Challenges and Lessons Learned from Developing a 3D Printed Operationally Responsive UAV

This article is related to a case study on system engineering data collection metrics that can be found at Rapid manufacturing technologies have significantly impacted both the design of and the process of design for future products including next-generation UAV. With the explosion of recent interest in AM, the cost and lead-time to produce (print) components for form, fit, and test has been dramatically reduced, enabling high quality prototyping. For a UAV, a Design-Print-Fly method can now be better used to explore concepts under rapid ideation. This paper explores the results of employing FDM 3D printing technology in the design of a novel, modular, additively manufactured unmanned aerial vehicle. The UAV was designed under a design philosophy triad that includes the synergy of (1) product architecture, (2) design tools, and (3) manufacturing, which collectively produce tightly coupled/interdependent considerations that eventually articulate goals, processes, and constraints on the resultant design artifact. These considerations are evident in the final configuration of the platform's design, mission options, and its performance. In particular, this paper discusses the manufacturing component of the design triad to describe how AM was used to achieve operational responsiveness, and lessons learned from employing the AM technology for UAV design.



Work Title Challenges and Lessons Learned from Developing a 3D Printed Operationally Responsive UAV
Open Access
  1. Simon W Miller
  2. Lorri A Bennett
  3. Eric J Little
  4. Michael A Yukish
  5. Meghan E Hoskins
  1. design
  2. systems engineering
  3. operational responsiveness
  4. 3D printing
  5. UAV
License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives)
Work Type Research Paper
Publication Date 2019
DOI doi:10.26207/phe9-4e57
Related URLs
Deposited February 06, 2020




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  • Added Creator Simon W Miller
  • Added Creator Lorri A Bennett
  • Added Creator Eric J Little
  • Added Creator Michael A Yukish
  • Added Creator Meghan E Hoskins
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    • 2019
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