Drones are the latest and greatest tool in the world of Extreme sports. The ability to capture the raw action would not be possible without another hot technology product; 3D Printers.
The AirDog quadcopter drone from Helico Aerospace is a programmable companion designed to follow an athlete as they surf, bike, or board using a tracking system designed to be worn on the users wrist. 3D printing has played a big role from concept development, to prototyping, and like other UAV manufacturers, could work its way into production.
“As the world's first auto-follow action sports drone, AirDog not only grants end-users their own affordable and personal aerial video crew, but goes one step further in providing thrilling footage from distances and angles previously inaccessible to such consumers,” explained Edgars Rozentals, Co-founder and CEO of Helico Aerospace Industries.
The AirDog quadcopter was created using fused deposition modeling technology and ULTEM 9085 thermoplastic material. This particular material is common in the aerospace and UAV industries in order to achieve significant weight reduction while still maintaining functional stability.
In the prototyping stage of the product, Polyjet 3D printing was used in order to meet design requirements and successfully simulate the multi-material components that would be in the final product.
“I’m not sure how we would have arrived at the stage of having a functional part, were it not for Stratasys 3D printing technology. I founded the company two years ago and we’re a staff of three, so for start-ups like Helico, this technology isn’t just a game-changer, but the ticket to the game itself,” ventured Rozentals.