Parrot Bebop 2 Drone Prototype Built Using SLS 3D Printing

Reinforced composite materials that are used in the construction of car and wind tunnel parts and components for racing teams have taken 3D printing technology to new heights to produce parts for the Bebop 2 drone.

Bebop 2 offers very easy-to-use piloting and is powerful with impressive stability and maneuverability even in extreme conditions. Data collected by seven sensors are analyzed and merged thanks to the impressive calculation capability of its onboard computer. Bebop 2 integrates a front facing camera and the pilot can digitally change the angle of the camera by 180° by just sliding a finger on the screen of the piloting device.

Parrot has developed the final Bebop 2 version with the help of Windform GT material. The first Bebop 2 structure was built with injected parts made of polyamide based glass reinforced composite material. Parrot then moved to SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) technology in collaboration with CRP Technology in order to optimize the structural performance without the long lead time and high tooling cost.

Parrot carried out an original development approach based on an experimental diagnosis and FE model aimed at improving the quality of the video during flight, which is usually altered by the vibrations of the drone. The structure has been mainly developed according to that target and by using smart design to reduce weight. Parrot has established that the natural frequencies of the parts made with Windform GT were quite similar to those of parts obtained by injection molding of glass fiber reinforced polyamide.

Parrot was also able to evaluate toughness of the product structure as consumer drones such as the Bebop 2 fall quite often with beginners. Windform GT proved the only 3D printing material able to overcome the accidental test falls carried out by Parrot’s technicians. Parrot highlights others advantages obtained with additive manufacturing and Windform GT material including making small production batches to provide functional products to the team and good aesthetics feature.

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