British Designer Uses 3Doodler, 3D Printing Pen to Build Remote Control Airplane and Car

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When the world’s very first 3D printing pen, the 3Doodler raised over $2.3 million on Kickstarter in March of 2013, I didn’t really know what to think. My first thoughts were that someone just raised $2.3 million to create a 3dood-1glorified hot glue gun, but after trying out the device, it was actually quite fun to use. Having said this, the 3Doodler was not an easy art to perfect. My first prints pretty much collapsed on top of themselves, not even remotely looking like the 3D house I had tried to create. After several more hours, I began to get the hang of the device, and was able to ‘3D print’ a variety of somewhat ridiculous looking action figures. My overall opinion of the 3Doodler was that it was well worth the $75 I had plucked down for it on Kickstarter, however, I would never be able to print anything of use. I had concluded that it would take, not only a highly skilled artist to create something useful, that actually resembled what it was intended to, but also require someone with a tremendous amount of patience.

In comes Matthew Butchard from the United Kingdom. Matthew is a research and development lead designer at SAS International, and in his spare time he seems to be infatuated with the 3Doodler, which he backed on Kickstarter last year, just like myself. From the looks of things, however, he has had quite a bit more luck with the device.  After all he is a designer by trade.

All year long Butchard has been working on various projects with his 3Doodler in hand. He has done some incredible work on all of them, but two projects stand out the most.

The 3Doodler RC plane, prior to wrapping the wings

The 3Doodler RC plane, prior to wrapping the wings

The first is a 3D printed remote control airplane, which doesn’t only function, but looks quite amazing as well. He began working on the plane around the beginning of the year, and has slowly progressed. First he built it as a model, and then incorporated actual functionality. The plane’s structure, as well as some of its components, are all printed via the hand held 3Doodler.

“I originally chose this design as it has special meaning to me from my childhood when my father gave me similar balsa wood plane that I never quite finished but remember with great fondness,” wrote Butchard, on his blog.

The completed RC airplane

The completed RC airplane

Below you will find a video of the 3Doodler created plane’s very first test flight. As you will see, it did actually fly after Butchard added weight to the front, via a pocket knife.  There is still some work to be done however.

The second piece of work that Butchard has created with his 3Doodler is a remote control car. This print isn’t quite as impressive as his airplane above, since he took the frame of a £6 RC car and built upon it, whereas with the plane he constructed it from scratch, frame and all.

The various steps along the way to the creation of the 3Doodler RC car

The various steps along the way to the creation of the 3Doodler RC car

Butchard explained on his blog that the hardest part of this build was the creation of the wheel arches. He said that it took him a few tries, but he finally accomplished the look he desired after changing the settings on the 3Doodler to ‘slow’. He also had some difficulty trying to print the roof of the car as well as the windshield area. He decided that instead of printing the ABS plastic directly onto the vehicle, he’d sketch the design he wanted on paper, trace that sketch with the 3Doodler, allow it to dry, and then weld it onto the rest of the car’s body via the 3Doodler. It turned out quite well as you can see.

Who knows what Butchard will be up to next.  If you enjoyed what he has done thus far, be sure check in to see what he may be up to next on his blog. Let us know what you think about his amazing work, in the 3Doodler RC Plane and Car forum thread at 3DPB.com.

The completed RC car

The completed RC car

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