Jun 16, 2015 | By Simon

It’s been said before, but it deserves a repeat: 3D printing and drones go hand-in-hand when it comes to some of the best modern day Maker projects.  Between the circuitry and various electrical assemblies combine with the customization that 3D printing offers - topped with a growing community and a way to gather and share content - it’s hard to disagree that making drones one of the best Maker activities for both beginners and pros alike.  

Of course, as we seen an increase in interest in drones and the various activities that one can do with them, we’re also seeing an increase in ready-made drones that are ideal for those that would rather skip that making part and get right to flying.  More often than not, these drones start out the same way that any other drone project starts out - through 3D printing.  Among others who have recently taken to launching their own drone company is London-based Vernon Kerswell, founder of Extreme Fliers and maker of the Micro Drone, which just launched on Indiegogo.

As the head of product development, engineering and production, Kerswell is no stranger to 3D printing; whilst still at University at age 21, Kerswell appeared on the British entrepreneurial show Dragon’s Den and also learned how to manufacture products after spending two summers in Shenzhen.

For his Micro Drone 3.0 project - which is seeking to raise $75,000 on the crowdfunding platform - Kerswell aimed at creating a small and sophisticated personal drone that captures high-quality HD video.  Thanks to the world’s smallest micro gimbal - a tiny robotic arm - the camera is intelligently stabilized while in flight.  Additionally, thanks to 3D printing, the drone is also customizable to meet the demands of the user - whether it’s a beginning, amateur or professional filmmaker.  

“The step up in technology and features we have packed into Micro Drone 3.0 offers users a taste of things you would find in a high end device,” said Kerswell.  “We want Micro Drone 3.0 to be usable by anyone, whether first timers or an adaptable drone for enthusiasts. We’re truly excited to share these innovations with the Indiegogo community.“

In an interview with 3Ders, Kerswell noted two key highlights of his product where 3D printing play a critical role.  

First - and as to be expected - was in the design and development stage of the drone design.  In order to test concepts quickly and at a low cost, 3D printing was used to create prototypes from engineering drawings that were created out of ABS plastic using an FDM 3D printer.  By creating the drones this way, Kerswell and the rest of his product development team were able to print and test a concept within hours.  Additionally, the Micro Gimbal (which the camera attaches to) involved multiple 3D printed prototypes of its own in addition to the design of the drone itself.  

Second, was the ability to create a design that provided for multiple aftermarket opportunities using 3D printing.  According to Kerswell, the team exhibited the drone over the past 18 months at various 3D printing shows around the world included the 3D Print Show in London, New York, Paris, Madrid and Berlin with the goal of building a community of like-minded 3D printing enthusiasts who were interested in designing their own custom frames for the drone design.  The final design of the drone is engineered to be modular and will consist of six frame options with the ability to have more designs added over time.

Whether a user plans on using the drone to capture impressive panning shots or simply wants to enjoy the pilot experience using a Google Cardboard VR or other VR device, the Micro Drone 3.0 is surely among one of the better drone designs that we’ve seen to date.  

Micro Drone 3.0 is available to back on Indiegogo starting at $150. Special pricing includes the Drone, Camera and First Person View headset. Additional accessories such as gimbal, batteries, expansion packs and propellers will also be available to order.  



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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vali Fadaie wrote at 1/11/2016 7:59:01 PM:

Where can I buy Extreme Drone 3.0? Thanks

Anthony Stanton wrote at 9/20/2015 6:51:31 AM:

Very nice.

Jace wrote at 8/17/2015 2:22:10 AM:

Where can I buy one

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