May 30, 2015

UTEP Merges 3-D Printing and UAVs

(May 30, 2015)  Handmade drones are a thing of the past. The new dream is push-button technology that will print a working unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, right before your eyes.

But getting there has been challenging.

While it may be easy to print a UAV’s plastic or metal frame, the embedded electronics and motor that bring the vehicle to life are the hard part.

“Researchers around the world have struggled to create 3-D printed electronics in the last decade,” said Eric MacDonald, Ph.D., an electrical and computer engineer at The University of Texas at El Paso. “But we here at UTEP have made tremendous gains and have invented several advanced 3-D printing technologies enabling 3-D electronics.”

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