Acquisitions, Mergers & PartnershipsDrones/UAV

Third Element Aviation turns to 3D printing for drone customization

The collaboration with Fiberthree and Thought3D's Drywise aims to enhance 3D printing reliability and quality assurance for the prototyping and production of end-use drone components

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Third Element Aviation, a prominent drone producer in Germany, has partnered with Fiberthree, a leading producer of high-end nylon filaments for 3D printing, and Thought3D, known for the Magigoo bed adhesives and Drywise in-line filament dryer. The collaboration aims to enhance 3D printing reliability and quality assurance for the prototyping and production of end-use drone components.

The evolution of drones – from flying cameras to indispensable assets – across sectors such as agriculture, entertainment, and emergency response has driven the need for custom-designed drone components. This customization, both in design and functionality, aligns with the rise of industrial desktop 3D printers, which offer affordable tailored drone parts. However, while affordability is key, the strength and reliability of these components are non-negotiable. Carbon-filled nylons have emerged as robust materials, yet their susceptibility to moisture absorption presents challenges to their integrity. Manufacturers continue to improve these materials, but external factors continue to influence their performance.

Manufacturers produce high-quality filaments, but user environments, improper handling, and inadequate drying equipment impact filament quality. These challenges can affect filament integrity, complicating the process of achieving flawless parts. The collaborative efforts of Third Element Aviation, Drywise by Thought3D, and Fiberthree aim to address these challenges.

Third Element Aviation turns to 3D printing for drone customization, in collaboration with Fiberthree and Thought3D's Drywise.
A drone part on the print bed.

Case study

Third Element Aviation faced challenges in producing consistent, high-quality drone components for their Auriol drones. These drones, known for their adaptability and performance, required parts with impeccable strength and precision.

By incorporating Fiberthree’s advanced materials and Drywise’s innovative in-line filament dryer, Third Element Aviation witnessed a transformative enhancement in part quality and reliability. This integration resulted in superior drone strength, precision, and functionality. The in-line drying process ensures uniformity and eliminates batch inconsistencies. The approach also minimizes waste, enhances production rates, and reduces costs. This collaboration highlights the significance of proper filament handling, the value of innovative technologies like in-line drying, and the amplified results from expertise synergy.

As 3D printing continues to evolve, solutions like in-line drying could pave the way for new applications where critical part quality assurance is paramount.

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