A Drone that combines Laser Cutting and 3D Printing!
Posted By Hannah Bensoussan on Jul 13, 2016 | 0 comments
Now that laser cutting is available at Sculpteo, you’ll be able to incorporate laser cut elements into your projects, and associate them with 3D printing! Here we present you a drone whose frame is entirely 3D printed and laser cut, with a wingspan of 450mm for a weight of only 200g.
3D printed shell and motor mounts: solidity, lightness, and freedom in design
SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) 3D Printing allows to create shapes very freely and to give your parts strength and lightness, complex geometries, hollow shapes and hinges. Our drone’s shell weights only 35g thanks to its thin 1mm lining. It remains very rigid nonetheless, thanks to its spheroidal shape and peripheric edge (difficult to obtain with casting or thermoforming because of the undercuts) as well as structuring veins. Using the sintering process means not needing to deal with unmoulding issues or thickness variations, and being able to incorporate fittings, pre-drillings for the screws, veins and cable passageways into one monoblock element.
The motor mounts are also 3D printed. They both hold the motors and serve as landing skids, as polyamide is highly hard-wearing.
They also unite the different parts of the drone’s arms. The precision of 3D printing and laser cutting enables to imagine all sorts of assemblies, using clips, fittings or screws.
Laser cut arms and hood: more economical, and with a wider range of materials
However, sintering has its limits, especially when it comes to dimensions and cost. Therefore, flat and large parts are considerably more interesting when cut into a sheet of material (with laser cutting, the price is affected more by the working time than by the object’s dimensions).
The drone’s arms and its hood are laser cut into a 3mm thick black PMMA sheet. Each arm is made of 3 elements, assembled to constitute a structuring girder, which incorporates the motors cables passageways.
Laser also enables the use of other families of materials, like wood (plywood, medium), cardboard or PMMA, and to take advantage of their various properties. In the case of the drone, it becomes possible to cut the hood into poplar plywood, which makes it lighter (20g instead of 53g). Laser engraving enables to add a logo, information, markings for installation or other types of markings.