Thursday, August 04, 2011

World's first 3-D printed airplane takes to the skies [Video]

The airframe was designed on a computer then printed on a 3-D printer. If you don’t know how that works, New Scientist fills you in:

To do this, the 3-D printer first slices up an object's computerised design into hundreds of easily printable layers. Each layer is then “printed" by training a laser beam on a bed of polyamide plastic, stainless steel or titanium powder -– depending on the object being created -– tracing out the entire 2-D shape required for that layer. The laser's heat fuses the particles together at their boundaries. Once each layer is complete, more powder is scattered over it and the process repeated until a complete artefact is produced.


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