Tech UPTechnologyThe first airplane to be printed

The first airplane to be printed

avion-impresoraEngineers from the University of Southampton (UK) have createdthe world’s first printer-built airplane, which could revolutionize the economics of aeronautical design.

Is namedSULSA(University of Southampton laser sintered airplane) and is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) whose structure has been completely produced with molds, including wings, integral control surfaces and access hatches. It was manufactured in aEOS EOSINT P730 nylon laser sintering machine, which manufactures plastic or metal objects, using a layer-by-layer process. No screws were used during its construction and all equipment was attached using “press fit” techniques so that the entire aircraft can be fitted.assemble without tools in minutes.

The new aircraft is powered by electricity and has a2 meter wingspan, reaches a maximum speed of almost 100 kilometers per hour, and in cruise mode it is almost silent. It is also equipped with a miniature autopilot developed by Dr. Matt Bennett, one of the team members.

Thelaser sinteredallows designers to create shapes and structures that would normally require expensive traditional manufacturing techniques. This technology allows an aircraft highly adapted todevelop from concept to first flight in just one day. Additionally, because no tools are required for fabrication, radical changes can be made to the shape and scale of the aircraft at no extra cost.


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