DJI and Shapeways Challenge Designers to Create Better Search and Rescue Accessories for Drones

Search and RescuePhantom

DJI, the world's largest manufacturer of consumer drones, and Shapeways, a leading 3D printing service and marketplace, are challenging designers to create unique 3D printed accessories for drones to improve search and rescue products and make it easier to help save lives.

Unlike other companies that create their own accessories to accompany feature products, DJI encourages creativity and enables its customers to design their own products through its Software Development Kit. Since 2013, drone enthusiasts have used Shapeways to create add-ons for their personal drones and offer them for sale in the Shapeways marketplace.

DJI’s Phantom 4 with its sleek body, integrated camera and long range make it a search drone for everyone. The challenge is to make it the ultimate rescue drone. Severe weather and rough waters are classic hallmarks of ocean rescue, complicating an already challenging rescue operation – finding a person or a vessel in a large area of water. By adding 3D-printed accessories that can improve a drone’s visibility, carry payloads and land on water, first responders could cover more area, cutting response times while monitoring difficult waters.

“This challenge means more lives could be saved with fewer first responders put at risk,” said Eli Morgan Harris, DJI Business Development Manager. “The 3D-printed drone modification products developed through this challenge could make a huge difference – even save lives.”

About the Contest:

Create a 3D-printed accessory that attaches to a Phantom drone which can aid first responders in their search and rescue efforts. The Grand Prize winner and three runners up will be announced at the New York City Maker Faire on October 1, and their designs demonstrated live on site before being donated to the San Mateo, California fire department. The Grand Prize winner also gets $1,000 in Shapeways printing credit and a DJI Phantom 4 drone. Runners-up get $500 in Shapeways printing credit.

To enter the design contest, submit your design at by July 15.