Competitive advantage by 3D printed RC planes
The invention of flight has enabled us to explore parts of the world that were once inaccessible. There is something about flying that makes us feel free but there is no denying the fact that the science behind it still leaves us mesmerised. Drones are a great example of the way in which technology is enhancing and improving the way in which we live. There is no doubt that these machines will become an integral part of almost every field and industry.
The way in which Radio Controlled (RC) planes are designed can have a significant impact on the way it performs. The weight of a RC plane has an impact on its flight time – the heavier it is, the less time it spends in the air and the lighter it is, the longer it can spend in the air. A 3D printed RC plane is lighter, has an improved battery life and it performs a lot better during flight because it is more responsive and agile. In the case of hard landing or crashes, the RC plane will also remain stable.
The way in which the parts are designed and made lighter is down to the availability and range of raw materials that can be used. Thanks to 3D printing RC planes and Drones can be made of very light and affordable materials.
“With early planning and frequent prototyping, I was able to introduce new innovations to the market ahead of my competitors”
Custom 3D printed RC planes
For many years, Daniel van Mourik has had a real passion for Radio Controlled airplanes. This passion has enabled him to sell and build them but he is now looking at ways in which he can take this to the next level. He read about 3D printing and decided to find out what it was all about and the results changed his way of thinking almost immediately. The process of building and designing the parts of the RC planes instantly became faster and a lot simpler.
According to van Mourik, “The world of 3D printing is definitely a fun one, full of endless creativity and innovation. I love RC models and in my opinion they are some of the best things to ever come out of 3D printers. Nothing feels better than putting hours of hard work into a project and finally being able to fly your creation, just like a pilot! 3D printing the RC plane parts speed up the building process significantly and opened so many more exciting possibilities.”
Complete customer satisfaction
Van Mourik: “I could 3D print everything, so it was possible to custom-design everything for my customers. Not just the body of the RC planes were 3D printed. The rear wing, servo holders, controller mounts, battery and cable clamps and even shock absorbers for the electronics were also 3D printed.
For my customers this service had an enormous advantage as I could really fulfil all their wishes and they were no longer dependent on the standard retail parts. You can 3D print the spare parts of RC planes rather then having to search for suppliers for the specific parts every time they break off in a crash. This saves you a lot of downtime.”
A wide range of 3D printed RC plane parts
3D printing is not limited to just a few parts. It enables Daniel to print many different parts except electronic components. Therefore, he can design and print the Frame, Landing Gear, propellers, Camera Mount, Antenna hold as well as protective equipment such as prop guards. This puts Daniel in complete control over the whole process of maintaining and designing the RC airplanes.
The technology is enabling him to create prototypes as well as making it possible for him to create certain parts at a low cost without having to lose any level of quality. This is something that has not been possible with traditional methods. With the help of 3D printing, Daniel is able to think outside of the box where he can create unique products that make it possible for his RC models to operate in ways that has never been seen before.
The reduction in cost is down to the availability of materials and of course, the time saved within the whole process. The 3D printing technique is helping Daniel to work on complex parts in small quantities and so, he can create RC aircrafts that have a very distinct purpose. Should someone request a RC model for a specific need, he can quickly design and print the object on demand.
A Defined Future
3D printing RC planes has paved the way for Daniel to explore different avenues of design and testing. A wide range of industries are able to benefit from his knowledge, experience and willingness to develop parts that go beyond what is available on the market.
Daniel has the ability to face different challenges with the confidence he needs to make a difference. 3D printing is accessible, is cheaper than traditional methods and helps him to innovate on a level that he has been unable to reach previously. It gives him the ability to create designs, alter his designs and create prototypes using 3D printers. However, he can keep his designs confidential, enabling him to adapt his designs without concerns over who else could be using it. 3D printed RC planes are making a real difference. Scalability will increase, costs will reduce and the number of errors will be significantly decreased because of 3D printing. Therefore, efficiency and effectiveness increases in ways that has never been seen before.
Results of 3D printing RC planes
What makes 3D printing so usable for Daniel is the fact that it makes it possible for him to create 3D printed RC planes that are personalised and versatile. Whatever the design requirements are, 3D printing makes it easy to create a product that meets those specific needs. This level of customisation cannot be achieved through traditional methods.
Efficiency is enhanced due to the ability to use 3D printing to upgrade the RC plane’s parts. Making alterations to the design is simple and economical using this new technology and that makes it a beneficial option over the traditional methods. The flexibility and speed make it possible to experiment in a way that was once not possible.
Longer flight time
Because of 3D printing the RC planes will spend less time out of action. As Daniel has the ability to 3D print RC plane spare parts, it means that he does not have to search for and wait for new parts to be delivered. This means that should a part fail or should a part become damaged, a new part can be printed in a short space of time, making it possible to put the RC plane back into action.
The flight time of the RC plane is affected by its weight and so, the lighter it is, the more time it can spend in the air (and the faster the plane will fly). A 3D printed RC plane is lighter and will be able to do the job it was intended to do more efficiently, while its ability to operate for longer periods of times makes planning tasks easier.
Failing fast and cheap
“For me the only hard part of the process is the waiting. I don’t always get the parts perfect on the first try, but with 3D printing it is simple to go back to the designing stage, make slight changes and then try again.” Making changes to the design is economical and efficient using 3D printing when compared to the traditional methods. Therefore, it is possible to make modifications as and when they are required before using a 3D printer to print and test the designs. It is then possible to continue to work on the designs until the desired result is achieved. This level of flexibility and speed makes it possible to create Radio Controlled planes that are perfect and work in the way that they are intended.