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How to create a 3D printed drone casing/shell

Posted on 2014-12-07
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Last Modified: 2014-12-09
Greetings,
I am building my own drone and I would like to make an external casing in order to make it water resistant. I've heard of 3D printing services so I would like to give it a try in making a 3D design of the case. Since it's the first time I'm ever doing something with 3D design, I would like to know if you could provide me some instructions/tutorials on how to get started with that (e.g. web resources, recommended software, templates and examples, etc).
Regards,
R
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Question by:rjorge
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The drone made successful flights of over 10 minutes with no apparent overheating of speed controllers or motors, which was a big initial concern in a airtight/waterproof frame.

This drone enthusiast made a water proof design. The steps are shown on the left.
Using low cost electrical parts, etc.
His technique and type of parts may be able to give you some tips.
http://makezine.com/projects/wavecopter-a-waterproof-quadcopter/

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Here someone made a 3D waterproof case for a digital camera. The same type materials might work for you.
http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-Printed-Underwater-Camera/?ALLSTEPS
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by:viki2000
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I am not a drone maker, neither involved with drones and robotics, but I have a certain technical knowledge in different technical fields.
If you are a beginner, then here is my view over your situation:
- In order to 3d print the shell, you need the 3d model. That implies that you must design it with a 3d software. If you are not familiar with a  3d software then you started with a disadvantage, because you cannot make your customized shape for the shell. You will need somebody else to help you with that.
- When you have the 3d model, then you can print it, either with your 3d printer or with a service. I would ask about the materials used and their weight.
- For a first time beginner, juts to not lose your enthusiasm, I would try to make a drone with ready made parts. Then you will have a taste of it, you will understand the parts, difficulties and improvements. It is a good point to start.
- Starting from scratch, without any guidance close around you, may lead to many small disappointments which in the end can make you to renounce  at the project.

There are nice 3d models of drones on internet, ready for download, but they cost hundreds of dollars. Still some ideas and models are free.
There are many websites offering guidance, models. teams, forums, ideas.
Here are some found in 5min of search, but you have to filter more your particular info needs:
http://i.materialise.com/challenge/0ced4989-26df-4a6b-9494-eb8018696620
http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/3d-printed-quad-copter
http://www.yobi3d.com/#!/search?q=drone
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:32281
http://diydrones.com/group/3d-models
https://clara.io/library?query=drone
http://www.3dcadbrowser.com/3dmodels.aspx?collection=uav
http://www.intorobotics.com/3d-printable-diy-drones/
http://dronehacks.com/
http://www.simplebotics.com/2013/09/meet-hex-airbot-crowdfunded-iphone.html
http://grabcad.com/library/quadcopter-sm450-1
https://sketchfab.com/sketchfab/folders/b06e17f7617e42389d1896d41322e28e
http://3dmotive.com/series/drone-modeling-series.html
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by:rjorge
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Very instructive.
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