DediBot, a renowned 3D printer manufacturer from China, has unveiled a concept of a flying 3D printer with an extruder called "Fly Elephant" at TCT Asia 2018.
As you know, the "printing" capabilities of conventional "terrestrial" printers are limited by their own dimensions. The Fly Elephant 3D printer removes these limitations.
It consists of two parts - a block of six rotor engines with blades and an attached printing nozzle, designed to supply molten plastic, liquid concrete and other "ink", which is fed through a tube that passes through the top of the drone. The printing algorithm is determined by the appropriate software with an accuracy of 0.1 mm.
At the same time, the dimensions of the object being created are practically unlimited, which makes it possible to use flying 3D printers in the construction of high-rise buildings. The Fly Elephant concept also assumes the use of several aircraft at the same time at the same facility, working with different “ink”.
Fly Elephant is a concept model. One of the main problems that the DediBot engineers are trying to solve is to maximize the battery life of the drone printer. In addition, it remains to be seen how strong winds will affect the accuracy of operations, and whether the drone can print finished products, or only rough prototypes are capable of it.