This drone is made almost entirely out of 3D-printed parts

Say hello to the super-light Thor from Airbus

Drones are fast becoming one of the most diverse corners of technology - from mini ones that can be folded up into your pocket to professional racing leagues with serious cash prizes, there's not a day goes by where we don't hear about a new drone-related innovation. And one of those latest innovations, an almost-entirely 3D-printed craft, is making big waves in the community.

Designed and built by Airbus, the Thor drone owes its existence to the presence of ever-larger 3D printed which enable the French multinational to build parts up to 15 inches long. So with the exception of any electrical elements, Airbus has built everything from a substance known as polyamide (which just happens to be the generic term for Nylon).

That reliance on 3D-printed parts means Thor is superlight lightweight too, weighting in at 46 pounds. The use of 3D printing techniques also makes the 13-foot-long craft a much faster and cost effective prospect for the firm.In an interview with French news agency AFP, Airbus confirmed that a 270-part engine injection assembly only requires three parts with its latest 3D printing process.

Considering we've seen 3D printing be used in something as precise as recreating blood vessels, it's no surprise to see a large aerospace company extolling the virtues of producing craft via such a technique. And while Thor represents more of a technological statement than an actual product, the form has expressed a desire to introduce 3D printing to its wider business.

3D-printed jumbo jets anyone?

Via: Airbus/ Phys.Org

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Dom Reseigh-Lincoln has been writing for T3 for over half a decade now, covering everything from mobile phones and laptops right through to video games and gaming peripherals. Purveyor of an excellent beard, as well as some perpetually cheeky offspring, Dom likes to wind down in his spare time by listening to heavy metal.