Essentium, Inc., announced Axle Box Innovations, a public safety technology developer, is using Essentium AM technology to support the development of US-made 3D printed drones for fire management and protection.
Engineers at Axle Box are leveraging the Essentium High Speed Extrusion (HSETM) 3D Printing Platform and high-performance inherently heat resistant materials to speed the development of lightweight and robust drone bodies. The drones can survive the extreme heat profile of wildfires to support the efforts of emergency response teams.
Most commercial off-the-shelf drones cannot be deployed into wildfires, and the development of bespoke fire-safe drones is complex, time-consuming, and costly. Axle Box is using the latest 3D printing technology to solve strength, speed, and cost obstacles.
Axle Box is producing the drone’s mid-body using Essentium’s HTN-CF25, high-temperature nylon with a 25% carbon fiber reinforced core. Compared to PA 603-CF, it has the highest heat deflection temperatures but also tensile and flexural strength. Axle Box is also using Essentium PA-CF to produce side covers designed to fail before the mid-body without sacrificing thermal stability. The drone platform exceeded expectations for high-speed impact and overall functionality during demo flight tests.
The flexibility of the Essentium HSE 3D Printer allows Axle Box engineers to design with complete freedom and speed the development process. New parts are designed in a CAD program, printed, and deployed within hours.