The Dubai Airshow has always been at the forefront of the aerospace industry, and the opening day of the 2015 edition was no different. The world’s fastest, largest and most complex 3D-printed drone was unveiled at Dubai Airshow today, forming the centrepiece of the region’s debut 3D Printshow.
The jet-engine powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is being demonstrated by show sponsor Stratasys, as part of its exhibition on the future of 3D printing technology in the aviation and space industries. The lightweight aircraft, which took just two months to create and can break speeds of 200 miles per hour, is being used to highlight the flexibility of the technology to aircraft and technology manufacturers.
“This is the final piece in the puzzle for aerospace and we’re really excited to present it today,” said Jay Shelby, Vertical Solutions Applications Engineer for Stratasys, which recently printed more than 1000 in-flight parts for the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft. “We’re here to show manufacturers what can be done when you take this technology and build your design around it. So at the Dubai Airshow, we’ve seen Boeing today, we’ve seen Airbus, Rolls Royce – all these companies are already using 3D printing technology and they’re doing it very well, making huge savings and producing aircraft that are faster than ever before for customers like the Middle East carriers. 3D printing is helping them to meet deadlines, bring schedules forward and the technology has now gone from a piece of kit you’d have on the manufacturing floor to a technology you can actually build your manufacturing around.”
The 3D Printshow is making its Dubai Airshow debut in 2015, highlighting developments in 3D technology and its uses in both military and commercial aircraft, as well as in rocket development and the space industry. More than 20 exhibitors are taking part, including D2M, 3DPS, 3D Vinci Creations and Ultimaker, with exhibitions featuring printed components as varied as aircraft models to engine parts, highlighting the technology’s broad possibilities.
“3D printing is a major game changer in the aerospace industry, with major technological advances being made throughout the past few years,” said Michele van Akelijen, Managing Director of organisers F&E Aerospace. “With such a big role to play in the future of the industry, it seemed natural to bring the 3D Printshow to Dubai Airshow, and we are already witnessing a very positive response to the technology on display.”