Rotor DR1 Takes Drone-Based Web Series to the Big Screen & Plans to Release 3D Printed Drones for Fans
Science fiction television series are all the hit nowadays, with shows like The Walking Dead becoming world-wide phenomena. It’s just something about science fiction that makes us think and wonder what the world could be like if science were to modify world around us. People like science fiction because, deep down, part of them believes that what they are reading about or watching on TV isn’t that far from becoming a reality. What if a virus was to come about, strong enough to take over a person’s body? Could zombies actually eventuate? Probably not, but there is still that very minimal chance, at least in people’s imaginations, that The Walking Dead could actually become a reality.
For one man, named Chad Kapper, and his production company, StoneKap Productions, this is exactly the mindset that he wanted to feed off of in their recent web series, Rotor DR1. Rotor DR1 is a series that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, where half of the population is either dead or missing. A virus has taken over, and only one in ten people who come in contact with it survive. The skies are filled with autonomous drones and the show’s protagonist, Kitch, is a 16-year-old boy who, with his drone companion DR1, sets out to find his father who may or may not still remain alive.
Season one of Rotor DR1 began in October, with the tenth and final episode being released this past December. What makes Rotor DR1 such a unique series is that fans of the show actually provide feedback for forthcoming episodes. While the ultimate decisions lie within the the StoneKap production team, they rely on ideas from their fans for much of the show’s storyline. StoneKap Productions now is in the process of editing the series into a full length sci-fi movie. At the same time, they are planning a second series.
Providing fans with a way to contribute to the series isn’t the only way in which StoneKap gives back to their loyal followers. They have also now teamed with Ohio-based 3-D Legion, LLC, run by a man named Chris Starr, to 3D print drones based on the actual drones seen in the web series, and make them available to those interested in having their very own DR1.
Starr, who started 3-D Legion about 8 months ago, tells 3DPrint.com that he has always had a love for 3D printing since he was first introduced to the technology. He has been involved with engineering and design for nearly 20 years, and has recently placed 3rd in the Thingiverse Mars Base Challenge, with his design for The Mars Acropolis.
“I am a fan of both sci-fi and horror movies, and discovered Rotor DR1 through a co-worker,” Starr tells 3DPrint.com. “I volunteered as an extra in the final episode. Here I met several key people involved with Rotor DR1. Chad had reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in creating 3D models based on the actual drone props used in filming. It was a no-brainer for me, and I quickly accepted the challenge.”
Starr is currently in the process of reverse engineering the parts and props that were built by a man named John Pinkerton for the Rotor DR1 web series. He does this by measuring the parts with digital calipers, tape measures, and other tools, and then models them using Solidworks. Once completely modeled, he saves them as STL files which he then prints out on a 3D printer.
“Once the files and models are nailed down, StoneKap and Flite Test, both companies started by Kapper, will offer the 3D print files to fans of the series and drone enthusiasts,” Starr tells us. “Fans and enthusiasts will be able to purchase the electronics and other components, along with the 3D printed parts, to complete their own working Rotor DR1 drone.”
Starr hopes to have the 3D printed parts completed soon, and Chad Kapper has already performed an initial test of the first round of 3D printed components, which have proved to be quite successful. You can see this flight test in the video below:
What StoneKap Productions is doing, with help from Chris Starr and 3-D Legion, is really quite unique within the film industry. Everything about Rotor DR1, in fact, is unique. StoneKap may just be onto something special, with their methodology of creating a show driven not only by fan support but fan interaction as well. The 3D printed, flyable drones that look like the actual drones in the film, is just another method in which StoneKap plans to continue paying back their fans with. I have only had the chance to watch a few episodes of Rotor DR1, but have already become hooked, and I plan to finish watching the rest of the series this week.
The official movie trailer for Rotor DR1 has just been released on Youtube, and can be seen below.
What do you think about this unique idea of combining fan interaction with film making, and then allowing fans to purchase and construct their own 3D printed flying replicas of DR1? Have you watched the series? What’s your opinion of it? Discuss in the Rotor DR1 forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out some photos of the 3D printed version of RotorDR1 below
Note from Chris Starr about the 3D prints below: “The colors shown are not the final appearance, as once the STL files are released, anyone can print whatever color they wish, or of course paint the parts. The 3D printed parts are for the body components, and anyone wishing to construct the DR1 model, must purchase the electrical kit for R/C flight through Flite Test. More information pertaining to the 3D printed parts and kit will be made available soon through Rotor DR1 and Flite Test websites.”
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