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A 3D printed military unmanned aerial vehicle ---Scout

Date: 2018-07-18
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Recently , a new military unmanned aerial vehicle has been successfully manufactured using 3d printing technology.

This is a completely new technology aimed at responding to the different needs of frontline soldiers in the shortest possible time meanwhile reducing the cost of equipment. After the computer design is completed, the 3d printer will make the necessary UAV parts and then assemble the off-the-shelf electronic devices needed for specific tasks, which can be delivered for use.

The unmanned aerial vehicle is called Scout and is a small fixed-wing surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle. Scout is easy to use, lightweight and easy to carry.  It can be divided into four to five parts and packed into a backpack. the whole assembly process should not exceed 3 minutes.

A 3D printed military unmanned aerial vehicle ---Scout

3D printing technology and UAV wipe out spark/ Picture  source from network

Scout UAV will replace small fixed-wing surveillance UAV currently in use. The cost of each of these existing UAV is $30,000 more than Scout, and the operating cost per rack is more than $100,000 more than Scout.  High manufacturing and operating costs limit the use of UAV.

Scout is the result of cooperation and innovation between the US marine corps and Autodesk company. Rhet McNeal, a member of the marine corps, took part in the work.  Rhet McNeal is 26 years old and graduated from Georgia tech with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering. At first,  Rhet McNeal carried out unmanned aerial vehicle work at Pennsylvania state applied research laboratory ( ARL ), and later Autodesk approved that he could carry out research at the company's No. 9 technology center in San Francisco. This workshop covers an area of 27,000 square feet ( about 2508 square meters ) and is equipped with 3d printers, numerical control machine tools, woodworking workshops, various kinds of hardware, as well as software and hardware in various fields. Rhet McNeal began to carry out a four-month research work at the No. 9 technology center in January 2017, and finally successfully completed the design plan.

When talking about Autodesk in an interview, Rhet McNeal said: " Autodesk's technology center 9 is the cradle of Scout UAV. Scout would not have been as successful as it is today without the advanced equipment in the technology center No. 9 and those outstanding colleagues who fought alongside me. "

Rhet McNeal has now returned to camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, north Carolina, and scot's next job will be handled by MITER, who will test and certify Scout. Once the test is successful, Scout UAV will be put into larger scale manufacture.

The large-scale manufacture of Scout will bring far-reaching significance to the UAV manufacturing industry. In the future, it will not only be limited to military but will also be extended to civilian areas, bringing more substantial economic benefits.


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