There are plenty of people out there who have a healthy fear of flying and sometimes you can’t blame them. After all no one likes the thought of plummeting to their deaths from such great heights, which is why we find it hard to imagine people’s reactions to the idea that we may one day fly in a 3D printed plane.
As it turns out that future is still quite far away, but it appears that a research team at the University of Southampton have managed to build a working model that’s a fraction of the size of an actual airplane. With a wingspan of 6.5 feet, the plane was designed and made using a sintering machine which assembles objects layer by layer from both metals and plastics. The method is also said to be cheaper and more efficient, allowing changes to be made to the design on the fly with minimal time or expense.
It was reported that the plane could achieve speeds of up to 100mph and even fly in autopilot mode. It’ll be interesting to see how this could affect the aviation industry in the future. Perhaps with the sintering process, planes will be cheaper to be build which could save manufacturing costs, whose savings could then be passed on down to the consumer.