It’s well known that drones and 3D printing definitely make a good pair. Additive manufacturing technologies allow droning professionals and hobbyists to build their own aircraft. With today’s technology, drones can perfectly match their owner’s needs. Alexandre Labesse, CEO of the French company Hexadrone shared his views on the influence of 3D printing in the industry.
In the words of Alexandre Labesse: “We build officially authorized drones, and offer our services for filming TV shows, advertisements, and movies as well. One of our recent drone videos can be seen at: http://www.sculpteo.com/blog/2014/09/01/drones-3d-printed-parts-sculpteo-gets-air-hexadrone/
“The electronic parts come from general public components e.g. motors, flight indicators. However, all the components of the chassis are entirely created and assembled in our workshops. One of our main goals is to have a perfect command of our machines, which means we have to fully design and create basket and hull components.”
Anyone who designs filming drones faces many constraints regarding weight, volume, carrying capacity, and conformity to official requirements.
4 Kilograms Max and Don’t Forget the Parachute
“To be authorized to fly in town, drones have to be lighter than 4 kilograms, and must be equipped with a parachute. It is essential for us to keep a stable and fluid image, but all of the existing solutions to take on aboard a high quality movie camera were far too heavy. We chose to conceive our own made to measure structure.”
Printing in 3D instead of manufacturing
Sculpteo’s services, www.sculpteo.com quickly became the best choice for Hexadrone. “We’d been making our pieces through traditional manufacturing so far, at much higher costs and longer waiting time. When we discovered 3D printing, we were convinced at once.
“Thanks to 3D printing, pieces are really quickly available, which means we can test them within a few days, and make changes reactively. The material we chose allows us to create complicated designs we wouldn’t have been able to produce without additive manufacturing. The 3D printed pieces are also extremely light, are resistant and stiff enough for our needs.
“We have now succeeded in launching one of the market’s lightest baskets for high quality filming for drones. We have ordered a series of prints to meet the increasing demand.”
Hexadrone is now developing many projects with Sculpteo’s 3D printing solution, including pilots’ and cameramen’s accessories.
Sculpteo is an online 3D printing service based in San Francisco and Paris. They are one of the world’s largest 3D printers, offering on-demand 3D printing of individual products as well as short-run manufacturing. They have 45 materials, colors, and finishes available, plus superior file analysis and repair. Their factories use only professional printers and provide fast turnaround with worldwide delivery. Sculpteo was founded in 2009. For more information please visit: www.sculpteo.com