Monday, November 14, 2011

The first plane is printed

Engineers at the University of Southampton (UK) have created the first plane made ​​of a printer in the world , which could revolutionize the economics of aircraft design. It's called Sulser (airplane laser sintering of the University of Southampton, for its acronym in English ) and is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) whose Wooden structure has been completely produced with molds, including the wings, control surfaces and integrated access hatches. It was manufactured in a laser sintering machine from EOS nuylon EOSINT P730 , which manufactures plastic or metal objects through a process layer by layer. During construction screws were not used and the team was joined by techniques of "press fit" for the entire aircraft can be assembled in minutes without tools .

The new aircraft is powered by electricity and has a wingspan of 2 meters , reaches a top speed of nearly 100 miles per hour and cruise mode is almost silent. It is also equipped with a miniature autopilot developed by Dr. Matt Bennett, a member of the team. The laser sintering allows designers to create forms and structures that normally would require expensive traditional manufacturing techniques. This technology allows highly customized aircraft to develop from concept to first flight in a single day . In addition, because no tools are required for manufacturing, radical changes can be made ​​in form and scale of the aircraft at no extra cost.


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