The following is an excerpt from Rick Stella | November 10, 2015 | Foxnews.com |
The rapidly advancing industries of 3D printing and drone technology continue to innovate at breakneck speeds, and just this past weekend, a group of engineers raised the bar even higher. During an exhibition at the Dubai Airshow, researchers from the aviation company Aurora Flight Sciences and the professional 3D printing firm Stratasys Limited officially unveiled the world's first 3D-printed jet-powered aircraft. Weighing in at a massive 33 lbs., the UAV flies at an astounding 150 miles per hour, making it the world's fastest and largest 3D-printed drone.
According to the team, the goal of the project was to demonstrate the efficiency of designing, printing, and flying 3D-printed aircraft. Aurora Flight Sciences engineer Dan Campbell points out the build time for this record-breaking drone was roughly 50 percent less than that of previous projects, with 3D-printing accounting for around 80 percent of the drone's design. By making use of several different printing techniques -- filament extrusion, laser sintering, and laser melting tech -- Aurora was able to deliver on its intent of creating a revolutionary jet-powered drone.
"Recently we decided to really see how far we could push the envelope," says Campbell in the video posted above. "No one has 3D-printed an aircraft this big, this fast, and this complex."
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