If you have a dream of making your own mini RC helicopter that can be piloted in the living room and take off on your hand then you will like this: working 3D printed helicopter blades created by thingiverse user tlalexander (Taylor Alexander). His dream is to print a working helicopter on a home 3D printer, but since helicopters are complex machines, he chose to begin with printing some helicopter blades.
Printing these blades required relatively high quality material: it should be strong and lightweight. Taylor used PLA because it sticks well and works well with small layer heights. The blades were edited in Netfabb and printed with small layer heights (0.08mm) on his Ultimaker 3D printer. The thickness is 0.025" (.65mm) so he used a fan to keep it from deforming while printing. The printing process works pretty well and each blade takes about 26 minutes to print.
Taylor recommended to use the "JXD 340" helicopter from Amazon. If you are wondering if the helicopter with those 3D printed blade could actually fly, check out the video below.
Taylor says, "This is my second attempt at printing working Helicopter blades at home using my Ultimaker 3D printer. They work! My first set of blades worked when used only as the top blades, but did not work when all 4 blades were replaced. This new version decreases the thickness (and therefore weight) and also increases the angle of attack."
If you are totally impressed and wanted to start designing your own helicopter, your can find the .stl files for the blades on Thingiverse.
Maybe you could even 3D print the other parts of these helicopters, or make a team with Taylor and others. Hope one day Taylor's dream of making a 3D printed micro rc helicopters could be realized.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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