VTOL Drone

From time to time we feature prints that have not originated from our own print lab, but were printed with our filaments. We love to see user cases like the one that follows which show the potential of 3D printing. In this case, our carbon re-inforced filament XT-CF20 was used to bring a prototype for a VTOL drone to a customer in the shortest time possible.


The company responsible for this is nSize, located in Rotterdam. They produced the VTOL drone prototype for Aerovinci in Delft. In their own words:

“AeroVinci is a company based in Delft, whose mission it is to build a fully autonomous network of drones, able to deliver data and services without human interaction. On their delegation to Israel with the Dutch Embassy they showcased their VTOL drone that should work with their drone-in-a-box concept.”

“BerkelaarMRT teamed up with nSize to build this prototype. With a wingspan of exactly one meter, flight case restrictions and a short deadline this was not an easy task. We chose to print this on our Ultimakers in carbon filled filament. This material is strong, creates consistent prints and is easy to sand. We’ve managed to complete this project in just over two weeks.”

“First task was to make the prototype fit in a standard Pelicase flight case, without having to charge for extra oversize luggage. So we had to split the model, which needed to be assembled and disassembled on site without any tools. We opted for some strong magnets and metal pins, carefully aligned. We have had some good results in the past with pausing prints, inserting magnets with our project for Boskalis.”


“With our first split lines in place, we set out to further divide the wing in more parts so that they fit our printers. Respecting of course the print direction so there was minimal overhang. We carefully crafted some extra splits and insert parts to keep all the surfaces as clean as possible. We ended up dividing the total wing into 27 pieces.”


“In less than one week we had printed all the parts with the colorfabb XT-CF20 filament, with only one misprint due to power outage. Next step was to glue the components together and fill up the remaining gaps with some black filler. The real reason we chose this filament was down to the last step; it was easy to sand and gives a killer look!  With some days left in our process we’ve added some extra details as wiring and presented the wing to AeroVinci.”

You can find more information about nSize on their company page.

XT-CF20 was introduced early 2015 by colorFabb and is based on colorFabb_XT with 20% carbon fibres.  This filament is perfect for parts which need high stiffness. XT-CF20 has a beautiful matte surface finish when printed.

XT-CF20 is available in our webshop and through our network of worldwide resellers.