May 26, 2015 | By Simon

Although it’s been said before, 3D printing and drones are a match made in heaven.  The remote controlled vehicles - which have been taking over backyards and local parks around the world while owners record aerial footage or enjoy live first-person aerial views - have never been more popular.  

While the reasons for the sudden popularity in drones are many, the widespread accessibility to 3D printing has helped users create their own unique drone solutions - whether or not they are a professional videographer who is gathering footage for commercial film work or simply just a hobby maker who wants to create a unique feature for his or her own drone design.  Among other reasons, it is also a perfect project for young designers and engineers to learn the basics of STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  

More recently, a project has launched on Kickstarter that wants to provide an entire STEM learning experience - including the process of designing and 3D printing - in a single kit.  

Created by design engineer and educator Austin Kelly, SKYBOTS are 3D printed DIY drones that offers a hands-on experience for kids by allowing them to learn how to build their own drone from scratch using both 3D printed and non-3D printed parts and in the process, learn how each part helps create a final drone assembly.

“When we began working on SKYBOT, our goal was to make hands-on drone learning platform for both students and professional engineers,” said Freddie Hernandez,  the company’s Head of Marketing.  

“This meant making SKYBOT small and lightweight, yet durable enough to take with you anywhere. Intelligent enough so no piloting skills were required, and most of all, pricing SKYBOT at a point that makes it affordable."

The DIY 3D printable drone is the result of numerous software development cycles and design iterations by the SKYBOT team.  Among other design attributes that sets the drone apart from others on the market include its unique hexagon-shaped structure that encourages modification by young design engineers.  Of course, so long as there is access to a 3D printer, the design can be further customized and iterated on by a young designer.  

The kits, which are expected to be delivered by August of 2015, will all of the necessary basic drone-building components including:

  • Quad-Rotor platform for understanding of drone lift 
  • Standardized Quad-Rotor Hardware
  • Hexagon-Basket design to minimizes weight while in flight.
  • Fully accessible control board 
  • Slide in LIPO battery pack 
  • Additional support blades

Currently, the kit is being sold on Kickstarter for just $64 - which ultimately makes it an extremely affordable drone build kit compared to others on the market that can cost hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars.  

The team is hoping to raise $6,400 to put their SKYBOTS into production and those interested have nearly two months to purchase one.    



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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