From manufacturing drones with lightweight and advanced materials to making complex and sophisticated customizations possible, additive manufacturing is changing the way drones are manufactured. Just like additive manufacturing has revolutionized almost every manufacturing sector, it has brought changes to drone manufacturing with benefits that have impacted cost, efficiency, aesthetics, weight, and many other factors linked to drones.
In this blog, we explore the various benefits of additive manufacturing for drones to help drone manufacturers leverage the technology to improve their manufacturing.
#1 Additive Manufacturing helps reduce overall weight while maintaining power requirements
The drone’s weight is often a challenge for manufacturers looking to increase the efficiency of the drone. 3D printing helps manufacturers create lattices of different materials that weigh significantly lesser than alternatives without compromising on structural stability.
It also allows manufacturers to experiment with different kinds of packaging, reducing the overall space taken by components and resulting in decreased weight.
#2 Rapid prototyping and experimentation of ideas
Rethinking your designs and experimenting with complex design ideas is effortless with 3D printing. You don’t have to spend huge chunks of money to create dies or manufacturing setups to experiment with small changes. Numerous iterations over time can bring massive changes in terms of cost, weight, efficiency, and other factors.
#3 On-demand manufacturing and customization
With drones getting used in almost every sector, customers’ needs change with the speed of light, which means manufacturers would have to be flexible with features and designs. But making changes and doing customizations at scale is not possible with traditional manufacturing methods.
One of the best applications of additive manufacturing is that it allows for mass customizations and on-demand manufacturing, allowing for changes to reflect quickly and at scale.
#4 Use of multiple materials (Smart materials, soft materials, and others)
Newer technologies allow the use of multiple materials to manufacture parts. This includes using smart materials and soft materials to increase the performance of drones.
You can easily experiment with multiple material types to understand what fits the bill in the particular use case of your drone. Speed can be a priority in some cases, whereas cost might be a priority in another. Easy experiments with materials will help you choose the right one for your customer’s needs.
#5 Reduced cost of production
Different types of materials, complex designs, tighter structures, and other benefits of additive manufacturing lead to reduced cost of production. In most cases, the cost would decrease while the performance increases.
#6 Improved performance and design of drones
Smaller and lighter parts would increase the flight speed and performance of drones. Designs that include lattices and other complex structures would help in aerodynamic aspects, resulting in improved performance.
From a commercial aspect, design changes can also be used to enhance the aesthetics of drones, which matters a lot from a marketing perspective.
The way ahead
Going forward, different types of additive manufacturing capabilities will only increase the capabilities of drones and will help companies earn a bigger market share in this growing sector. However, finding a reliable manufacturer with past experience in additive manufacturing that you can rely on is a big challenge for startups and companies currently.
Karkhana.io is a digital manufacturing platform that has a wide network of vetted additive manufacturing suppliers with pan-India presence, access to multiple materials and the latest machines. Simply upload your CAD file of the component and use their Instant Quotation feature to get a price on your part!
Drone companies’ can now focus on their 360-degree requirements by leveraging many features like quick design validation, manufacturability feedback via our expert in-house engineers, project management, transparent pricing, quality checks and logistics. The process also includes regular quality checks, audits of suppliers, order updates and more.
Want to boost the capabilities of the drones you manufacture with additive manufacturing? Experience the future of manufacturing by registering on our digital platform.