Case Study: Designing the First Drone of Its Kind

December 5, 2016

Though there are a variety of drones, they aren't all made the same way. Careful thought and planning goes into ensuring each drone can accomplish its specific task. When the folks at Matternet in Menlo Park, CA asked NW Rapid to help them build a new drone, we were intrigued. This drone would be the first specifically designed to transport small goods.

It needed to be lightweight to fly, easy to assemble and durable for transportation. To accomplish this, we tried a variety of materials. At first, the plastics we used weren't quite strong enough for the drone. We chose a stronger plastic, GLS 840 for the first batch of drones. For the second batch, we used PA 2201, which is also an extremely tough material.

Additive manufacturing allows for quick changes within the development and design process. Rather than sticking to a plan that might not work, development can evolve to make the product better. This flexibility is one of the reasons Matternet chose to work with NW Rapid. They also appreciated our competitive prices, fast turnaround times for projects, as well as our ability to "come through in times of crisis."

The project turned out great. The drones are simultaneously light and strong enough to deliver small goods in a variety of places. Ido Baruchin, the Head of Design at Matternet, said NW Rapid is "the best partner that you want by your side when developing a product."

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