Read our blog for all the latest in the world of 3D printing


posted 19 July 2016 at 09:49:22

Russia has launched its first flight-tested 3D printed surveillance drone. Unveiled at the Innoprom 2016  trade fair in Ekaterinburg, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) prints in just one day and takes about 20 minutes to assemble.

The drone has a wingspan of 2.4 metres and an operational range of up to 50 km. Weighing 4 kg with its domestically produced engine, it is currently designed to be equipped with cameras and other comms devices and is, according to producer United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation (UIMC), an inexpensive reconnaissance and monitoring tool that can be quickly manufactured from scratch or repaired in the field.

'Additive technology makes serial production of the unit a considerably shorter and cheaper process,' says Sergey Skokov, deputy CEO of UIMC. He adds that inexpensive 3D printed drones could, in the future, also allow massive, presumably armed, drone deployment on the battlefield.