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The Razor: A 3D Printed UAV

Lam, Aaron
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Lam, Aaron
Haj-Hariri, Hossein
In the following paper, the process of identifying benefits and problems of 3D printing with respect to small, autonomous aircraft is detailed. This serves as a proof-of-concept that such an UAV can be fabricated with minimal requirements on skill and labor in small labs equipped with 3D printers, as well as the option of rapid incorporation of modifications to the airframe. The problems introduced by 3D printing are the relatively heavy airframes required by the materials, large tolerances involved, and an inherent internal weakness in one direction of every part. Nevertheless, the design presented has been proven to have stable and controllable flight characteristics and a very short assembly process. It has already undergone substantial iteration based on both empirical data from flight testing and from simulation software. This has resulted in an aircraft that can be launched by multiple methods, is optimized for a low speed loiter mission, and has a significant amount of damage tolerance and payload.
University of Virginia, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, MS, 2015
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