Oct 19, 2015 | By Kira

The use of drones by governments, military bodies and private corporations is increasingly controversial. On the one hand, they can be used to diffuse terrorists with little direct risk to soldiers, saving lives all around. On the other hand, recent documents leaked from the US government reveal that civilians often end up in the line of fire; with up to 90% of people killed by US drone strikes not the actual targets. In Japan, it has been made illegal for civilians to fly drones near the Parliament or political centres after a man protesting the use of nuclear power landed an unmanned aircraft carrying radioactive sand on the Prime Minister’s roof. To prove that not all drones have to be dangerous or threatening—that they in fact, can even be creative and beautiful—Japanese electronics maker Rohm Semiconductor has created the Lazurite Fly, an origami-style remote controlled aerial device powered by the first ultra-energy saving microcomputer board, and an extremely lightweight 3D printed nylon body.

Unveiled at this year’s CREATEC 2015 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies trade show), the Lazurite Fly is, aesthetically, unlike any drone you’ve seen before. Rather than a hexacopter design or space-lander body, the Lazurite—also called, Orizuru—was inspired by the ancient Japanese art of paper folding and modelled after the classic origami crane. When set in motion, the bird’s wings actually flap up and down, as it gracefully hovers and darts around the room, much more like a real bird than the alien-like war drones we’re used to. From a technical point of view, this Japanese creation is also redefining current drone standards.

The Lazurite Fly is powered by ‘Lazurite Sub-GHz’, which according to creators LAPIS Semiconductor, a subsidiary of Rohm, is the world’s first ultra-energy saving microcomputer board. Compared to other popular control boards, such as Arduino, the Lazurite Sub-GHz can reduce energy consumption by approximately 90%, with a computer size no bigger than your average SD card. It also communicates via the 920Mhz radio band, known for excellent energy saving characteristics. These kinds of energy savings can translate to long battery lives for a host of Internet of Things objects or ideas. The origami drone in question, for example, can fly up to five minutes at a time on a single battery charge. To ensure the lightest possible construction, allowing for smoother and longer flight, the remote-controlled crane consists of a 3D printed exoskeleton made from nylon filament. Along with an ultra-light motor to power each wing, the entire creation weighs in at only 31 grams.

Images via Ubergizmo and Japanista

After three months of design and iterations, Rohm has announced that they plan to release the 3D printable files to the public, so that they can be printed and assembled at home. While war drones are still undoubtedly controversial, the Lazurite Fly’s elegant design and energy-saving technology could help UAV’s overcome their current stigma both in Japan, and abroad, while proving that even devices conceived for military use can be re-envisioned and re-designed in creative and aesthetically-pleasing ways. Technology doesn’t define its own uses, after all—we as human creators do.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive