Dec.19, 2012

The 3D printed flying crawler designed and built by Flappingwing in Japan is a multi-winged RC ornithopter. The 3D model was created in Autodesk 123D and main parts were 3d printed on Shapeways.

Flappingwing commented on the 3D printed parts: They need to be lightly sanded because they were rough on the surface. The parts were printed by selective laser sintering technology (SLS) which uses a high power laser to fuse plastic powders to form a 3D shape, therefore it is not so smooth as parts from the stereolithography process.

(parts printed with selective laser sintering technology)

(parts printed through stereolithography process)

But it has pretty good dimensional accuracy. The rotation of the crank gear is impressively smooth, exactly the same as the design. However the assembled ornithopter is a little heavier than the original design because some printed parts are thicker.


  • Width: 440mm
  • Length: 600mm
  • Weight: 22g (Including batteries 70mAhLi-po)

(All images credit: FlappingWing)

The 3D printed flying crawler is powered and controlled by 2 motors. Flappingwing made two flight test videos and it is proved 3D printed flying crawler can also have a smooth flight. Watch the video below the flying crawler in action.


Source: FlappingWing via Shapeways


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Tan201 wrote at 9/2/2015 8:46:05 AM:

How are you able to make the "Flying Crawler Mk.2(3D-printed ornithopter)" change direction or go left/right?? You have used two motors for flapping the wing?? Please explain.

-Us wrote at 1/5/2015 3:16:05 PM:


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