With the growing popularity of drone technology and drone racing among the general public, more and more novice users are looking to get involved in the exciting pastime. Unfortunately, most enthusiasts are at a disadvantage, facing steep price tags and bulky, unsafe designs. The cheapest FPV drone on the market right now starts at a hefty £130, making drone racing quite the expensive hobby and excluding a wide range of potential users. Thankfully, with emerging 3D printing technology, the activity can eventually become less elusive with a bit of imagination. As previously reported on 3D Printing Industry, users everywhere are taking advantage of 3D technology to design and print their own drones, capable of a variety of functions. Innovations like these are opening many doors for all users.
A drone for the people
Designer Ben Pickard is breaking down intimidating barriers with his latest 3D printed drone. Available to users for free download on My Mini Factory, the FPV racing micro quad, named Fiber Fighter, comes to an unbelievable £70 – £60 cheaper than competitors! – including all of its components. Designed with the idea of accessibility at the forefront, the drone combines unmatched durability with precision and control all in to one conveniently compact package.
When building the drone based on Pickard’s design, users will need:
- 4 motors (2 CW, 2 CCW)
- receiver board
- remote transmitter
- onboard Lipo battery
- onboard Lipo charger
- 5″ monitor
- 5.8 ghz FPV reciever
- 5.8 ghz FPV video transmitter
- 600TVL microcamera
- assorted wires
- coaxial cable
- 4 propellers (2 CW, 2CCW)
- 11.1v Lipo battery
- large lipo charger
The Fiber Fighter, which allows potential users to take their racing into their own hands, was built not just for aesthetic purposes but to also have practical racing and flying capabilities. The final design was ultimately printed with Fiber Force carbon fiber filament, ensuring its strength and quality. Having gone through several tests flights and trials, the drone has been proven to withstand collisions and maintain steady, controlled flight.
As a microdrone, the Fiber Fighter is smaller than other drones, allowing for better precision during flight and more complex movements in flight. Additionally, the drone features opposite facing propellers, a unique component not found on other drones in the market. This distinctive feature works to further enhance controlled flight capabilities. A lightweight design also allows for safer and easier control of the drone.
Picker’s design was printed vertically with support for the wings and raft. Printed at 40mm/s and with a 0.2mm layering height, the drone consists of two shells and three top and bottom layers. The first layers required no cooling, second layers required 60% fan speed during cooling, and third layers required 100% fan speed while cooling. During print, the nozzle temperature for the Fiber Force filaments was 240C, while the bed temperature was 60C.
Design your own
While the Fiber Fighter design is available for download already, it is important to have a variety accessible drones in order to further push through existing barriers in the drone industry. In an effort to promote innovation and accessibility amongst designers, My Mini Factory and Fiber Force have teamed up to offer an exciting design competition.
Starting today, competitors can design products – like Pickard’s – that embody practicality, precision and durability. All submitted designs will be made available for free download on My Mini Factory upon approval, and all uploaders will maintain ownership of their products. First, second and third place winners of the competition can look forward to cash prizes and exclusive quality filament spools from Fiber Force. Participants can begin submitting their own designs from today, 22 July until 12th August. Voting will subsequently take place from 26th August to 2nd September. Stay tuned on all the latest developments and announcements with the 3D Printing Industry newsletter!