Latest Singapore Technology News

3D printed drone that's ready-to-fly

3D printed droneUAV pic1
First fully functional quadcopter 3D printed in ULTEMTM 9085 aerospace-grade material with electronics embedded was created in a single production step.
 
Researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have 3D printed a ready-to-fly drone with embedded electronics using aerospace-grade material.
 
The electronics were incorporated in the drone during the 3D printing process which employs Stratasys ULTEMTM 9085 - a high strength, lightweight FDM material certified for use in commercial aircrafts.
 
The drone is jointly developed by NTU’s Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP) and Stratasys Asia Pacific, a subsidiary of Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS), a 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company.
 
How the Flight-Ready Drone was Built
 
The drone – a quadcopter with four rotors – was designed, 3D printed and flown by Mr Phillip Keane, an NTU PhD candidate from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering who researches at the university’s Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP).
 
In 3D printing, objects are created digitally layer by layer until completion. However, embedding electronics can be a challenge, as most will not survive the high temperatures of the 3D printing process.
 
Commercial grade electronics were therefore modified and placed within the drone at the various stages of the printing process. They survived the high temperature printing which reached over 160 degrees Celsius, compared to the usual 80 to 100 degrees. Only the motors and the propellers were mounted after the entire chassis was completed.
 
Mr Keane said: “One of the toughest challenges was to find electronic components that could theoretically survive the high temperature printing process - we had to add some heat-proofing modifications to the components to ensure they could last. This involved adding new components to the printed circuit boards and also designing custom housings.”
 
The drone was completed in under 14 hours. During the printing, there were just three pauses for the electronics to be placed within the chassis.
 
“The housings which were pre-printed in ULTEM 9085 also provide a flat surface for the 3D printer to continue printing over them. I also had to deal with tight time constraints as some of the components could not survive in the heat for more than 20 minutes.”
 
In addition to being extremely rugged, the drone is capable of supporting over 60kg of weight suspended from its structure. Moving forward, Mr Keane said he is working on the next version of the drone which will feature better durability, lighter weight and improved flight dynamics.
 
Professor Chua Chee Kai, Executive Director of NTU’s SC3DP said that this is a successful example of disruptive innovation that can be achieved when researchers from academia work with industry partners.
 
“At NTU, we have world leading researchers with vast knowledge of materials and 3D printing processes whohave invented innovative techniques to overcome the limitations of existing technologies,” explained Prof Chua, the world’s most cited scientist in the field of 3D printing according to the Web of Science, a research database maintained by Thomson Reuters.
 
“Together with Stratasys’ engineers and their intimate knowledge of 3D printing, we were able to push the limits of today’s technology and print a drone that is incredibly durable and can withstand high heat.”
 
“This project exemplifies the power of Stratasys’ flagship Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printing technology and perfectly demonstrates the strength of the ULTEM resin,” commented Fred Fischer, Director – Applications and Products, Stratasys Asia Pacific. “We look forward to researching, developing and unveiling more possibilities with 3D printing and materials as we work with industry partners and academia.”
 
ULTEM 9085 is a production-grade thermoplastic that can be 3D printed and is prized for a high strength-to-weight ratio and FST (flame, smoke and toxicity) rating, making it ideal for the commercial transportation industry, especially aerospace.
 
Professor Louis Phee, Chair, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NTU, said that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are a major research thrust at the school. “Being the first university in Singapore to offer an Aerospace Engineering degree programme, we have been successful in attracting the brightest students to work with our professors to push the frontiers of drone technologies to cater to Singapore’s unique needs and requirements. In the near future, I expect to see more exciting new drone technologies from NTU that will be translated into real applications.”
 

Add comment

Emails are optional and for tracking replies. Names are unique; get yours today with a comment!


Security code
Refresh

La Tech

New iPhone X details leaked?
New iPhone X details leaked?

  With only a couple of days until Apple unveils its new iPhone… an online leak  [ ... ]

Read more la
Printing Fashion in 3D
Printing Fashion in 3D

  An exciting future is on the horizon and it's about one fast-changing technolo [ ... ]

Read more la
Incredible robotic arm turns Russian into action man
Incredible robotic arm turns Russian into action man

  A man born without a hand has finally been given a robotic hand with which to purs [ ... ]

Read more la
Companies worldwide hit by Petya virus; another ransomware
Companies worldwide hit by Petya virus; another ransomware

  Companies across the globe are reporting that they have been struck by a major r [ ... ]

Read more la
Galaxy S8 Plus has best performing battery: U.S. Consumer Reports
Galaxy S8 Plus has best performing battery: U.S. Consumer Reports

  A new report rates Samsung's Galaxy S8 Plus as having the best-performing battery  [ ... ]

Read more la
Glowing Fish: Small creatures play big roles in animal experimentation
Glowing Fish: Small creatures play big roles in animal experimentation

  And now we'll take a look at a couple of fascinating creatures that Korean scienti [ ... ]

Read more la
Edible flowers are organic and rich in nutrients
Edible flowers are organic and rich in nutrients

  Some flowers are not only good to look at,... but are also rich in nutrients inc [ ... ]

Read more la
Farms getting very smart
Farms getting very smart

  Smart Farm technology grants control of the growth environment from anywhere using [ ... ]

Read more la
3D-printed electric skateboard
3D-printed electric skateboard

  A Berlin-based startup is breaking out onto the skateboarding scene in a bid to ma [ ... ]

Read more la
Massive ransomware attack hits 99 countries
Massive ransomware attack hits 99 countries

  Tens of thousands of ransomware attacks are targeting organizations around the wor [ ... ]

Read more la
Korean developers combine robotics and virtual reality to advance VR entertainment
Korean developers combine robotics and virtual reality to advance VR entertainment

  Korean developers are combining robotics and virtual reality. Among their creatio [ ... ]

Read more la
Scientists a step closer to creating artificial life
Scientists a step closer to creating artificial life

  The creation of artificial life. A staple of horror and science fiction movies... [ ... ]

Read more la
Groundbreaking artificial womb could save premature babies
Groundbreaking artificial womb could save premature babies

  Succesful animal testing suggests an incubation system that mimics the womb could  [ ... ]

Read more la
Caterpillars that enjoy eating plastic bags
Caterpillars that enjoy eating plastic bags

  Plastic-eating caterpillars could provide the answer to reducing plastic waste in  [ ... ]

Read more la
China launches first unmanned cargo spacecraft
China launches first unmanned cargo spacecraft

  China launches its first unmanned cargo spacecraft on a mission to the new Tiangon [ ... ]

Read more la
Flying cars could be here sooner than you think
Flying cars could be here sooner than you think

  Slovakian start-up company AutoMobil have showcased their innovative flying car wh [ ... ]

Read more la

verychio.com-drag-and-drop-editor

La Latest

Stunning footage shows Aurora Borealis from space

  Footage from the International Space Station vividly shows the Aurora Borealis or  [ ... ]

Read more la
Fingertip payment becomes reality

  A shop at a UK university has become the first in the world to accept fingertip  [ ... ]

Read more la
Trump struggles to pronounce ‘Namibia’

  President Trump mispronounced ‘Namibia’ while addressing African leaders [ ... ]

Read more la
S. Korean President receives Global Citizen Award

  That annual award is given to individuals who best exemplify global citizenshi [ ... ]

Read more la
Trump dominates Emmys

  Although he wasn't there in person, President Trump's presence was certainly f [ ... ]

Read more la
AI-powered robots to replace 30 pct. of jobs by 2030

  Many fear the rise of artificial intelligence could have adverse effects in th [ ... ]

Read more la
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 preorders top 800,000 in South Korea

  Domestic preorders for Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 have topped eight-hundred-thousan [ ... ]

Read more la
NASA's Cassini space probe's historic finale

  The Cassini probe has burst into flames after one of the most successful mission [ ... ]

Read more la

La Entertain

Taylor Swift wins sexual assault case against ex-DJ

  Singer Taylor Swift wins a sexual assault case against former radio DJ David M [ ... ]

Read more la
K-Pop star T.O.P gets suspended sentence for marijuana use

  One of the biggest K-pop artists in Korea is set to spend time behind bars for use [ ... ]

Read more la
Song Joongki Song Hyekyo to be married in Oct17; baby made-in-bali?

  Two of Korea's best-loved stars have announced they're tying the knot.   So [ ... ]

Read more la
Jay Chou's son looks like mother or grandmother?

On 20 June 2017, Jay Chou confirms the birth of his second baby, a baby son, with a good effort on h [ ... ]

Read more la
Edison Chen welcomes daughter Alaia Chen with wife Qin Shupei

Strongest player in Asia, Edison Chen, seems to have finally stopped playing... we think.... to sett [ ... ]

Read more la
Hannah Quinlivan gives birth to son for Jay Chou?

Hannah Quinlivan is heavily pregnant with Jay Chou's second baby - a baby son.   Media foreca [ ... ]

Read more la
Wallace Huo grows longer with Zhou Xun at Shanghai Film Festival 2017

At the opening of the Shanghai Film Festival on 17 Jun 2017, long-time-no-see Wallace Huo and co-sta [ ... ]

Read more la
Batman Adam West dies aged 88

  Actor Adam West best known for his leading role in the 1960's TV series Batman has [ ... ]

Read more la