Scientists develop fully functional Quadrocopter with 3D printer

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Scientists and researchers from Nanyang Technological University of Singapore (NTU Singapore) have produced a Quadrocopter using a 3D printer. The special feature of the aircraft: One single step in the 3D Printer is enough for the production of fully functional Quadrocopter. Additionally, the manufacturers used ultra-lightweight material ULTEM 9085.

Quadrocopter spare parts from the 3D printing

3D printers allow entirely new possibilities to not only local hobbyists but also scientists and researchers. There is hardly any area in any industry where the 3D printing process could not be used. Also in the field of drones and Multicopper – both commercial and private – 3D printers play an important role: The innovative printing mechanisms can produce versatile, three-dimensional workpieces in layers that can then be used as individual components or spare parts. 3D printing can easily produce, for example, boom, landing gear, landing legs and whole body of quadrocopters.

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Quadrocopter almost entirely manufactured in 3D printing

 

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3D-printed-UAV

The Quadrocopter was full – produced in 3D printing process – including the electronic components. Only propellers and engines must be fitted by 3D printing. Photo: http://media.ntu.edu.sg

The idea of a 3d printer produced quadrocopter is new and quite innovative. Researchers at the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore have developed such Quadrocopter – even the electronic components of the flight robot have been integrated during the 3D printing. Embedding electronics during the 3D printing process can be an incredibly complex challenge, as electronic components, cannot withstand the high temperatures during 3D printing process. Thus, the developers had additional work to integrate PCBs  that can withstand high-pressure processes integrate of over 160 degrees Celsius. The researchers had big success – only engine and propellers must be mounted to chassis after the production process of Quadrocopter. The full 3D printing of Quadrocopter took approximately 14 hours and they made only three breaks during printing – in order to place the corresponding components in the housing can.

Quadrocopter from ULTEM 9085

Well known aerospace material ULTEM 9085 was used for this 3D printing process. It is a thermoplastic FDM material which has a high specific strength and is best suited for demanding applications in the fields of aerospace, automotive and defense industry. Among other uses, durable car and airplane parts are developed in 3D printing process from ULTEM 9085.

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