3D Robotics

3D printed planes finally get practical

If Gary is convinced, so am I:

A while ago I thought that small 3D printed drones would not really become a thing. I based this on weight and build size. I could not see how it could be made to work.

I was utterly wrong.

Stepan Dokoupil and Patrik Svida, of 3D Lab Print in the Czech Republic, have created works of art. Scale warbirds and a glider right now but it can only be a hop and skip to making unmanned aircraft that can be reproduced at a low cost as fast as your printer can print.

I cannot begin to imagine how many hours of work have gone into designing these machines.

The thought of being able to email an update of a design or indeed an entirely new design to somebody in the field is delicious. It would create an entirely new sort of relationship with drone designers and customers.

Regulators will also have something else to think about.

I’m convinced locally printed drones have a future. I am late to the party.

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  • I had printed my drones by abs and flied it.

  • Jerry that looks interesting. I remember seeing a Prandtl utube video a while back but never really followed it up. Time to have another look.

    Morphing wings always interested me, and I think with some fancy 3D printing into the structure of the wing, that might actually be more possible now than ever. One version could be made by flexing two wing spars against eachother within the wing structure so that they warp the wing to get the required control surface orientation.

  • Im intereseted in designing a RDS (http://www.irfmachineworks.com/rds/) drive small flywing, with prandtl (https://www.nasa.gov/offices/ipp/centers/dfrc/technology/DRC-012-02...) features in a slicing method with this design(http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1547267).

  • Moderator
    I'm all for feedback and collaboration. That's the main reason I posted the draft on thingiverse.
    I'm far from a competent designer....I just think it would be great to have a collaborative and highly customizable UAS
  • If we're 3D printing how about making the control arms internal, like a real plane?

  • Moderator

    I've been working on a modular design for a little while, but my free time got cut short with a new job. 

    The idea is to have swappable sections and allow the Maker to pick and choose their pieces for their airframe (Twin/Pusher/V-tail, etc).  

    I'm no aerospace engineer, but testing has been fun...


  • Developer

    Has anyone done a study to compare strength and weight compared to the traditional laser cut plywood and balsa parts?

  • for spec plz refer to official website download the pdf

  • Printing was done on an old home brewed prusa i3, and ultimaker 2 with modified e3d v6 head with a custom extruder. Don't try this at home unless you have at least 100 hours at disposal. these kinda design require huge amount of retraction to get the print done.

    I have been doing 3D printing aircraft for years, 3d lab print is an elegant Full Print method and could run your wing load at 30-50g/dm, with 3000mAh battery but no spare for your avionics or payload, the good thing for these birds are very rigid in the sky when doing fast maneuver, but alway buy his latest model, theres also a learning curve himself, for some minor design improvement and print-bility.

  • Nice! What 3d printer do you use?

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