15.6.2020

Israel's first 3D-printed UAV takes to the skies

Israel’s first 3D-printed UAV takes to the skies – link

Source: Jane’s

Article Headlines

  • The Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have recently produced the country’s first 3D-printed UAV
  • The joint program by the MoD’s Flight Technologies Department, part of the Directorate for Defense Research and Development, and IAI has seen the production of the SkysPrinter UAV and a successful test flight in December 2019
  • The electrically powered UAV was made from 26 parts printed using metal, nylon, carbon, and complex materials. These were assembled with glue and fasteners without the need for specialized tools
  • SkysPrinter’s body is 1.65 m-long, has a wingspan of 1.5 m, and a take-off weight of 7 kg, according to the MoD
  • Neta Blum, head of the Flight Technologies Department, introduced the idea of a 3D-printed UAV system and the MoD allocated research and development resources over the past year, leading to the test flight
  • Blum told Janes a printing technique known as selective laser sintering (SLS) allows new designs of the SkysPrinter to be rapidly produced in line with operational feedback from commanders on the ground
  • SLS technology solidifies polymer materials in precise measurements to produce finalized parts. This way of doing it gives us new production capabilities and significant advantages,” she said
  • She described a process of field feedback leading to new versions of the UAV within an unprecedentedly short time. If a heavier payload is needed, for example, the design can be adjusted so the UAV has thicker wings for a larger take-off weight

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