Aug 3, 2015 | By Alec

As every regular in the making community will underline, there are almost countless 3D printable designs out there for drones and quadcopters in every shape and form. That’s hardly surprising, as they’re fantastic fun to build and use, but most are quite simple amateurish creations that quickly get repetitive. Professional quality (non 3D printed) drones, meanwhile, are in a very different price class altogether. Fortunately, one Thingiverse user reminds us of a middle way. British designer Steve Wagg has recently shared designs for an easily 3D printed drone that closely resembles the professional DJI’s Inspire 1 drone.

Now to be sure, this isn’t exactly a rip-off of hardworking professionals or anything, as the Inspire 1 drone by DJI is a very high quality quadcopter and the company’s flagship model. That company’s incredible machine comes with a very high quality 4K camera capable of shooting great videos and 12 mega pixel photos. ‘The lens consists of 9 separate elements, including an aspherical element, for extreme clarity, while Adobe DNG RAW support gives you the power to make every shot a masterpiece,’ DJI says of their amazing drone. This 3D printed version is obviously nothing like that, but it offers us more low-budget users the opportunity to fly something that doesn’t look like crap.

For that, in a nutshell, is what Steve Wagg’s design is all about. Blatantly called the Inspire clone, it features a sleep design that somewhat resembles DJI’s drone, but can instead be 3D printed in the comfort of your own home. Unusually for a 3D printed drone, it consists of about two dozen separate STL files, making this a quite complicated build. All parts can be 3D printed in ABS or PLA, though you will obviously need to find some rotors, motors, batteries and all the onboard electronics you desire yourself. A GoPro would obviously be a perfect choice.

If you have a bit of hands on building experience, the assembly itself should be fairly straightforward and with a bit of clever shopping you can build yourself an amazing-looking 3D printed drone. What’s more, programming is about as easy as it gets as the developer has already posted all the wiring and programming instructions online here.

If you’re looking for a fun weekend build, head over to Thingiverse here and download this very cool 3D printing project that will doubtlessly result in hours of affordable flying fun. What’s more, what this drone sacrifices in camera quality, you gain in repairability as you can simply 3D print any part that needs to be replaced – something that doubtlessly provides a much less stressful flying experience. Now let’s just hope that that DJI can see this fun drone as a 3D printed homage, rather than an infringement on copyright.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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