The idea behind the program is to give researchers in remote areas access to drones. These printable drones would be capable of making deliveries, doing reconnaissance or performing search missions. That you could print out drones on demand would also mean that losing one in a storm or to a forest fire while it's searching for survivors wouldn't be the end of the world. Just print up a new one.
The project's current prototype drone, which has already completed tests as a glider, was printed out of thermoplastic. It has a wingspan of nearly five feet and weighs only two kilograms, but the University of Sheffield is still looking into printing stronger versions of it out of materials like nylon. Blended winglets and twin ducted fan propulsion systems are also being added to the design.
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