Drones are quickly becoming a standard fixture in skies throughout the world. While most drones are small and portable — akin to the common radio-controlled toy plane — aerospace companies and tech firms are building larger, more robust drones to take on all manner of tasks, from delivery to security.
3D printing stands to play a substantial role in how drones are manufactured and deployed in the future. And if the forecasts are correct, there will be a huge demand for 3D printed drone accessories as the robots become more mainstream and we find new, exciting applications for their technology. Here’s a rundown of the ways you can modify your drones with 3D printing.
3D Printing Drone Parts
If you intend to use 3D printed drones as part of your business, or if you’re merely interested in what it would be like to make one, here are a few of the essential drone parts you can make with even a basic 3D printer:
- Drone frames and equipment housing
- Landing gear
- Protective guards
- Exoskeleton attachments
- Antenna holders
- Mounts for cameras and other payloads
There are numerous benefits to 3D printing these types of drone parts, aside from the cost. Accidents happen, and if you break a piece of your drone, there’s no need to order a new part if you have a 3D printer available.
If you decide to upgrade your drones with new printable parts, you don’t need to send your drone away to be worked on. Simply print out the latest upgrades and integrate them.
3D Printing Drone Accessories
Of course, there are plenty of other things related to drone use which you can 3D print, aside from the essential components of your drones, including:
- Carrying cases
- Radio signal enhancers
- Targets, landing pads, and cones
- Tables and displays
- Repair tools
- Sun shades for mobile device controllers
- Remote control unit housings
- Landing gear extenders
Depending on how you intend to use your drones and what you learn in the field, you can even come up with your own accessories to add to your 3D printing list.
Creating Opportunities with Drone Accessory Production
With so many different types of drones on the market and more coming out all the time, there’s more opportunity than ever for businesses to get a piece of the drone industry. Whether you intend to use drones to deliver services to customers, or if you want to be a drone provider yourself, 3D printing can help you harness the benefits of next-generation automation.
Overall, 3D printing provides five key opportunities:
- Reduced costs
- Reduced timelines
- Reduced errors
- Agility in the face of competition
- On-demand production
Whichever way you apply drone technology in your business, you should consider 3D printing options so you can take advantage of these benefits. By tapping into 3D printing early, you’ll have more opportunities to take advantage of the next iteration of this technology.
There’s no better time to deploy new 3D printed drone accessories, whether you intend to sell them yourself or incorporate them into your existing business.