Almost Instant UAV Flies

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Scientists in the UK have produced a flying UAV in a process called sintering. The group designed the Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft (Sulsa) on a computer (with elliptical wings like a Spitfire and a honeycombed fuselage like a Bolingbroke) and sent it to 3D RPD. The company used the data to build up the aircraft's components in a heated chamber by layering nylon powder in the correct measure to create each part. All the parts were finished in five days and snapped together to create a seven-foot-long flying UAV. The scientists say there should be some pretty impressive real-world applications for the technique.

The most important advantage of the process, they say, is that complex parts that are hard to mold can be created through sintering. They claim that an aircraft can be put together in a matter of days and if, after testing, the design needs tweaking it can be reworked on the computer and "printed" out again.