Low Cost, 3D Printed UAV Test Bed

By on January 10th, 2014 in Usage


3D Printing firm Solid Concepts has partnered with aerospace engineering firm Area-I to create a scale model of a 737 used to simulate real-world aerodynamics.
Named the Prototype-Technology Evaluation and Research Aircraft (PTERA), the model craft serves as an inexpensive and safe bridge between wind tunnel evaluations and manned flight tests. During each flight the PTERA is packed with sensors and flight test measurement systems that can help engineers get a safe view of the ways advanced aerodynamic treatments work under real flight conditions.
Built around a human sized airframe, the PTERA features ailerons, a fuel tank, control surfaces and flaps   created using Solid Concepts’ SLS printers. Given the tight tolerances required for components to fit both in the interior and on the exterior of the PTERA, additive manufacturing ensured that engineers could meet all of their design requirements.
Read more at ENGINEERING.com

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

1 comment

  1. I think 3D printing is necessary for the future of aviation. Since, future planes will get more and more complex, there's no way traditional manufacturing methods will be able to manufacture them. Also, 3D printed planes allow for many novel ideas to be incorporated which were previously impossible.

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