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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Fly Via Additive Manufacturing
11/17/2011

A wing fuel tank for an Arcturus T-20 UAV made with EOS laser sintered plastic (PA 2201) by Northwest Rapid Manufacturing (part of the Northwest UAV Propulsion Systems family of companies).
 Photo courtesy of Northwest Rapid Manufacturing
A wing fuel tank for an Arcturus T-20 UAV made with EOS laser sintered plastic (PA 2201) by Northwest Rapid Manufacturing (part of the Northwest UAV Propulsion Systems family of companies).
Photo courtesy of Northwest Rapid Manufacturing

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Dave Palmer
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Platinum
Operating temperatures
Dave Palmer   11/18/2011 11:33:33 AM
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Ann, the operating temperatures are in °C, right? If they are in °F, they seem very low for PEEK.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Cost issues
Ann R. Thryft   11/17/2011 12:12:33 PM
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The materials have been costly, but the earlier machines were, too. Added to that, because items are produced one at a time the per unit cost tends to be higher than unit costs of a high-volume manufacturing process. And that's exactly why this technique is still limited mostly to specialty and race cars, not volume automotive manufacturing.

Beth Stackpole
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UAVs take flight
Beth Stackpole   11/17/2011 10:16:00 AM
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Direct Laser Sintering technologies as a means to help Unmanned Aerial Vehicles has definitely been on Design News' radar screen for a while and is a great application for this technology. We wrote about one of the first UAVs built with this method taking flight this summer--SULSA,the Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft, which was printed using the EOS EOSINT P730 nylon laser sintering machine.

 

 

sensor pro
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Re: Cost issues
sensor pro   11/17/2011 9:04:31 AM
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We used PEEK and PPS for years and found these material to be super. They are stable in temperature, machinable and resist chemicals.

On the other side they are expensive and hard to fiind special sizes.

Alexander Wolfe
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Cost issues
Alexander Wolfe   11/17/2011 8:59:43 AM
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Curious how expensive this process is. You mention aerospace, medical and dental, where high costs can presumably be absorbed. Given the durability and ease of assembly (by aggregating more subassemblies into one piece), DLS seems like it should have huge uptake in automotive, but I'm guessing at this point that it's just too expensive.

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