Jan 26, 2016 | By Kira

MyMiniFactory has today launched one of its most exciting 3D Design Competitions yet: in collaboration with French company Parrot, the 3D modeling site is inviting 3D designers from around the world to submit their original add-ons and accessories to pimp-out the range of Parrot drones. Winners will receive up to $2,000 worth of prizes, as well as the chance to have their 3D printable product sold in the official Parrot store.

Unmanned Aerial Devices, also known as drones, are one of the biggest crazes in 3D printing right now. The combination of custom designs, lightweight materials, and the ability to integrate electronics, motors, lights, and cameras makes 3D printing an ideal manufacturing method for bringing your wildest drone creations to life. We’ve seen 3D printed drones inspired by Lunar Landers, 3D printed racing drones, and yes, even a 3D printed flamethrowing drone.

Parrot provides technological expertise and innovative development in the automotive, civic drone, and connected objects market. In terms of its drones, Parrot offers an impressive range of flying leisure quadcopters, including the Bebop 2, the Rolling Spider, the AR.Drone 2.0, and an entirely new range of aerial and ground-based Minidrones. Designed with performance, functionality and safety in mind, Parrot’s drones feature precise navigational controls, powerful computers, and robust, weather-resistance structures.

Parrot Bebop Drone

The MyMiniFactory and Parrot Official 3D Printable Design Competition invites 3D designers to show Parrot how they would modify or enhance these drones to make piloting them either more functional, or just plain fun. Some suggestions include designing a 3D printed helipad to land on, a ramp to jump off of, or a gate to fly through—but why stop there? Aquatic accessories, rocket launchers, lighting features, grippers…the era of drones has arrived, and the 3D printable possibilities are endless.

Between January 26th and February 16th, 3D designers can upload the STL files for their 3D printable drone accessories to MyMiniFactory 3D model repository sites. Winners will be determined by the number of likes on their designs, with Parrot choosing three additional winners based on the commercial viability of their designs. The winners will then have the chance to work with Parrot’s design team to further refine and enhance their models, and eventually have them sold in the official Parrot store. The uploaded STL models will also be made available to the public to download for free and 3D print at home.

As a few guidelines, the company encourages competitors to consider designs with a story to tell, designs that do not compromise functionality, or accessories that can carry weight, balance positioning, and maintain the drone’s structural integrity. MyMiniFactory has provided a few useful drone design templates and other designer tools, but submissions should be as original as poassible if you want to win.

By tapping into the pool of MyMiniFactory 3D designers and engineers, Parrot hopes not only to take advantage of the rapid prototyping capabilities of 3D printing—which will allow them to produce multiple iterations of new products faster and cheaper than with traditional manufacturing methods—but also to quickly identify with the kind of exciting and functional accessories and add-ons their existing consumer base wants to see.

We’ve seen origami-inspired 3D printed drones, VR-enhanced hexacopter drones, and even a 3D printed drone break the Guinness World Record for heaviest load lifted. The earliest competition entrants have already been uploaded to MyMiniFactory, and they include a range of top mounts, bottom mounts, and even a Flying Pig mount. Submissions for the 3D printable drone accessory challenge close on February 16th, with the voting period running from February 24th until March 11th.

 

 

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