3D printing trials of unmanned aircraft at the University of Sheffield broaden the possibilities for this emergent technology
Engineers at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield have successfully printed a 1.5m-wide prototype unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for a research project looking at 3D printing of complex designs.
The engineers said the polymer craft could form the basis of cheap and potentially disposable UAVs that could be built and deployed in remote situations potentially within as little as 24 hours.
Earlier versions required significant amounts of support material around component parts to prevent the airframe structures from deforming during the build process. Using support material adds a direct material cost, and significantly increases build time, in some cases by an order of magnitude. This is a result of the machine having to change between build and support structure heads after each printed layer.
New 3D printing techniques, such as the fused deposition modelling (FDM) used to make the UAV at Sheffield, could soon be used in the creation of products without the need for complex and expensive tooling and the time required in traditional manufacturing.
The UAV has already completed a test flight as a glider. Researchers are developing an electric ducted fan propulsion system that will be incorporated into the airframe’s central spine. They plan to develop the craft for guidance by GPS or camera technology, controlled by an operator wearing first person-view goggles.
Dr Garth Nicholson who led the project said: “Following successful flight testing, we are working to incorporate blended winglets and twin ducted fan propulsion. We are also investigating full on-board data logging of flight parameters, autonomous operation by GPS, and control by surface morphing technology. Concepts for novel ducted fan designs are also being investigated”.
The Sheffield UAV comprises nine parts that can be snapped together.
It weighs less than 2kg and is made from thermoplastic. The engineers are currently evaluating the potential of nylon as a printing material that would make the UAV 60 per cent stronger with no increase in weight.
The Latest on: 3D printed UAVs
[google_news title=”” keyword=”3D printed UAVs” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: 3D printed UAVs
- Russian quad bike raids, 3D printed drones and a lack of ammo: Life on the front line in Ukraine’s Robotyneon February 29, 2024 at 9:33 am
Ukrainian forces along the Robotyne front line are facing a painful Russian resurgence aimed at taking the tiny village that became one of the main gains of the summer counteroffensive.
- Using 3D printing to make artificial eyeballs more quickly and accuratelyon February 28, 2024 at 6:37 am
A team of biomedical and ophthalmological researchers from several institutions in Europe, working with computer graphics specialists, has developed a technique for 3D printing artificial eyeballs ...
- AI designs bespoke 3D-printed prosthetic eyeson February 27, 2024 at 8:01 am
Using an artificial intelligence model and 3D printer to create prosthetic eyes reduces the time required to make such implants, which could make them available to more people ...
- Researchers hack 3D printer to make it ‘laser print’ polymerson February 27, 2024 at 4:54 am
Researchers at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University in Sweden have successfully hacked into a 3D printer and made it work much like a laser printer to print different types ...
- Inside a frontline drone ‘laboratory’ creating new ways for Ukraine’s troops to hit Putin’s forceson February 25, 2024 at 1:27 am
As we reach the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion, Askold Krushelnycky meets members of a battalion in eastern Ukraine using 3D-printed explosive casings to build ‘bomber’ drones to take out ...
- Global Aerospace 3D Printing Market Size To Worth USD 2180.5 Million By 2033 | CAGR of 15.17%on February 13, 2024 at 4:00 am
The Global Aerospace 3D Printing Market Size was valued at USD 530.9 Million in 2023 and the Worldwide Aerospace 3D Printing Market Size is expected to reach USD 2180.5 Million by 2033, according to a ...
- 3D printing is set to redefine aerospace and defence logistics, says GlobalDataon February 8, 2024 at 9:29 am
GlobalData forecasts a paradigm shift in aerospace and defence logistics as 3D printing technology emerges as a solution, enabling on-demand production of mission-critical components and addressing ...
- This 3D-Printed Microturbine Engine Is Designed To Do More Than Flyon June 8, 2023 at 4:02 am
3D printed in Inconel, this 8-pound microturbine engine, shown here cut open to reveal the internal ... [+] structures, may be the future of more economical UAVs. The microturbine engine weighs ...
- Relativity Space to make third bid to launch 3D-printed rocketon March 22, 2023 at 12:50 pm
The unmanned rocket, Terran 1 ... eight minutes on a voyage intended to gather data and demonstrate that a 3D-printed rocket can withstand the rigors of liftoff and space flight.
- 3D-Printed Rockets Set To Blast Offon June 30, 2022 at 9:31 am
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. I'm a journalist covering professional and industrial 3D printing. Relativity Space stage 1 3D-printed rocket being installed at Cape ...
via Bing News