I just built it only 2 weeks ago so it's lacking a large amount of content... but with time that will change.

Comment by Tyler Caros on January 8, 2014 at 6:44pm

If you need any help at all please let me know. I will upload some projects soon.

Comment by Joshua Johnson on January 8, 2014 at 6:49pm

Thanks Tyler, I messaged you regarding that subject. I'll be anxiously waiting to see what you have in store for the CAD Drones Community!

Comment by John Githens on January 8, 2014 at 6:51pm

Tyler, you may find some ideas on this page and its sub-term pages.

Comment by Tyler Caros on January 8, 2014 at 6:56pm

Thank you for the link

Comment by Brent Alderton on January 8, 2014 at 6:58pm

I am looking at getting into 3D printing myself but am finding it hard to narrow down which is the best printer. Could you please recommend a printer that  has a medium sized capability (say min 20cm^3) that is reliable, easy to use (i have solid works and AutoCad experience) that also has a very high resolution?

I am looking to spend under $1k if possible. Thanks

Comment by Dennis Okeefe on January 8, 2014 at 6:59pm

i have a 3d printer and find it a very useful companion technology to my interest in apm equipped vehicles.  when you need some bizarre little part (or even bigger) you just design and print it.  you usually don't get the final product on the first print but usually have something usable after a couple of iterations.  3d printers are not ready to be sold at walmart yet since you need LOTS of patience and practice to use them productively.  it's good to see others are using them for this adventure in flying.

Comment by Joshua Johnson on January 8, 2014 at 7:08pm

@Brent,  I enjoy http://printrbot.com/shop/assembled-printrbor-jr-v2/ In one of my classes this upcomming summer we are building a 3D Printed, 3D Printer and PrinterBot Jr hardware for a cost of around $300! :)  I'm excited to start doing videos on in a few months!

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