A while ago I thought that small 3D printed drones would not really become a thing. I based this on weight and build size. I could not see how it could be made to work.

I was utterly wrong.

Stepan Dokoupil and Patrik Svida, of 3D Lab Print in the Czech Republic, have created works of art. Scale warbirds and a glider right now but it can only be a hop and skip to making unmanned aircraft that can be reproduced at a low cost as fast as your printer can print.

I cannot begin to imagine how many hours of work have gone into designing these machines.

The thought of being able to email an update of a design or indeed an entirely new design to somebody in the field is delicious. It would create an entirely new sort of relationship with drone designers and customers.

Regulators will also have something else to think about.

I’m convinced locally printed drones have a future. I am late to the party.

This is a tipping point.

By Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.