In partnership with Imperial College London, Swiss research lab Empa has created flying 3D printers to aid in the construction of tall buildings and with repairs in hard-to-reach areas. The printers are affixed to drones that can carry small amounts of material to deposit in a designated location, a system informed by the collaborative work of bees. Their technology, called Aerial Additive Manufacturing, relies on a buddy system where one drone does the printing and the other scans the results to check and correct for accuracy. “The technology offers future possibilities for building and repairing structures in unbounded, high or other hard-to-access locations,” says professor Mirko Kovac who led the research. “Next, the researchers will work with construction companies to validate the solutions and provide repair and manufacturing capabilities. They believe the technology will provide significant cost savings and reduce access risks compared to traditional manual methods.” Read more at Core77.
Image courtesy of Nature Video