3D printing has been taking on a myriad of challenges and emerging victorious so far. We’ve seen it being used to print guns capable of firing live rounds and we’ve seen 3D printing take on medical challenges and save lives. However, this technology isn’t just stopping at all these benchmarks and is striving to move forward as can be seen with this latest feat which 3D printing is being employed to pull off. Welcome to University of Sheffield here at UK where a team is working to come up with a drone that can be 3D printed in about 24 hours and carry out a number of tasks for its user.
The key idea behind this endeavor is to render the researchers who are stationed in remote areas capable of carrying out a certain set of tasks by giving them access to drones. These drones shall be capable of carrying out delivers, performing reconnaissance and will also prove helpful when it comes to search missions. This could mean that even if they lost a drone to stormy weather or due to some accident they would have means of printing out a new one and get back in the game.
So far the team has come up with a prototype drone that has successfully passed as a glider and has been printed using thermoplastics. The wingspan measures 5’ and the whole drone weighs only 2kg. However, University of Sheffield is exploring and looking into possibilities of printing out drones with much more strength. Supposedly, the material that will be used is nylon. The team is also incorporating a twin ducted fan propulsion system and winglets which will be blended. True that for such a model you won’t be able to print out the complete set of components but hey, you can always carry the additional stuff with you when you’re out in remote areas.
Once the University decides on a design and is successful with this feat; there’s a strong possibility that the user will be able to print out a drone as per the demand and need of the situation at a cost as low as $99. Things will change significantly if this project turns out to be a success because it would mean that everyone will have a chance of putting up drones in the air.