3D printed UAV created by Telangana's T Works takes off

The unmanned aerial vehicle weighs 1.5 kg and has an estimated top speed of 200 kmph.

The unmanned aerial vehicle weighs 1.5 kg and has an estimated top speed of 200 kmph.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement


The UAV took 100 hours to design and 3D print at T Works

Hardware prototyping centre and makerspace T Works test-flew a fully 3D printed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) 50 km from Hyderabad.

The UAV featured a range of 3D printed parts from materials such as PLA (Polylactic Acid), ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene).

The UAV, which weighs 1.5 kg and has an estimated top speed of 200 kmph, was designed, 3D printed and assembled in-house at T Works. The test results will be used to analyse the structural and aerodynamic properties for future applications of 3D printed UAVs.

CEO of T Works Sujai Karampuri said, “3D printing allows low-risk and fast-track prototyping. There were days when people would spend 400-500 hours shaping every single part of a model aircraft with balsa wood and plywood. Today, prototyping has become so easy wherein we only need to design on computers and 3D printers will bring our creations to reality.”

Rapid prototyping (3D Printing) will reduce the drudgery in making aircraft, allowing people to experiment with more innovative designs. The UAV took 100 hours to design and 3D print, after which the parts were slot-fitted and assembled without any nuts, bolts or screws.

The series of experiments by T Works will serve as a test bed for new autonomous technologies and potential 3D printing applications in the aerospace industry.

The team experimented with different internal ‘infill’ structures and found a honeycomb-like structure to be the most effective and lightweight for the purpose of structural strengthening for thin-walled structures. The team also developed a custom lithium polymer battery pack and found innovative ways to use micro-controllers for serial communication, which significantly reduced cost and complexity.

An initiative of the Telangana government, T Works will have state-of-the-art prototyping equipment run by a dedicated team of some of the best design, engineering and fabrication talent in India. According to Mr. Karampuri, T Works, under construction currently, will commence operations in five months.

It will also host an advanced aero modelling workshop in December, where participants will design, build and fly their own UAVs.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics Sci-Tech Technology Hyderabad
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 9:00:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/3d-printed-uav-takes-off/article30108160.ece

Next Story