Everyone needs a little DIY in their life. What better way to than with open-source drone tech? Joshua Johnson of CADDrones.com is working hard to make this a reality with his website and products. Right now on CADDrones.com you can buy drone parachute packages, in addition to all the other open source and CAD goodies there, but soon you’ll also be able to download the files for a 3D printable Multirotor.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. How did you get started in the drone industry?
I’m 23 years old and a student at Hennepin Technical College finishing my associates degree in CAD Engineering Technology. Growing up I always had a passion for robotics and remote controlled vehicles. I’ve always wanted do something with my adult life associated with either of those two childhood passions. I happened to find Chris Anderson’s DIYDrones.com during its early stages. This piqued my interest in the “Drone Industry” because it fits both of my favorite passions and hobbies while still having a great opportunity to make a living and start a family someday. Chris Anderson gave me a great opportunity to learn by allowing me to become the Assistant Administrator of DIYDrones.com! This is where I gained great knowledge in startup companies, drone autopilots, coding, managing, drone companies, open source development, and countless other skills that helped me get to where I am today.
Tell us about CAD Drones and your role there. How did it get started?
I’m the CEO & Founder of CAD Drones LLC and CADDrones.com. My 3 favorite things are CAD, Drones, and 3D Printing Technology. So when I decided to take the route of starting my own company I had to incorporate those 3 things into one idea. CAD Drones was established Valentines Day of 2014. Right now CAD Drones LLC is in its earliest stages as a company. What I mean by that is we have dozens of services, products, and areas of the industry we are slowly going to branch out into as CAD Drones LLC grows. CADDrones.com is what helped get CAD Drones LLC off the ground as far as inspiration. I started CADDrones.com so that people around the world would have a place to share ideas, CAD Files, Drawings, 3D Models using CAD Software and Drone Photography, Tips, and anything else related to the design of Drones.
Tell us about some of the products you design and manufacture. What’s your biggest seller?
Around 6 Months ago I met local legend Ky “The Rocketman” Michaelson through LinkedIn. He was the first amateur to ever put a rocket into space and has achieved and done countless other great things in his lifetime. He owns and operates his own parachute products manufacturing company for various markets ranging from fitness, drag cars, rockets, and so many others. When I learned that he was interested in expanding his market to the Drone Industry I knew our friendship and partnership would blossom quickly. So now the first product we have decided to bring to the market is affordable Parachute Recovery Products for Drones. Our biggest sellers right now are our various sized All-In-One combo’s that include a parachute, parachute pack, and spring pop chute. We also sell our products individually because many of our customers own vehicle systems like fixed wing planes and model planes that already have parachute bays. Also some of those same customers have hatches at the top of their planes that open up to the inside of the aircraft, its electronics, etc. Many times these types of aircraft have open room for a parachute to fit inside of the aircraft. These customers tend to just use a servo to remotely lock and unlock the top canopy of their aircraft in the event of a malfunction.
What advances in drone technology are you excited about?
The advances in high quality video equipment and ability to upload this into CAD Software to use drones for 1000s of commercial industries/sectors excites me a lot. The more diverse types of data you can collect using sensors and Video/Photography equipment, the more industries drones become useful for. Without a doubt though the advance in drone technology that I am most concerned with is the Safety & Recovery sector of the industry at the moment. For the Drone Industry to flourish commercially the Safety & Recovery technology in the commercial sector needs to be far ahead of many of the leading advances that are already taking place. We believe CAD Drones LLC can bridge that gap by bringing together and organizing customers, experts, and companies in the Drone Industry to get this technology on pace with the rest of the technology that goes into Drones.
Are there any recent or upcoming developments at CAD drones (products, services, projects, etc.)?
We have a big picture in mind when it comes to what we want CAD Drones LLC to produce and what services we want to provide by 2020, but they are closely guarded plans that we can’t wait to bring to reality in 2020. However we are excited that we have some news we can announce first here at Droneblog. In our second newest video on our CAD Drones Youtube Podcast we shared for a brief moment the current project that is set to go LIVE in around 4-8 weeks. The project is named the “CAD Quad” which is a 3D Printable Multirotor that will be exclusively for hobby and educational use. Anyone will be able to download the files, check out our documentation, 3D Visualizations, and much more on this project when it all gets uploaded to our Open Source Educational website CADDrones.com!
Thanks for taking time to share about what you’re doing. Is there anything else we haven’t asked that you want to share with our readers?
CAD Drones Open Source Website: http://caddrones.com/
CAD Drones Store: http://store.caddrones.com/
CAD Drones Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CAD-Drones-LLC/729169427102676
CAD Drones Twitter: https://twitter.com/CADDrones
CAD Drones Youtube Podcast Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR2W9w13P7gV7RQ-RloRM3w
My (Joshua Johnson’s) LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caddrones
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