3D-Printing for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

Additive Manufacturing by EOS enables maximum design freedom and is an ideal production method for Rapid Prototyping and small production runs  

   
Geodetic structures to reinforce UAV design Material: PA 2200 (Source: partnership between University of Southampton (principal designers) and 3T RPD Ltd (additional  designs and manufacture))
Geodetic structures to reinforce UAV design Material: PA 2200 (Source: partnership between University of Southampton (principal designers) and 3T RPD Ltd (additional designs and manufacture))
Internal structures of SULSA aircraft, Material: PA 2200 (Source: partnership between University of Southampton (principal designers) and 3T RPD Ltd (additional designs and manufacture))
Internal structures of SULSA aircraft, Material: PA 2200 (Source: partnership between University of Southampton (principal designers) and 3T RPD Ltd (additional designs and manufacture))
Cost-effective production of prototypes and small production runs play an important role in the fast-growing market for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). This is an ideal area for Additive Manufacturing (AM): as even one-off parts do not cause additional costs in the production process, EOS technology is optimally suited to Rapid Prototyping (RP) and small production runs. Users can develop variants without incurring additional tooling costs. This saves money and minimises risk. Innovative EOS AM processes grant product engineers maximum design freedom. Even complex aerodynamic structures can be manufactured cost-effectively and quickly from CAD (Computer Aided Design) data. Movable parts like flaps or hinges for example can easily be integrated into the wings or body within a single manufacturing operation. 

From Design Sketch to First Flight in One Month

Another benefit of AM is the quick availability of products: Southampton University developed and manufactured the “SULSA” UAV in less than one month. Production was based on EOS AM technology and completed within just one week by 3T RPD Ltd. The entire body including the wings and tail consists of just five components with simple snap-on connectors. In its maiden voyage, the UAV displayed excellent aerial abilities. 

EOS Additive Manufacturing technology - Best-practice examples for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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