3D printed the Microsoft HoloLens quadcopters

Our UAV is Online! Unmanned Drones Created By Holographic Design, Courtesy of Microsoft


Two weeks ago Microsoft held another press event for their upcoming release of Windows 10, and this time their focus was on consumer possibilities. And for us 3D printing enthusiasts, there was enough to be excited about. For those of you who hadn’t noticed, Microsoft has been seeking to integrate 3D printing and scanning into the entirety of its product for a while now, and that trend is was continued in Redmond in January.

The main course of the press event? The Windows HoloLens, a Occulus Rift-type virtual reality device that should be a perfect tool for 3D design and 3D printing as well. As you can see in the video below, that cool feature was illustrated by the on-stage design of a futuristic quadcopter. Through a series of voice commands and taps in the air, the cool-looking device was realized in a matter of minutes, suggesting that 3D design could become easier than ever before by incorporating virtual reality.

Of course all of that is pure speculation – will it work as well in the hands of consumers? – for now, but the 3D printing community was certainly wowed by the quadcopter. The same can be said for the designers at Polish 3D printer manufacturers Zortrax, who have decided to 3D print a copy of that Microsoft design on their recently released M200 3D printer.

As the Polish team explained on their blog, “After seeing MS event, our designers became quite excited. The idea of holographic concept transferred into reality was tempting. They decided to recreate the quadcopter based on the video from the event. See for yourself and decide if it truly resembles the original one.”

While their design looks awesome, it’s not clear whether or not the Zortrax version can actually fly; no electronics have been shown, while the main body doesn’t appear to be hollow. As cool as it would’ve been to see it actually fly, this therefore seems to simply be a tribute to the possibilities that holographic design could bring to 3D printing. This is echoed by the Zortrax team, who said that the ability to imagine something and then sending it to your 3D printer is truly remarkable; ‘it seems like a quite promising concept for the 3D printing industry.’ And being reminded of that potential by this design is just making us more anxious about that slowly approaching release date.

by Alec | February 4, 2015

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