UK academics launch 3D-printed drone

Unmanned vehicle tested from deck of Royal Navy warship

Tags: 3D printingUnited Kingdom
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UK academics launch 3D-printed drone (For illustrative purposes only) The team used laser-sintered nylon as the base material.
By  Stephen McBride Published  August 20, 2015

A team of UK academics have launched a 3D-printed drone from the deck of a Royal Navy warship, Reuters reported.

The engineers, from the University of Southampton, launched the 3kg UAV from the HMS Mersey, off the coast of Dorset, in the south of England. It followed a pre-programmed, 500m-long route before landing on Chesil Beach.

The team used nylon powder, flashed by laser to make a hardened substrate. The laser-sintered nylon formed the base material for four separate parts, which were assembled without the need for tools.

The finished vehicle, which was named SULSA (Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft), has a wingspan of 1.5m. It was created under a scheme called Project Triangle. The same team tested the world's first entirely "printed" aircraft in 2011.

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