Today we bring you another exciting aerospace application that shows where additive manufacturing is headed for end-use parts. Aurora Flight Sciences teamed up with Stratasys to create a UAV (unmanned aircraft or drone) using 80% 3D printed parts. The result? A mere 33-pound vehicle with a 9-foot wingspan and 150+MPH flight speed. What’s more impressive is the project design and build time were cut 50% over traditional methods.
How did they do it? To begin, it is notable that multiple additive manufacturing techniques including fused deposition modeling (FDM), laser sintering (SLS) and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) were used in tandem. One of the FDM materials of choice was ASA—a thermoplastic with performance characteristics superior to ABS, but similar cost and ease of use with soluble support. With it, designers have increased freedom, such as incorporating wiring pathways and even assemblies that are created inside the printer.Read More