Jun.7, 2013

Survey Copter, a remote control systems manufacturer has recently started to use Stratasys' 3D printers to Stratasys to make prototype and short-run component parts for mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems, also known as drones.

France-based Survey Copter is a subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS) and they specialize in the design, production and integration of complete remote systems for surveillance photography and video service applications for UAVs.

The company previously outsourced its prototyping requirements and was looking for an in-house solution to reduce costs and ensure greater efficiency and autonomy.

Via Stratasys' French distributor, CADvision, Survey Copter subsequently installed two 3D printing solutions – a Stratasys Dimension Elite 3D Printer and Stratasys Fortus 400mc 3D Production System.

The Stratasys Dimension Elite 3D Printer features the finest resolution of any Stratasys Design Series 3D Printers and produces nine colors of real ABSplus thermoplastic.

The Stratasys Fortus 400mc features two material bays for maximum uninterrupted production for making accurate, durable, repeatable 3D parts.

These Stratasys Printers are deployed in the production of component parts for the company's mini-UAV systems, including both helicopter and fixed-wing variants weighing up to 30kg and 10kg respectively.

Ranging from a few millimetres up to parts measuring 40cm x 10cm, these components comprise mechanical structures for optical turrets, structural elements of aircraft, battery compartment housing, supporting structure, as well as scale models.

(Images: Survey Copter)

High Performance Materials Engineered for Aerospace

According to Jean Marc Masenelli, Survey Copter's managing director, the ability to utilise different materials according to specific application needs offers key advantages for producing durable 3D printed parts.

"That we are able to print production-grade materials such as high-performance FDM thermoplastics like ULTEM, which is qualified for aerospace applications, is a definite plus for our operations," he explains.

"The Stratasys 3D Printer can produce parts with complex shapes - This specific capability enables us to produce parts of wide-ranging dimensions and hollow forms, as well as full honeycomb structures." he adds.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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