domingo, 2 de diciembre de 2018

Super Discovery: Very Large Format 3D Printing for military UAVs

After reading the title of this post, you may be thinking that the Super Discovery is merely a very large version of a standard 3D Production System.

Well, this is not the case: Some of the Super Discovery’s specifications are a bit unusual for 3D Production Systems. The minimum layer size, for example, is 0.5 mm, which may be perhaps not surprising. But the largest possible layer size, one that might be used when 3D printing large items, is 10 mm.

The manufacturer has installed a hot end that is capable of hitting an astonishing 450 ºC, making the Super Discovery able to attempt 3D printing of many strong engineering materials... in huge sizes. Their high-performance material capability is extremely interesting because it opens up the possibility of 3D Printing large production components for military UAVs, among other applications.   

This enormous 3D printer that uses pellets as input material, is developed and produced in Spain by a company that began developing 3D Printing technology five years ago. Prior to that, and still occurring, is their marketing of other manufacturing equipment, including CNCs, lasers, and the like.

What is the price of this massive machine? Well, it depends, because each machine is custom built. But you will find more info at:

lunes, 22 de octubre de 2018

Additive Manufacturing to Winning Future Wars: Modernization and a 21st Century Defense Industrial Base

Historically, changes in military technologies have often occurred in clusters, reflecting major advances in the sciences, manufacturing processes, the organization of economic activities, and even political structures. Nowadays, defense leaders are seeking to secure their military-technological superiority by investing in new areas of Industry 4.0 such as Additive Manufacturing, Advanced MaterialsBig Data AnalyticsEtc.

Additive Manufacturing and UAV usage by terror groups: exploring variation in adoption

Judging by recent media reporting and pronouncements by senior US military and security officials, the use of UAVs by terror groups is both reshaping conflict between armed non-state actors and state parties and now presents a grave and direct threat to nations in the West and elsewhere.

But does this threat warrant the attention it is currently receiving? To answer this question, this article surveys how various terror groups have used UAVs both tactically on the battlefield and for wider strategic purposes. Closely examining how UAVs have been employed and by whom provides a basis for understanding variation in adoption.

The article shows how UAV usage or non-usage is highly contingent on the setting of the conflict, the aims of different groups, and the capacity of groups to adopt the technology. Though advances in UAV technology could make the use-case more appealing for militant groups, UAVs will be subject to the same back-and-forth, techno-tactical adaptation dynamic between adversaries that have accompanied prior military innovations.

Additive Manufacturing of military UAVs: The Evolution of Small, Smart, and Cheap Weapons

Dramatic improvements in robotics, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing), and nanoenergetics are dramatically changing the character of conflict in all domains.

In the last few years, additive manufacturingalso known as 3D printing, has gone from an interesting hobby to an industry producing a wide range of products from an ever-growing list of materials: The global explosion of additive manufacturing means it is virtually impossible to provide an up-to-date list of materials that can be printed, but the top-4-most-wanted list for the military industry would include metals, thermoplastics, composites and ceramics.

In addition to a wide range of materials, additive manufacturing has gone from being able to make only a few prototypes to being able to produce parts in large or very large formatsAt the same time, additive manufacturing is dramatically increasing the complexity of objects it can produce, while simultaneously improving speed and precision.

jueves, 4 de octubre de 2018


Parece cada vez más claro que el futuro de la fabricación de UAVs está en la fabricación aditiva.

Esto es así porque las ventajas propias de esta manera de fabricar (reducción de costes y tiempos, libertad de diseño, etc.) unido a la oferta creciente de materiales para Impresión 3D, convierten a la manufactura aditiva en la elección óptima para el desarrollo y fabricación de UAVs.

Sin embargo, existe un factor clave a la hora de pensar en Manufactura Aditiva para la fabricación de UAVs, que ha pasado un poco desapercibido para la gran mayoría de fabricantes de sistemas de Impresión 3D, y no es otro que el tamaño de la pieza a fabricar.

Es por esto que nos ha llamado la atención una gama de Impresoras 3D que, por el tamaño de las piezas que son capaces de fabricar, y por la gama de materiales disponibles, creemos que merece la pena sacarlas a escena en este blog.

Estas impresoras están desarrolladas y fabricadas por una empresa que desde el año 2009 se dedica al diseño y fabricación de fresadoras CNC, láser de CO2, y láser de fibra, y que en 2016 amplió su gama de productos hacia la Impresión 3D en formatos LF y VLF.

Entre sus clientes podemos encontrar firmas de reconocido prestigio como Navantia, CAF o B/S/H Electrodomésticos, lo cual nos da una idea del tipo de cliente y de sus aplicaciones.

El distribuidor en exclusiva de estas máquinas es Integral 3D Printing Iberia, y ofrece esta firma una información muy completa de estas y otras máquinas a través de su página web: (

martes, 11 de septiembre de 2018

The methodology of documenting cultural heritage sites using photogrammetry, UAV, and 3D printing techniques: the case study of Asinou Church in Cyprus

As the affordability, reliability and ease-of-use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) advances, the use of aerial surveying for cultural heritage purposes becomes a popular choice, yielding an unprecedented volume of high-resolution, geo-tagged image-sets of historical sites from above.

As well, recent developments in photogrammetry technology provide a simple and cost-effective method of generating relatively accurate 3D models from 2D images. These techniques provide a set of new tools for archaeologists and cultural heritage experts to capture, store, process, share, visualise and annotate 3D models in the field.

This paper focuses on the methodology used to document the cultural heritage site of Asinou Church in Cyprus using various state of the art techniques, such as UAV, photogrammetry and 3D printing. Hundreds of images of the Asinou Church were taken by a UAV with an attached high resolution, low cost camera. These photographic images were then used to create a digital 3D model and a 3D printer was used to create a physical model of the church.

Such a methodology provides archaeologists and cultural heritage experts a simple and cost-effective method of generating relatively accurate 3D models from 2D images of cultural heritage sites.

martes, 28 de agosto de 2018

Emerging Threats: Cyber-Physical Attacks on Additive Manufactured UAV Parts

Additive Manufacturing (AM, or 3D printing) is an emerging manufacturing technology with far-reaching implications: AM is increasingly used to produce functional parts, including components for safety-critical systems, but its unique capabilities and dependence on computerization raise a concern that an AM generated part could be sabotaged by a cyber-physical attack.

In this paper, it is demonstrated the validity of this concern by presenting a novel attack: reducing the fatigue life of a 3D-printed quadcopter propeller, causing its mid-flight failure, ultimately leading to the quadcopter’s fall and destruction.