SULSA Guides the Royal Navy

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Aircraft Materials, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

We reported on the reputedly first 3D-printed airplane, a laser-sintered plastic craft with a structure we compared to that of the WWII Wellington bomber, almost five years ago.  Since then, the aircraft has been dubbed SULSA (Southampton University Laser Sintered Airplane) and taken its place with the Royal Navy. Jim Scanlan, lead academic on the project and professor of design within engineering and the environment at the University, explains, “Not all of our aircraft are 3D printed and the biggest one is around 60 per cent 3D printed.  At the moment we make this lovely sophisticated lightweight structure and then spend a week making all the wiring and soldering. It’s labor-intensive and error prone. Our vision is that we print …

If You Can Draw It, We Can Print It – In 3D

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Students and faculty at the University of Southampton on the southern English coast have created an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in just a week, from the initial design to the finished, flying object. “Printed” from nylon on an EOS EOSINT P730 nylon laser sintering machine, the plane emerges from the device in successive layers and comes with hinges already in place, emulating the bearings, crank and headset-in-place bicycle recently produced by EADS (Airbus) using similar technology and materials. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFFFiB_if18 Part of a “ground-breaking” course of study “which enables students to take a Master’s Degree in unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) design,” the Southampton University Layer Sintered Aircraft (SULSA) can be snap-fitted together in minutes without tools. SULSA has a 2-meter (6.4 …