3D Robotics

Untethered flight with 3D printed insect wing MAV

The untethered flght is in the second half of the video. From a paperby Charles Richter and Hod Lipson:

"This project has focused on developing a flapping-wing hovering insect using 3D printed wings and mechanical parts. The use of 3D printing technology has greatly expanded the possibilities for wing design, allowing wing shapes to replicate those of real insects or virtually any other shape. It has also reduced the time of a wing design cycle to approximately one hour. An ornithopter with a mass of 3.89g has been constructed using the 3D printing technique and has demonstrated an 85- second passively stable hovering flight. This flight exhibits the functional utility of printed materials for flapping wing experimentation and ornithopter construction."

[Source: Makezine]

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  • Moderator
    I am just at a place where I can see video, this is amazing.
  • This is nice work.


    A general comment on flapping wings: Collectively researchers are learning how to make small wings that are adequately efficient to be used in flapping vehicles. The only problem is that they are all still driven by motors, though a mechanical transmission that converts rotation into oscillation. This still allows only a limited degrees of freedom of actuation. Unfortunately there does not yet exist a practical way of producing actuations in a linear manner that is as efficient as a motor at that scale. When we do get those types of actuators, we'll be able to build articulating wings that can give us the true maneuverability possible with flapping wings.

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