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.