World’s first 3D printed plane unveiled

7th Jun 2016
Written by: Dave Owen

Better leg room than economy class

Would you fly on a 3D printed plane?

That could be the future of air travel, as the world’s first 3D printed plane has just been unveiled at the Berlin air show.

World's first 3D printed plane unveiled

The mini-plane, named Thor, comes courtesy of Airbus. It’s less than 4 metres long, weighs 21kg, and doesn’t have any windows, so you’re unlikely to be riding it to Australia any time soon.

Thor (Test of High-tech Objectives in Reality) is designed as a test of what’s possible with constantly improving 3D printing technology. The only parts not 3D-printed are the electrical elements.

It might be small, but Airbus claims the plane flies like a dream.

3D printed parts can be produced quickly, cheaply, and are much lighter than metal parts. This means 3D printed planes would use less fuel, making them more environmentally friendly.

No doubt there will be more tests to come. The future of travel might be 3D printed.


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