It’s well known that drones and 3D printing definitely make a good pair. Additive manufacturing technologies allow droning professionals and hobbyists to build their own aircraft. With today’s technology, drones can perfectly match their owner’s needs.
Alexandre Labesse, CEO of the French company Hexadrone shared his views on the influence of 3D printing in the industry. “We build officially authorized drones, and offer our services for filming TV shows, advertisements, and movies as well,” he says. (One of his recent drone videos can be seen at:
“The electronic parts come from general public components, such as motors, flight indicators. However, all the components of the chassis are entirely created and assembled in our workshops. One of our main goals is to have a perfect command of our machines, which means we have to fully design and create basket and hull components,”Labesse says.
Anyone who designs filming drones faces many constraints regarding weight, volume, carrying capacity, and conformity to official requirements.
“To be authorized to fly in town, drones have to be lighter than 4 kilograms, and must be equipped with a parachute,” Labesse explains. “It is essential for us to keep a stable and fluid image, but all the existing solutions to take aboard a high-quality movie camera were far too heavy. We chose to conceive our own made to measure structure.”
Sculpteo’s services quickly became the best choice for Hexadrone.
“We’d been making our pieces through traditional manufacturing so far, at much higher costs and longer waiting time. When we discovered 3D printing, we were convinced at once.
“Thanks to 3D printing, pieces are really quickly available, which means we can test them within a few days, and make changes reactively,” Labesse says. “The material we chose allows us to create complicated designs we wouldn’t have been able to produce without additive manufacturing. The 3D printed pieces are also extremely light, are resistant and stiff enough for our needs.”
According to Labesse, the group has now succeeded in launching one of the market’s lightest baskets for high-quality filming for drones. “We have ordered a series of prints to meet the increasing demand,” he adds.
Hexadrone is now developing many projects with Sculpteo’s 3D printing solution including pilots’ and cameramen’s accessories.