The 3D print takes wing with Flytop
Flytop: 3D printed drones
Over the past years we assisted to an ever increasing use of drones, the remote controlled aircrafts, for the creation of topographic and geological surveys.
Flytop, a start-up based in Rome, is one of the excellences on its field internationally. Made up of a passionate team of aerospace engineers, Flytop manufactures fixed-wing and multi-rotor drones that are used even for fire managing and prevention, intelligence operations and for military purposes. All Flytop aircrafts are ENAC certified, as well as the pilots courses held by the company.
Such an highly innovative field, expects continuous product developments and requests for frequent customizations. For this reason, Flytop found in 3D printing an important ally; thanks to the 3D printing and scanning technologies it is now possible to create components with an high mechanical strength in just few hours, significantly speeding the design and manufacturing process. Most of the parts are made of ABS or PLA, while for the smallest or metal details they use the 3DZ’s Multijet or SLM technologies.
Now the Group counts 10 locations in Italy and provide certified assistance to all its customers in the country.
“We contacted the 3DZ branch located in Rome about a year ago” says Gabriele Santiccioli, owner of the company. “Mr. Niro has consistently followed us along the path that led to the knowledge of materials and technologies. After gathering all the information, we chose the CubePro printer. We were already interested on 3D printing and when we realized the opportunity to equip ourselves with a reliable printer at a low price, our choice definitely turned on the CubePro. We immediately recognized the possibilities of this 3D printer and then we immediately started to create the details of our drones without the help of external professionals”.
What has changed?
For Flytop advantages have been obvious right away.
Santiccioli: “The CubePro opened us horizons unthinkable until a few months ago. The 3D printer enables us to perfectly customize the product according to customer specifications. Our business had also significant economic benefits from the drastic reduction of product’s time-to-market”.
The new water-soluble support material Infinity is a more recent introduction: “We tested it with a certain curiosity, and now we can no longer do without it. The new water-soluble support material increases the CubePro construction capabilities up to include complex and jagged geometries. The removal is much easier compared to the traditional materials and also the surfaces in contact with the support remain smooth”.
Purchasing a 3D modeler is only the beginning of the partnership between 3DZ and Flytop, which has also led to a joint participation at the Rome Drone 2015 fair.
According to Santiccioli, 3D printing is the future of the manufacturing processes and his corporate strategy foresees the acquisition of a professional printer.
“The CubePro opened us new horizons, but we realize that 3D printing deserves to be used to the fullest extent in order to increase the quality and quantity of pieces made, including parts exposed to usury or high temperatures. The Projet3510 will be the printer that suits us best and I cannot hide that one of our short-term goals is to build a drone printed entirely in 3D, as well with the help of the two printers we already own”.
So, a big thank you to Flytop that, with its vocation for innovation, contributed in sharpening the already reduced gap between the designer’s idea and its practical implementation.