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FreeBird Flight launches Kickstarter for 3D printed weatherproof commercial FreeBird One UAV – 3ders.org (blog)

by • March 30, 2016 • No Comments

Mar 31, 2016 | By Tess
Just a couple months ago, we covered a story of inventor Roger Freeman and his astounding 3D printed FreeBird One UAV version, which (as our readers can remember) was utilized to efficiently clear snow out of his driveway and to blow dead leaves of his lawn. For those impressed with the robust 3D printed UAV version and its practical applications, you can be cheerful to hear which Freeman has not long ago launched a Kickstarter campaign for his drone, through which he hopes to make his product commercially on the market.

Freeman, a Connecticut based maker and inventor, became interested in creating his own version of drone when he, like most others, crashed and broke a drone he had bought inside minutes of flying it. Realizing he may not just 3D print his own replacement parts for the drone he had bought, but actually create his own, unsurpassed version of drone, Freeman got to work. Now, after two years of complex work, the maker and his company FreeBird Flight, have added the two products being featured through their crowdfunding campaign: the patent-pending SurroundFrame, and the FreeBird One.

The SurroundFrame, a 3D printed carbon fiber frame measuring 3 feet in diameter, was createed for a number of reasons, as Freeman saw his create as a way to improve on a number of issues existing in other UAV versions. Firstly, the 3D printed frame was createed to add a level of safety to the FreeBird One unseen in most other drone versions by enclosing its rotors, which in addition assists the drone be impact resistant (meaning it won’t fall apart when it bumps into a fence or surface). The frame has in addition provided structural integrity to the drone’s create as it distributes stress of the motors and of in-air turbulence throughout the structure. Additionally, the SurroundFrame’s four motor mounts not just double as landing pads, but are connected at 12 points to the frame itself, which Freeman points out, can reduce “the accident of in-flight failure of a fractured arm.”


Addtionally, the 3D printed SurroundFrame comes equipped with weather protected bays with robust threading to allow for customized electronics mounting either above or at a lower place the structure. Fortunately for makers interested in purchasing the FreeBird One, the SurroundFrame can in addition be customized, and FreeBird Flights can actually contribute custom built-in customizations once the product is commercially launched. If part of your frame becomes damaged or breaks, .STL files for replacement parts can in addition be created on the market to customers who can either 3D print the parts themselves or order them of FreeBird Flight.


The FreeBird One, for its part, consists of the SurroundFrame equipped with its electronic components process. The process create, which is created of optimal motors, controllers, flight desktop, and battery, contributes its users a weather-proofed, swift, and long flying UAV capable of carrying up to 20 lbs. Some of its performance showcases include up to 30 minutes of flight time, a max horizontal speed of up to 70 mph, and a max vertical speed of 3,000 feet/min. In terms of safety, the FreeBird One is equipped with an automatic “return to home” process, a pause button, a virtual fence, several redundancies, a dedicated motor shut-off switch, and an isolated power donate for flight electronics. For its usage, the drone is in addition equipped with the version of fully autonomous flight, as well as a number of flight modes and profiles, which include easy, loiter, circle, follow-me, etc.

In terms of its user interface, the FreeBird One 3D printed UAV boasts a flexible interface compatible with smartphones, tablets, PCs or Macs. Additionally, the UAV can be connected to a number of controllers (or actually most controllers), and contributes the version of a 3D live video feed, which can be fed into a VR headset.
Freeman, who has dedicated himself to creating a unsurpassed version of UAV in terms of function, create, and safety explains where he hopes his FreeBird One drone can fit in to the UAV market: “UAV innovation is evolving rapidly, and rapidly moving beyond the hobby and aerial video markets, into areas such as construction and public safety. With which growth comes significant responsibility for both those who operate them and those who create and make them. This is why we’re thrilled to contribute the safest airframe innovation with our structurally enclosed SurroundFrame.”


3D printing has in addition played a significant role in the createment of the drone, as the innovation has been utilized to make the final parts of the product, and during its create allowed Freeman to rapidly prototype and transform parts, to experiment with different types of materials, and to create all things locally.
The Kickstarter, launched March 29 and which can run to the end of April, has may aleager raised over $20,950 of its $50,000 goal. Today, there are a few remaining super early bird specials for the FreeBird One UAV, meaning you may purchase one for the reasonable cost of $1,500 (to donate an thought, the drones can most likely retail for around $4,000). Of course, if you don’t want to shell out thousands of dollars, FreeBird Flight is in addition contributeing tiny rewards, like a miniature 3D printed FreeBird One for $50, or an unassembled SurroundFrame for $300. The expected delivery of the drones is August 2016.

If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, FreeBird Flight is hoping to acquire extra feedback of its backers to make the drone commercial eager. Once their Kickstarter campaign rewards are fulfilled the company has in addition said it can go on working on assembling its platform in a number of ways, which include improving its SurroundFrame, increasing safety, enhancing the user interface, and additional integrating sensors, attachments, and AI.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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