World First: 3D Printing - First Flight of Fully Printed Aeroplane (UAV/drone by Laser Sintering)
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Video courtesy: New Scientist.Original article: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20737-3d-printing-the-worlds-first... example of 21st technology!TRANSCRIPT:"On three, two, one ... launch!"Here in Wiltshire, engineers have just launched the first plane made entirely with a 3D printer. Jim Scanlan and his team designed and printed the aircraft in just a week. In this test, it successfully completes a ten minute flight.Jim Scanlan (Aerospace engineer - University of Southampton): "Remarkable! I am absolutely delighted. And what I am most impressed by is how close the flight characteristics are to the team's predictions".To create the plane, the team first produced a computerized design. It was fed to a 3D printer which cut up the model into ultra-thin slices. The layers were then built up from plastic powder, using a laser to carve out and fuse each one's shape.Jim Scanlan: "The novel aspect of the structure is that it is completely fastener free. In fact, all of the control surfaces have been grown in the laser printing process. So, there are no subsequent assembly operations."Jim Scanlan: "Right, yeah, to the left ..."Even moving parts are printed all at once, making it much easier to produce a plane. The process also makes it simple to tweak a design and re-print it or to create complex structures.Jim Scanlan: "It allows us to explore manufacturing geometry and techniques that are simply too expensive using other techniques. We have a geodetic structure that was used in World War Two on the Vicker's Wellington [bomber]. That was an incredibly high performance and successful structure but extremely costly and very difficult to manufacture."The technique also reduces the cost of producing elliptical wings. These make planes more aerodynamic and in this case they did not disappoint.Paul Heckles (Extreme remote control pilot): "We had a little moment after it came off the launcher because it did not have quite the energy or the airspeed that we expected. So, I was a little bit unsure whether to abort the take-off or to continue. We continued and thankfully, it flew very well."Produced and narrated by Sandrine CeurstemontFilmed by Paul MarksPhotos courtesy of University of Southamption3T RPD Ltd-----3D "3D printing" "printed plane" "world first" "first flight" "University of Southampton" Sulsa drone UAV "unmanned air vehicle" aeroplane airplane aircraft wing design nylon laser sintering elliptical geodesic airframe "no fasteners" UK EPSRC DECODE "EOS EOSINT P730" aviation technology "Weltneuheit" "voll gedruckt Flugzeug" "Premire mondiale" "avion entirement imprim" "Del primer mundo" "avin completamente impresa" "" "" "" " " " " " "