3D-Printed Drone Shells

Company: HP Labs (2019)
Team: Jiwon Jun (HP), Tico Ballagas (HP), Matěj Karásek (TU Delft), Rick Ruijsink (TU Delft)
My Role: 3D Design & Modeling, Managing a Production of 3D-Printed Parts

Photo credit: Flapper Drones

The Flapper Drones are bio-inspired flying robots invented by TU Delft Aerospace Engineering team in the Netherlands. It flies by flapping their wings like birds and insects, and it is being developed for entertainment purposes. We collaborated with the team to apply HP’s Jet Fusion 3D-printing technology for making the robots more expressive and robust. 


The main challenges were for making the shell as light as possible and incorporating an anchoring mechanism to the structure. I designed the shells inspired by a hummingbird, and the resultant outcome weighs less than 10 grams in total, including both the head and body parts. Using perforated pattern and extremely thin structures, it was possible to reduce the weight and keep the drone light enough for flying. Living hinges were applied on the sides as the anchoring mechanism, so that the shells can be easily installed and removed from the drone body.

Flapper Drones Flight Demo