We have talked a lot in the past about the merging of 3D printing and UAV or drone technology. Whether it’s drones which actually 3D print objects from the sky without limitation, or 3D printers enabling individuals to customize drones however they’d like, the two technologies are going to change the world as we know it, in the coming decade.
iMaterialize, a Belgium based company, which aims to make high quality 3D printing accessible to as many people as possible, launched a contest back in February, along with Autodesk and Flexbot, to see who could come up with the most creative 3D printed drone designs. Today they have announced the winners of that contest.
There were a total of 30 different drone designs submitted. The team at iMaterialize narrowed the field down to the top three designs, and awarded the following prize package to all three winners:
- A Flexbot Hexacopter
- An Autodesk premium membership
- A 3D printed model of their drone
Below you will find the three winning designs.
Pascal Breton’s Biohazard Tracker:
This drone was created in the shape of the international biohazard symbol. Breton designed it to hopefully shed some light on the various possible applications for drones in search and rescue, and humanitarian aid missions. He designed it with Autodesk’s Maya software. Drones are typically capable of entering hard to reach areas, whether it needs to drop supplies or send back video of a disaster area.
Brian Hamilton’s APHID (Aerially Propelled Hexagonal Isotropic Drone)
This drone is quite interesting as it appears almost like an alien skeleton of some sort. The bone-like frames of the drone will make it look as if you have a skinless alien bird coming towards you, if it were to fly in your direction. The design is very impressive, and well thought out.
Tom Willekens’ Octobot
This is a fun design. Image an octopus flying into your home or office? Well that is now possible, thanks to Tom Willekens and iMaterialize. His design is for a green octopus (Or should we say ‘sexapus’ since it only has 6 tentacles), holding bombs. The bombs act as the sockets for the rotors of the drone. It’s very creative and designed for easy assembly.
Overall this competition really allowed designers to let lose and create some pretty cool flying machines. If designing drones wasn’t your thing though, don’t worry, iMaterialize will be launching another contest shortly. Discuss this story at the 3DPB.com forum thread for 3D printed drones. Check out the brief video, iMaterialize provided this morning, of the Biohazard Tracker drone:
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