3D printing has existed in industry since the 1980s, but it has only been recently where 3D printing has been widely adopted, in industry and in people’s homes. 3D printing technologies now range from producing productions parts, to prototyping, printing materials such as plastic, carbon fibre, and even materials such as metal or food. We at Defiant Labs are always open to new technologies, and we found a case to apply this technology to solve a problem we faced.
As shown at The International UAV Show, we put on display a visual model of the DX-3. Our initial design for the ducted fans were meant for visual purposes, not intended to be dropped from a height of around 1.5m. However, during transport to various shoots and shows, the ducted fan fell. We suspect our Canadian winter reduced the temperature of the part, causing a brittle failure of the plastic.
To strengthen the part from future mishandlings and potential drops, the outer rim was thickened, and bosses were added so that the component fit better in the model, as they were slightly undersized.
Taking advantage of the high number of high quality consumer 3D printers, we used a website called 3Dhubs.com to print our part. They have an intuitive website to upload your model, and a number of local vendors that can print within your budget, and in a variety of materials. For the number of pieces, we printed below, it took only 3 days!
For two iterations of designing, modeling, and printing, it took less than a week. Despite the fast turnaround time, the cost to print ranged from around $200-$500, which is reasonable for low volume use, but can start to rise in costs when we start to prototype, and need higher volume production.
As a result, we plan to purchase the Raise3D N2 + for prototype use. It has a large build volume, an easy to use software, as well as great features such as printing through Wifi, print resuming after power outages, and a full enclosure. We plan to do a lot of prototyping and testing over the next couple months, so stay tuned here at The Sky Guys blog to see more new about our upcoming projects.