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How I got into Drone parts

Back in 2013 I started a new hobby, aerial videography and for this to work I needed a drone. Drones were a rising market especially the new DJI drones with it's first commercial / hobby Phantom generation, so I both one.

After some test flights and playing around with the Phantom I was not fully satisfied about a few design choices DJI made on it's Phantom product. It had a low small landing gear, It was a hassle to connect the battery and the battery compartment was... well the battery fitted just in and so I started to upgrade my own Phantom by designing my own parts for it. This way I was able to improve ease of use and flight performance which should result in better quality aerial photos and videos.

In the mean time I was also active on a drone forum to exchange some thoughts and I also gained some experience with a 3D printing service called Shapeways where I got my own designed 3D printed Phantom upgrade parts.

When I posted my Phantom part designs and final results on the forum thinks got going, people really liked my designs and where asking me if I could sell them to them. Shapeways offered a in shop 3D printing service and so my Shapeways drone parts shop "MaikelsDesign - Design goes to a new hight" was born.

Check out my shop MaikelsDesign on Shapeways (one of the best selling shops on the platform)
Designer spotlight MaikelsDesign on Shapeways

I think my designs are a succes because they are simplistic and well thought out. I try to make full use of the way designs are possible to print via 3d printing technics in combination with the material performance and possibilities that 3D printing materials have to offer

MaikelsDesign wide landing gear mounted on a DJI Phantom drone
My first drone upgrade was a higher (for when you use a gimbal) and more stable minimalistic landing gear design. To save printing and material costs most of my designs are DIY in combination with easy available existing parts, like aluminium or carbon rods.
MaikelsDesign big battery door mounted on a DJI Phantom drone
I added a bigger battery door upgrade to my shop. Now you could add in a battery much easier and I offered it in different sizes so you could also use a bigger battery (more flight time). The image is also showing my foldable landing gear design with small integrated hinges and clamps so you don't need tools or screws to fold or unfold the landing gear. When folding and unfolding the landing gear this design makes full use of the Nylon Strong & Flexible material performance and properties
Top view of MaikelsDesign foldable landing gear mounted on a DJI Phantom drone
I decided I wanted to design a foldable landing gear in such a way that you safe precious space in your travel case. Where the competition designed foldable landing gears where the legs just fold to the side of the drone I designed it in a way that the legs folds in the direction of the arms of the drone leaving more precious space to put other drone accessories while traveling.
Zoomed in veiw of MaikelsDesign pitch control lever mounted on a DJI Phantom controller
One of my best selling products, the gimbal pitch control lever that you can add at the back of your Phantom remote controller. With this upgrade you can control the pitch angle of you gimbal that is attached under need your Phantom. USP: low priced, two parts printed as one for easy install, integrated end-stoppers so you're not able to break the lever when rotating it to far.

For more designs, details and impression/instruction videos check out my shop MaikelsDesign on Shapeways

Besides designing and selling drone parts I also won one of the first big design contests on Shapeways with a $500 Shapeways printing voucher first price award.

Contest: Design an iPhone case with Graft Concepts
Winners: Graft Concepts Contest Winners

I wanted to design a functional product where I could use the full potential and performance of 3D printing and it's materials. I came up with a handlebar mount that you could easily attach and detach to you iPhone with the Graft Concepts Leverage i5 case for iPhone. The mounted backplate has a flexible arm with a integrated thread for easy mounting.

MaikelsDesign Graft Concepts handlebar backplate rearview
MaikelsDesign designed a handlebar (or stem) mounted backplate so you can attach your phone to your bicycle. We love the functionality, the fact that the backplate snaps in and out of the border means you could just leave it mounted on your bike and take your phone with you.
MaikelsDesign Graft Concepts handlebar backplate sideview