Berlin-based manufacturer of the large-scale BigRep ONE 3D printer, has unveiled what is probably the to date largest drone created using FDM 3D printing technology.
Dubbed “DUSTER”, the drone measures 220 x 190 x 60 cm and is the result of a collaboration between BigRep and Robert Reichert, founder of full-service drone provider OiC Drones. Printed in the company’y proprietary Big Orange PLA filament, the components were reinforced by carbon threads so it can handle pulling forces and absorb the frame’s tension.
“The combination of the thin-walled, hollow 3D printed parts and the carbon threads is essential for the stability and function of a ultra-light drone of this size”, BigRep explains. “By combining the two materials, the shortcomings of the individual materials are perfectly balanced, which enhances the advantages of both.”
Equipped with eight electric motors each with up to 3.8kW of power, the drone has a load capacity between 40 to 60 kg and can reach flight times of up to forty minutes (70 minutes with additional batteries).
“Without the BigRep ONE, producing a drone of this size would not have been possible,” Reichert said. “Large-scale 3D printing allows us to think of completely new dimensions when it comes to building drones. I am very proud to have been involved in the development of DUSTER, since this drone has established a completely new benchmark.”
BigRep and Reichert believe that DUSTER will find a range of applications in various industries, especially in the agriculture sector. There it could be used to deliver fertilisers and biological pesticides.
DUSTER, officially named OiC Copter System #42, was unveiled at the Hannover Messe taking place in Germany this week.