Summer is officially over, and with its end comes the conclusion of our 2015 3D Printing Summer Roadshows.
We traveled to 13 cities across 7 states to share the process of designing, 3d printing, and manufacturing our own personal drone. We even flew it (though some witnesses have called it “graceful falling”)!
So the drone might not have been the most aerodynamic or efficient design, but the roadshow content was pretty darn good. I’m a little biased, but this 45-minute presentation taught a lot of people how to make the most of an in-house 3D printer.
If you didn’t catch any of the presentations, you can watch a live recording here: 3DP Summer Roadshow – DIY Drones
Starting with the initial design in SOLIDWORKS , the presentation segues into a discussion on conventional Design for Manufacture (DFM) rules vs. the still-developing Design for Print (DFP) rules before diving into the prototyping process.
Prototyping is still the #1 application for 3D printing today, but we’re seeing more and more manufacturing-related applications in the field. So we touch on those topics too – in fact we created injection molded, urethane cast, and carbon fiber parts to supplement the 3D printed drone.
We cover all those processes in detail – sharing what worked and what didn’t so that you can use your 3D printer in the same way we are, but with fewer mistakes!
And, of course, we sprinkle in some jigs, fixtures, and templates in there as well because those applications aren’t just talking points for us – we actually use them every day to make our work simpler, more accurate, and repeatable.
The number of signups was unprecedented for an event like this – several of the cities required 2 or 3 sessions to accommodate the overflow of guests. The final “presentation,” was actually our booth at the InterDrone conference in Las Vegas.
This conference was truly an international event – we spoke to many attendees from Australia and the United Kingdom in particular. We’re told the legal landscape in those countries, as far as UAV’s are concerned, is more developed than in the United States right now.
But I have to admit, my favorite part of the conference were the times the drone enthusiasts (AKA “pilots”) asked if our drone was for sale. They applauded the design, and I agreed – someone, somewhere did a decent job – but I also admitted it would be a disappointing purchase for them. Drones are meant to fly, really well, in fact, and ours… well, let’s just say it’s hard to be good at everything.