Auckland, New Zealand
Onyx, Continuous Carbon Fiber
Electronics, Medical, and Product Development
Auckland-based Dotterel develops noise-reduction and audio recording solutions for aerial drones. The noise of drone propellers presents multiple challenges for various industries, and Dotterel is the only company currently building technology to address this. Their solutions include propulsion systems designed for low noise, safer and efficient flight, and also unique microphone payloads and noise filtering software for capturing intelligible audio directly from the drone in real-time. Dotterel’s solutions are important for public safety, security, and entertainment, although the technology applies across nearly every industry utilizing drones. This technology got the attention of the Los Angeles Fire Department, who wanted to deploy drones to scout burning high-rises and find trapped occupants.
Dotterel's engineers confronted this one-of-a-kind use case with Markforged 3D printers. They found that Onyx reinforced with continuous carbon fiber was perfect for their drone — it’s strong, far lighter than aluminum, and heat resistant. As a result, they quickly outfitted their drone with a wide variety of Markforged parts, including the microphone mount, electronics covers, and motor mounts. Anita Frost, Research Technician at Dotterel, was especially impressed with the fast fabrication times, finding that they could “rapidly reproduce the part in-house for fine tuning”. The final drone that Dotterel manufactured performed flawlessly in test conditions and flew for far longer due to weight savings from the 3D printed parts.