3D printed drones

I just found some old prototypes of drones I printed out and want to share my experience with them in a small post.

The first design was downloaded from thingiverse. I printed it out but it never worked out that great because in my opinion the design had some serious flaws e.g. the arms did not fit in the socket because my printer had some inaccuracies.

After that I made my own design and I strengthen it for better durability. Also I thought a hexacopter would be cool. It was flying great, but unfortunately the 3d printed parts were too fragile.

The last design I made was a kind of hybrid design of 3d printed parts and copper rods. It was super light weight and also quite durable because of the rods. However, the feeds broke easily at faster landing approaches as one can see on the photo.

All the drones I printed with PLA and this was the main issue with them - they break so easily, it just doesn't make any sense! Well, back in the days I could really only print PLA with my first printer. After the 3. prototype I decided to just buy a 15 Euro carbon frame from Aliexpress which was way easier. Nowadays, I am thinking about giving it another shot with TPU. I saw some Videos where people print RC parts with TPU (a bit thicker, but weight is not a very huge problem for me). With TPU, durability doesn't seem to be an issue anymore (I already did some field tests and it was really sturdy).


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about me

just me

I am a PhD-candidate from Bielefeld, Germany. My research topics are machine learning and human-robot cooperation. More precisely I work on active learning and cooperative intelligence in a human-robot teaching setting. If you are interested in my research, you can check out my publications here.