3D Printing Technology Has Begun To Be Applied In The Field Of Drone Production

- Jun 25, 2018-

The 3 advantages of 3D printing technology for UAV industry:

1. Timeliness

3D printing technology is widely used in the design of prototypes in the field of drones, and prototypes can be made quickly and inexpensively. Drone design requires multiple iterations, and traditional processing and assembly processes will consume a lot of manpower, material, financial resources and time in such an iterative process. The 3D printing technology, which does not require mold opening, greatly shortens the iteration cycle, enables the rapid manufacture and verification of prototypes, accelerates the time span from the design to the actual use of the product, and enhances the efficiency of the company. The prototype after verification can also be used for display, which greatly accelerates the time to market for the product, which also enhances the competitiveness of the company.

In 2012, the University of Virginia developed the third 3D printed aircraft, team engineer David Schaeffer said: "In the past, the design and construction of a plastic turbofan engine took two years and cost about $250,000. However, using 3D technology, It took only four months to design and build this aircraft and cost about $2,000." The shortening of the production cycle is obvious.

 2. Economic 3D printing "Addition" production methods without cutting, grinding, corrosion, etc.; "subtractive" process, to achieve the raw material "how much need to use", greatly improve the utilization, control the production of waste; "One-shot" province The cost of molds, fixtures, and tooling was gone; the "localized" production model eliminated the upfront investment in plant and production lines, as well as intermediate transportation and storage costs.Crucible Industrial Design printed buckles for 853 seats 3D on the Airbus A380. Each buckle has a weight reduction of 85g compared with the conventional steel belt buckles. According to the overall life cycle of the aircraft, it can save 45,000L of fuel per 1kg.  This will save 3.3 million liters of fuel oil. , worth 200 million euros in operating costs. 

3. Obvious advantages of manufacturing complex parts In terms of traditional manufacturing, the more complex the shape of objects, the higher the manufacturing cost. For 3D printers, the cost of manufacturing complex shapes does not increase. Creating a fancy, complex-shaped item does not consume more time, skill, or cost than printing a simple square. In the UAV industry, the required machining accuracy and complexity of parts are very high. However, there are some parts (for example, the airfoil whose cross section is elliptical, the hollow or porous structure of the metal part, as shown above) cannot be manufactured by the traditional processing technology. The advent of 3D printing technology enables these advanced components to be produced

4. Diversity of Material Selection Traditional manufacturing machines cannot easily fuse multiple raw materials together during cutting or molding. With the development of multi-material 3D printing technology, we have the ability to fuse different raw materials together. Mixing raw materials that were previously impossible to mix will result in the formation of new materials that have a wide variety of shades and unique properties or functions.