BigRep Showcases Largest 3D Printed Quadcopter

The Berlin-based tech startup BigRep has printed the largest FDM-3D printed drone in the world: DUSTER. The market and technological leader for large-scale serial 3D printing has produced an ultra-light, stable and with carbon threads reinforced copter drone frame with the BigRep ONE, the world's largest serial 3D printer. With dimensions of 220x190x60cm, the drone's copter frame is designed to accommodate eight electric motors, each with up to 3.8kW. The load capacity of the DUSTER is 40 to 60kg. If this full capacity is utilized, the flight time is between seven and forty minutes; with the use of further batteries it can be extended up to seventy minutes.

The drone nicknamed DUSTER is officially called OIC Copter System # 42 OT. The "OT" stands for "organic tensegrity" and describes both the organic design of the 3D printed components that form the core of the copter frame, as well as the carbon threads absorbing the frame’s tension – both while the drone is stationary and in flight. The combination of the thin-walled, hollow 3D printed parts and the carbon threads is essential for the stability and function of a ultra-light drone of this size: The printed parts are particularly well adapted to absorbing high pressure but not at performing bending and pulling motions; however the carbon threads contribute enormously to handling pulling forces. By combining the two materials, the shortcomings of the individual materials are perfectly balanced, which enhances the advantages of both.

DUSTER was jointly developed with the drone specialist Robert Reichert of OiC Drones, the first full-service drone provider. The engineer and industrial designer experimented early on with systems that could carry cameras in the air in a stable manner. With OiC, he focuses on manufacturing highly specialized flying robots. So far, DUSTER is the largest drone, which Reichert has been involved in the construction of: "Without the BigRep ONE, producing a drone of this size would not have been possible. Large-scale 3D printing allows us to think of completely new dimensions when it comes to building drones. I am very proud to have been involved in the development of DUSTER, since this drone has established a completely new benchmark."

The 3D printed copter frame for the DUSTER is very versatile as a platform and is among other things particularly suitable for use in the industrial and agriculture sectors. In the latter, the drone could be utilized for a controlled, semi-autonomous delivery of fertilizers and biological pesticides. Moreover, the drone can be used for example in the sustainable cultivation of wine.

For more information, visit: www.bigrep.com

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