Airbus demoes almost-entirely 3D printed mini-plane

A Berlin air show has witnessed a mini-aircraft almost entirely 3D printed out of polyamide, with Airbus claiming that it has big implications for the future of aerospace.

AFP reports that the 21 kilogram, windowless THOR (Test of High-tech Objectives in Reality) flew at the International Aerospace Exhibition and Air Show. According to the company behind the four-metre drone, Airbus, it is a preview of a future where 3D printing saves time and money in the industry.

“This is a test of what’s possible with 3D printing technology,” said Detlev Konigorski, who led the project.

“We want to see if we can speed up the development process by using 3D printing not just for individual parts but for an entire system.”