Drones are everywhere these days, saving lives, delivering pizzas, capturing incredible images, and more. According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report, the global commercial market for commercial drone applications is likely to exceed $127 billion by 2020 – and that’s not even taking into consideration individuals using drones for their own personal projects or entertainment.
With all of those drones in the sky, it was only a matter of time before drone-related apps started becoming prevalent, and now the first-ever drone-specific app market is launching from DroneDeploy. The market contains several downloadable apps from a wide range of companies Autodesk to John Deere, reflecting the expansive variety of fields in which drones are proving themselves useful.
3D printing cloud platform WhiteClouds is one of the companies contributing to the drone app market with their 3DYourMAP application. DroneDeploy, a cloud software platform for drone users, allows users to upload, process, export, analyze and manage their drone data, as well as to network with other drone professionals for business purposes. With the new 3DYourMAP app, users can now send their drone-captured topographical data directly to WhiteClouds, which will 3D print customized map models from the data in a variety of materials.
“Transmitting drone data and creating customized, physical models of that data gives companies an edge and bridges the gap between digital and physical, driving more communication,” said Braden Ellis, CRO of WhiteClouds. “It has always been part of our mission to help our business partners push the limits and achieve more through 3D Printing.”
The app should appeal to professionals in a variety of fields including agriculture, construction, mining and engineering, as well as manufacturers and even individuals who just want to create highly detailed, full-color physical models of the landscapes over which they fly their drones. Ellis foresees the app being used in the future to 3D print data gathered from other sources such as photogrammetry, LIDAR, and sonar, as well as other 3D content capture technologies that may arise. It’s an app that will adapt.
“Businesses are just beginning to see the benefits of integrating drone-captured imagery into planning and implementing new solutions,” said Nicholas Pilkington, DroneDeploy’s CTO and co-founder. “Partnering with WhiteClouds will enable companies to take full advantage of the technology seamlessly, quickly and affordably.”
3DYourMAP is the latest in a series of similar services, such as 3DYourPLAN for architects and designers, and 3DYourSCAN for medical professionals, that allow for fast, on-demand creation of 3D printed models generated from uploaded data. WhiteClouds, the largest full-color 3D printing facility in the world, is about as comprehensive of a 3D printing service provider as it gets, with the capability to print with 20 different technologies and 200 materials.
While there are numerous 3D map printing services and even DIY services currently available, 3DYourMAP looks to facilitate the creation of 3D printed maps that are much more data-driven and customized to specific industry applications. The DroneDeploy app store, in its first day of launch, already has 20 apps ready for use, but expect there to be a lot more before long – the service also allows you to build your own app. Go take a look. Discuss in the 3DYourMAP forum at 3DPB.com.