Team Makes UAV In One Week With 3D Printing

This story was linked from the AIAA Daily Launch; I thought it would be of interest.

New Scientist (7/28, Marks) reports on how a team led by Andy Keane and Jim Scanlan of the University of Southampton "believes that 3D printing will soon allow... UAVs to go from the drawing board to flight in a matter of days," allowing designers to custom develop UAVs for a "specific application." The team joined with 3T RPD to see how quickly a drone could be made with "a number of design constraints" and a budget of £5000.
The Sulsa drone "took just two days to design and a further five days to print, making Sulsa a one-week plane. But customising future variants of this ready made design would take minutes on automated design software, says Scanlan."


  1. Some of our local Dayton tech folks made NPR:
    Doctoral Candidates Working On "Bio-Inspired" Drones
    (8/16, Adams) "All Things Considered" reported, "At the Wright–Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, some Ph.D. candidates are working on micro air vehicles, or tiny flying machines that are remotely piloted." These are "bio-inspired" as they are based on flying insects and birds. One candidate "is working on a system that would let the micros steal power from utility lines" while another is developing a UAV "the size of your thumb." The Air Force, according to the article, "doesn't know how it'll be used."