3D printed drone has been launched from a warship

A team of engineers from the University of Southampton launched a 3D printed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from the bow of a Royal Navy warship in a bid to demonstrate the potential use of lightweight drones at sea.

After being launched from HMS Mersey off the Dorset coast in the south of England, the UAV was flown autonomously on a pre-programmed route for a few before landing on Chesil Beach.

Known as the Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft (SULSA), the drone weighed 3kg with a wing-span of nearly 1.5 meters. The airframe was created on a 3D printer using laser sintered nylon, which uses a laser to fuse nylon powder into solid structures. It’s printed in four major parts and can be assembled without the use of any tools.

After being catapulted from the bow of the warship, it flew roughly 500 meters around the tidal lagoon of Wyke Regis Training Facility in Weymouth before coming into land.

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Source: Reuters

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