It may look like a flying manta ray, but this is actually the University of Sheffield's latest UAV
By Ben Coxworth
October 14, 2014
Back in April, we first heard about a 3D-printed UAV airframe that could be fabricated within 24 hours. Created by a Boeing-assisted team at the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, it was a gliding prototype that would require the addition of a motor and an external propeller for powered flight. Its recently-announced successor, however, features integrated electric ducted fan motors.
As with its predecessor, the modular components of the new blended-wing UAV were made largely via Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). This is the type of 3D printing in which successive layers of molten plastic are extruded one on top of another, to build up complete objects.
Although the aircraft consists of separate modules that are bolted together, the central body – which houses the fan motors and incorporates "complex internal features" – was printed as a single ABS plastic part. The motors and electronics themselves were added afterwards.
Full article here: 3D Printed UAV