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Art & Hobbies - Case Study

3D Printing for Hobbyist

Tony Fletcher

Tony Fletcher has been involved with Bits From Bytes since the early days both with machine design and working on the firmware for the RapMan. For many years he has also had a wish to build and fly his own radio controlled helicopter. Previously the kits were very expensive, the parts were bulky and the machines were difficult to fly.

“After being shown the small PicoZ helicopters my interest was renewed and I decided to see if I could print parts for one of the 450 clone kits. They are electric powered complete with a small solid state gyro. The project has started with a design of the rotor head, if that works then there will be more parts to follow.”

“I used my RapMan to print the parts in yellow ABS which has adequate strength to take the loads likely to be involved. The beauty of this approach is the flexibility to trial a design, print it out, analyze it and refine the part all at extremely low cost. It is also possible to post finish parts if required although in this case a little light sanding is all I have done.”

“The RapMan has worked out to be a very versatile machine on which I can produce a great range of parts.”

Tony plans to replace all the plastic components on the helicopter with printed parts and you can follow his progress on the BFB blog.

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