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

Super bacteria-targeting microbes found in Korea's Nakdong River
Super bacteria-targeting microbes found in Korea's Nakdong River

  Microbes that target antibiotic-resistant superbugs have been discovered in Kore [ ... ]

Read more la
SpaceX launches satellite on Falcon 9 rocket
SpaceX launches satellite on Falcon 9 rocket

  SpaceX has successfully launched a communications satellite after stong winds dela [ ... ]

Read more la
Canadian Pink Water
Canadian Pink Water

  Residents in the small town of Onoway were surprised when they turned on the taps  [ ... ]

Read more la
Self-service kiosks taking away jobs?
Self-service kiosks taking away jobs?

  Korea continues to take giant leaps in unmanned industries,… there are growing c [ ... ]

Read more la
Robot Zoo houses larger-than-life-size robot animals
Robot Zoo houses larger-than-life-size robot animals

  Made from machine parts and gadgets, the exhibition offers visitors an insight int [ ... ]

Read more la
Researchers develop eggs effective in diet and mood control
Researchers develop eggs effective in diet and mood control

  Researchers in Korea have found NATURAL ways to create customized eggs that ar [ ... ]

Read more la
Scientists create lab-grown burgers
Scientists create lab-grown burgers

  Scientists behind the world's first lab-grown burger want to bring artificial meat [ ... ]

Read more la
Korean scientists modify food poisoning bacteria to fight cancer
Korean scientists modify food poisoning bacteria to fight cancer

  Salmonella is known as a harmful bacteria that causes most cases of food poisoni [ ... ]

Read more la
Face transplant for man who tried to take his own life
Face transplant for man who tried to take his own life

  A man who was disfigured after he tried to take his own life, gets a new face. & [ ... ]

Read more la
Evidence of dementia linked to football
Evidence of dementia linked to football

  A potential cause of dementia thought to arise from blows to the head has, for the [ ... ]

Read more la
India breaks record for satellites launched
India breaks record for satellites launched

  India made history when it broke the record for the most satellites launched from a  [ ... ]

Read more la
New materials discovered from alteration of atomic structures
New materials discovered from alteration of atomic structures

  Two local research teams brought to the spotlight new materials by altering their  [ ... ]

Read more la
Korea develops foldable shipping containers
Korea develops foldable shipping containers

  Repositioning empty containers is a huge headache for the shipping industry, as it [ ... ]

Read more la
Michelangelo exhibition uses technology to draw viewers closer to art
Michelangelo exhibition uses technology to draw viewers closer to art

  A museum in Seoul is showcasing two of the most famous works by Michelangelo in  [ ... ]

Read more la
Artificial Intelligence helping consumers make smarter choices
Artificial Intelligence helping consumers make smarter choices

  With the evolution of artificial intelligence and robotics, you may wonder how our [ ... ]

Read more la
Internet penetration reaches 50% of world’s population
Internet penetration reaches 50% of world’s population

  A new report has found that half of the world's population -- some three-point-sev [ ... ]

Read more la

verychio.com-drag-and-drop-editor

La Latest

George Clooney surprises 87-year-old fan on her birthday

  George Clooney has surprised 87-year-old fan, Pat Adams, on her birthday by payi [ ... ]

Read more la
FBI Director James Comey dismisses Trump's wiretap tweets

  FBI Director James Comey has dismissed Trump's wiretap tweets, saying "I have no i [ ... ]

Read more la
Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi not banned in USA

  President Donald Trump has welcomed Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to the W [ ... ]

Read more la
All passengers and crew survive plane crash in Sudan

  All passengers and crew have survived after a plane crash-landed in Wau, northwest [ ... ]

Read more la
59-carat pink diamond displayed in London

  The Pink Star, a 59.60-carat pink diamond, is displayed in London ahead of an auct [ ... ]

Read more la
Spring flowers bloom in Korea

  To signal the clear coming of Spring flowers are blooming all across the country t [ ... ]

Read more la
G20 ministers drop anti protectionist pledge and climate change financing

  Finance ministers from the world's biggest economies, meeting in Germany, decided  [ ... ]

Read more la
Super bacteria-targeting microbes found in Korea's Nakdong River

  Microbes that target antibiotic-resistant superbugs have been discovered in Kore [ ... ]

Read more la

La Entertain

Alyssa Chia delivers 3rd chicky daughter Bobo Xiu

On 18 Mar 2017, Taiwanese actress Alyssa Chia (42, Jia Jingwen) welcomes her third daughter, Bobo Xi [ ... ]

Read more la
Ady An Yixuan married to Macau security guard boss Chen Ronglian

Taiwanese actress Ady An Yixuan (30) announces on 15 Mar 2017 that she is married to Macau CEO husba [ ... ]

Read more la
Michelle Chen's virgin legs & figure return after delivering baby son

At a recent publicity event, Michelle Chen makes her comeback debut after being away for almost 3 mo [ ... ]

Read more la
Edison Chen's wife-to-be Qin Shupei delivering baby in April 2017

Model Qin Shupei has managed to tame wild tiger, Edison Chen and looks like the couple is finally se [ ... ]

Read more la
Yang Mi and her 3 minute romance

Yang Mi was recently at a Shanghai event and was smiling all the way to the bank with the success of [ ... ]

Read more la
Lynn Hung's ultra slim & pregnant? Not Aaron Kwok's affair

Recently, many of Lynn Hung's clients that usually engage her for work believe that she is already p [ ... ]

Read more la
Choi Siwon & sister says sorry to China

Times are becoming difficult for Korean businesses in China after the South Korean government decide [ ... ]

Read more la
Andy Lau turns Happy Lau; leaves hospital in wheelchair with broken crotch

On 10 Mar 2017, Andy Lau quietly sneaks out of the hospital and returns home after suffering through [ ... ]

Read more la