by Ann R. Thryft, Senior Technical Editor
I guess it was inevitable: 3D printing has met up with drones in a 3D-printed UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). University of Sheffield engineers printed the prototype drone in 24 hours from ABS plastic using Fused Deposition Modeling.
Engineers at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) designed, built, and successfully tested the UAV as a radio-controlled, slope soaring glider. The small wingspan, fixed-wing craft was created on a Stratasys Fortus 900mc FDM printer, according to an article on the AMRC website. The parts snap together and the total drone weighs less than 2 kg (2.2 lb), with a wingspan of 1.5m (4.9 ft).