Freedom of choice
Freedom of choice

The world's first airplane produced on a 3D printer


The world's first unmanned plane, made on a 3D printer, rose into the air — the innovative model of the UAV research lab Airbus, named Thor, has been successfully tested.

The length of the plane, and its wingspan is about four meters. The length of the first flight of the Thor was about 40 kilometers, he successfully overcame the path located in the Stade Airbus plant in Hamburg.

As reported by the developers, all parts to build the plane, besides the system remote control and two electric propellers were made of nylon on a 3D printer. The production of parts and preparing the plane for his first flight took researchers about one month.

Made of polyamide plane Thor was the first in the series — the developers plan to build dozens of models of aircraft, to study the possibility of using 3D printing in the aviation industry, as well as to test the impact of changes in the power structure of the fuselage in practice.

In the future, as reported by the developers of the unusual aircraft will be “printed” a similar model of the unmanned aircraft, but with a streamlined one piece, not modular, housing.

Special attention deserves the environmental friendliness of this production — the amount of industrial waste will not exceed 5% (95% standard production cycle).

In addition, 3D printing has the potential to become an alternative to the full production cycle, since it can successfully replace several manufacturing processes and also will reduce by more than half the weight of the finished parts. New technology allows you to work not only with polyamide — details can be “printed” like aluminium and titanium or steel.

Category: Airway
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Date of publication: 09.06.2016

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