A team of engineers from the AMRC’s new Design & Prototyping Group (DPG) have designed, manufactured and flight tested a UAV built entirely of ABS plastic, using FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) technology.
The recent increase in the use of both additive layer manufacturing and UAVs has led to the availability of a number of 3D printed UAVs for a range of applications. For printing relatively large components such as a UAV airframe, FDM technology is chosen over stereo lithography and selective laser sintering for its lower initial investment, material cost and simplified process.
The manufacturing aspects of the project were led by Additive Manufacture Development Engineer Mark Cocking: “All parts required for the airframe can be combined onto a single build within the Fortus 900 machine, taking less than 24 hours with ABS-M30 material. Before design for additive manufacture optimisation, this airframe would take over 120 hours to produce.”