Jun 11, 2015 | By Alec

As 3D printing technology and drones seem to be a match made in heaven, it should hardly surprise us that 3D printed parts are now also being used modify, improve or customize store-bought drones as well. That is, in a nutshell, what German Artist Kai Bracher has done to the tiny RC Micro Drone, having developed a very easy to use 3D printed shell that turns this drone into a fun buzzing wasp.

Micro Drones are doubtlessly very familiar in UAV circles, but for those of you who’ve never heard of them, these are tiny drones small enough to fit in the palm of your hand (or two hands, depending on the person). Developed by the British Extreme Fliers, they are easy to control, have a long battery life and even features pre-programmed tricks and flight patterns. And with a price of just $100, you can imagine that they’re a big hit. So much so, that a crowdfunding campaign is expected to be launched this month for the 3.0 version of the Micro Drone.

But perhaps most important is the fact that these Micro Drones feature an easily removable out shell, that can be replaced with whatever you’d like. It is a perfect option for using 3D printing to turn your drone into anything you’d like, and that is what Kai has done. ‘The idea for 3D printed cases for the Micro Drone was born on the 3D printshow Berlin  2015, where I exhibited my 3D printed dragondoorhandles and met Vernon Kerswell,’ Kai tells us. ‘Vernon is the CEO of ExtremeFlyers (the makers of the Micro Drone) and he was advertising the indieGogo campaign for his new and improved generation of Micro Drones, the 3.0. Vernon saw my dragon-shaped doorhandles and the first idea obviously was : Let´s make a dragon case for the upcoming microdrone 3.0.’

Kai Bracher, for the record, is a German freelance Artisan and 3D Artist operating from Hildesheim and Hamburg in Germany, and owns the cabrada shop on Shapeways. ‘I´m a graduated Graphics Designer as well as a self-taught metal artisan for over 10 years. I like sculpting and modeling digitally as well as working with an acetylen torch or on the anvil in the workshop,’ he tells us. He is a complete convert to the wonders of 3D printing technology, and he has already converted dozens of his ideas into fun 3D printed accessories.

Watch this cool drone in action here, complete with his wasp suit.

Kai set out to design these dragon cases, but along the way the plans changed to wasps as these are less complex than dragons. ‘And it ended up being the first completed drone case,’ Kai tells us. It took him about four weeks of on and off work to design these cool cases in Zbrush, and they have since become available on Shapeways here. As Kai explains in the clip below, they are very easy to assemble and attach to the drone, and all you need is magic marker to complete the drone’s wasp appearance. They are very fun additions that will only make drones even more fun to play with. And what’s more, two dragon designs are forthcoming, so definitely check out Kai’s Shapeways page.

Kai explains how to easily assemble the wasp attachment.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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yru wrote at 6/11/2015 5:45:28 PM:

check this out (my drone hack): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_0uBppl0NU when combined could loose the effect-spoiling engine mounts. if link fails look for yru2501 on YT.

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