Stratasys and Optomec have combined their respective specialist printing techniques to produce a 3D printed electronic wing for UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones), claimed to be the world's first fully printed hybrid structure. Stratasys's Fused Deposition Modeling process was used to construct the wing itself, with an Optomec Aerosol Jet system printing a conformal sensor, antenna, and circuitry directly onto the wing. Each technology improves the performance of UAVs in its own way — 3D printing makes for a lighter structure, and placing the electronic components in such a way allows for extra payload on the vehicle. As the process uses fewer materials, it's potentially faster and more environmentally friendly, and Optomec says it'd be beneficial for manufacturers outside the military sphere as well.
Drone wing prototype combines 3D printing and printed electronics
Stratasys and Optomec have produced a 3D printed electronic wing for UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones), claimed to be the world's first fully printed hybrid structure.