US demos 3-D printed UAV
The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has tested a 3-D-printed UAS created with a new on-demand system as part of the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments.
The demonstration showcased new technology designed to provide soldiers in the field with rapid UAS support. The on-demand system enables soldiers requiring UAS to input their requirements into mission planning software and then receive a 3-D-printed aerial vehicle within 24 hours.
Based on the feedback engineers received from army leaders during the experiment, the ARL team plans to work on improving noise reduction, stand-off distance, and agility, as well as increasing the 3-D-printed UAS' payload capacity.
Future applications beyond UAS could include any type of technology that can be printed to support forward deployed operations. For example, the 3-D printer produced a Picatinny rail for a small arms weapon in around 2.5 hours during a recent demonstration. ARL will continue to collaborate with partners at the Georgia Tech's Aerospace Systems Design Lab as they refine technologies for future soldiers.
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