Competitive advantage by 3D printing custom parts for drones
“With early planning and frequent prototyping, your company will be able to introduce new innovations to the market ahead of your competitors”
The allure of flight has always captured the human spirit of freedom, exploration and ingenuity. With 3D printing reaching an unprecedented level of accessibility, that same spark can now be explored by everyone! Drones are now setting examples of how the technology is going to improve our everyday life. In the future drones will be an integral part of possibly every field. 3D printers are creating 3-dimensional physical objects directly from the 3D design, making Drones affordable and accessible. Almost every industry has started evaluating and adopting the technology to reap its benefits.
The weight of a drone affects its flight time. The lighter the drone is, the longer it flies. A light drone has improved battery life, is more responsive and agile during the flight. It also remains stable in case of hard landings or crashes. The 3D Printed parts are made lighter by optimizing the design structures to carry the required weight. The choice of raw material used for 3D Printing also plays an important role in making the parts light.
Challenge and solution
Custom 3D drone models
Daniel van Mourik always had a passion for radio controlled airpcrafts. He has been selling and building them for a few years now, but decided to take things to the next level.
After reading about 3D printing and giving it a try for himself, it changed his whole world. The entire process of building and designing the airplane parts became so much faster and easier. According to van Mourik, “The world of 3D printing is definitely a fun one, full of endless creativity and innovation. I love drones and in my opinion it 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! It sped up the building process significantly and opened so many more exciting possibilities.”
Ultimate 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 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 fulfill all their wishes and they were no longer dependent on the standard retail parts. You can 3D Print the hard to find spare parts of your drones rather than running in search for them every time they break off in a crash. This would save you from a lot of downtime.”
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 back to the designing stage, make slight changes and then try again.” Design iterations are very economical with the technology as compared to the traditional ways. This brings in the scope of making many modifications in the 3D design, 3D Printing them and testing the 3D Printed parts till the desired result is achieved. Flexibility and speed do not stand in the way of the experiment.
Thanks to the fast process of 3D printing and its low cost, Daniel can continue his streak of improvements.
Customized modeling is made possible with 3D printing, as anything can be 3D modeled with the right skillset.
Manufacturing is automatized and requires little manual labor after the designing phase.
It is simple to go back to the designing stage in order to make slight changes and then try again for the perfect print.
Material costs are low and prototypes can be used as final products.
Very innovative design is kept in-house, so there is no need to worry about confidentiality any longer.