SULSA - Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft

· Design of an all laser sintered nylon aircraft assembled without conventional fasteners with just five structural / aerodynamic components

· The use of snap fit methods to locate all avionics, payload and propulsion items.

· The use of a complex geodetic internal structure printed directly to the internal surfaces of the aircraft.

· The use of a concept optimization process to provide an optimal shape and minimal structural weight.

· Close partnership with 3T Ltd who carried out final detailing and 3D Printing

The world’s first all printed aircraft - the resulting aircraft can be fully assembled from its component parts to flight ready in just 10 minutes without the use of any tools whatsoever.

The resulting design reduces part count dramatically and assembly operations to a trivial level while delivering state of the art product performance. All the technology resides in the CAD modelling and laser sintering process. In this case the entire parts list comprises just four structural parts, one avionics tray one motor/propeller, two batteries, four servos with their links, a receiver and an autopilot/aerial, ie in total 14 parts for an aircraft capable of flying for around 30 minutes at speeds up to 90 mph, having been assembled in less than 10 minutes – no screws or conventional fasteners are used at all.

See also: and full video at Further pictures may be found at .





Decision Environments for Complex Designs

0.5kg payload

Full Nylon 12 SLS printed structure

30 minute endurance

Electric propulsion

Top speed of 90 mph

On-board GPS systems

SMS capable

Fastener free assembly

Phone: +44(0)2380 592944

E-mail: decode

SLS rapid prototyping parts manufactured by 3T RPD LTD: 

Click for Movie

Profs Jim Scanlan and Andy Keane

Computational Engineering & Design Group

University of Southampton,

Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK