We’ve all seen drones, whether on TV or in-person, and we’ve all seen 3D printers, too. A 3D printed drone, therefor doesn’t sound too impressive, considering they require typical mechanical parts. The thing is, like with most 3D printed objects, a 3D printed drone doesn’t exactly sound like a great investment, due to the quality of materials you’re usually dealing with.
So, it was on this general premise, which researchers at the famous Institute of Mechanical Engineering in Beihang University set out to make a drone that could withstand the unforgiveable Antarctic wasteland.
3D printing videos are a dime a dozen nowadays, there’s 3D printed news on new parts, gadgets, and devices being made all the time. But, a 3D printing video shot from a 3D printed drone flying around the South Pole? That’s lowering the barrier of entry for humans in extreme cold environments.
Let’s build a Snow Drone
This project all started in November of last year, and lasted until March, following the Chinese Antarctic Expedition Team. With them would fly six unmanned drones to capture lots of useful data from the skies and get some of the best 3D printing video footage you’ve never seen before on a 3D printing channel before. These six drones would follow and document the construction of an important airport runway by the Chinese Expedition Team, covering over 30,000 miles in the process.
As per Liang Jianhong the UAVs were abnormal bits of gear that took over a month to outline. “In any case, by utilizing 3D printing innovation, they were constructed in just 15 days.” These bizarre creations were just 33% of the measure of standard UAVs, and in addition foldable arms. Outlined particularly for flights in the Antarctic environment, the little drones had no issues with conditions going from negative 15 and -20 ° Celsius temps. Once the UAV’s casing is collapsed, issues could happen with the control framework.
In spite of this little catch, this 3D printed drone design came to top speeds in the reach of 30-40 km per hour on the ice, while tests demonstrated that it was fundamentally solid, with no issues reported.
So, you may surmise that flying a shoddy 3D printed UAV around the recreation center is fine, however the machine is generally totally unsatisfactory for unforgiving conditions like the Arctic. As it would turn out, conventional automatons are produced using carbon fiber material and in this manner truly fit for working in different conditions.
In any case, these much less expensive 3D printed automatons were more adaptable and subsequently suitable for this challenging mission. It would costs three months to make an arrangement of carbon fiber molds, and the expense of normal made ones is 20 times that of these 3D printed counterparts. Also, you can’t change the outlines of those carbon drones. These drone experiments are the first ever 3D printed drone videos to film on Antarctica, and certainly will not be the last of their kind.