Manufacturer Dedibot, based in Hangzou, China, presented their flying 3D printer concept “Fly Elephant” at TCT Asia in early March. Objective: to print ever higher buildings.
In order to build ever higher constructions, 3D printer manufacturers had the idea of equipping their machines with robotic arms, which were less cumbersome and capable of raising high walls in one piece. The Chinese manufacturer Dedibot had another idea: a flying printer. Called “Fly Elephant”, the concept was presented at the beginning of March at the TCT Asia show. It consists of a multi-rotor UAV carrying an extruder suitable for rapid prototyping of large structures. According to the manufacturer, the flying printer would open the era of “open additive manufacturing”.
According to the first drafts available online, the flying printer would be connected to a balloon supplying the material and energy. It could print concrete, plastic and even paint on built facades. Driven by software, the printer would observe a trajectory with an accuracy of 0.1 mm and withstand the wind. His robotic arm would compensate for possible flight approximations to deposit more finely the material.
In order to speed up construction, Dedibot expects its drones to work together. According to the plans, the offer would consist of a mobile central unit hosting a raw material balloon and a fleet of four flying printers. Trucks would come to supply the balloon via a feeding tube, as and when, so as not to interrupt the construction. Will the futuristic concept come to light? Meanwhile, the manufacturer is already thinking of declining the idea in space and underwater …