Engineers at the University of Southampton have designed and flown the world’s first “printed” aircraft, which could revolutionize the economics of aircraft design, the engineers say.
The SULSA (Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft) plane is an unmanned air vehicle (UAV), with its entire structure printed. This includes wings, integral control surfaces, and access hatches. It was printed on an EOS EOSINT P730 nylon laser sintering machine, which fabricates plastic or metal objects, building up the item layer-by-layer.
No fasteners were used and all equipment was attached using “snap fit” techniques so the entire aircraft could be put together without tools in minutes.