Feb.14, 2014

Extreme Flyer, a company that manufactures and sells $99 toy drones, will sell plans that would let its customers print drone accessories on a 3D printer. The company unveiled this program on Thursday.

Extreme Fliers' latest product, Micro Drone 2.0, is the next iteration of the hit sensation Quad-copter. With pre-programmed stunts the Micro Drone could perform amazing aerobatics such as backflips, barrel rolls and somersaults. It packs a birds eye HD camera, sensors and remote so you can take video or photos as it flies.

"Before, if someone wanted a helicopter or a remote-control toy, they'd go into a store and buy whatever was selling. And every year, something else would come out and the toy company would get rich," said company founder Vernon Kerswell to CNBC.

"Now, people can have whatever they want when they want it. It's changing the world. We are going to be the guys who say to the toy companies, 'We're in charge now.'"

Customers can now order the design of the component parts, download the .STL files, modify and print the parts out with their own 3D printer.

"With 3-D printing people can just order whatever they want, and it doesn't cost as much," Kerswell said. "Now anyone can have one because you can just print it. It's just very simple."

The Micro Drone 2.0 has four rotors, one at each end of the X-frame which makes up its main chassis. It uses advanced robotics to stabilize and perform mid air stunts. The drone is very small, it measures just 145 mm long from tip to tip across the X-frame. It's also awfully light, weighing about 36 g.

In addition, the Micro Drone 2.0 comes pre-built with a modular design, so you can redesign new components and reattach to the drone. With the new program, customers can just upgrade their toys with customizable parts, or print the parts in any new color.

The company has sold more than 20,000 drone units since launching its Micro Drone 2.0 last September. It plans to sell 1 million within the next two years, said Kerswell.

Kerswell is intent on maintaining a high level of innovation and forward thinking ideas to keep up with eye wateringly powerful competition in the marketplace. "Every toy company that sees our new program is going to go, 'Oh my God, we need a 3-D printing program,'" he said. "They are scared of us."


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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