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Airbus unveils Thor, its 3D printed mini plane

06 June 2016

The prototype of Thor was showcased at the International Aerospace Exhibition in Germany; the mini plane weighs just 21kg and is less than 4m long.

THOR prototype (Credit: Schwarzbild Medien - photo by F. Doring

Thor, ‘test of high-tech objectives in reality’, resembles a large, white model airplane. According the Airbus, the model offers a taste of things to come, an aviation future when 3D printing technology promises to save time, fuel and money.

When building Thor, the only parts that were not 3D printed from a substance called polyamide were the electrical elements. The whole airplane uses only approximately 50 3D printed parts and can be built in less than four weeks. Successful tests have already been completed; the plane was flown in 2015 from Hamburg to Stade. 

“This is a test of what’s possible with 3D printing technology," said Detlev Konigorski, who was in charge of developing Thor for Airbus, speaking at the International Aerospace Exhibition and Air Show at Berlin’s southern Schoenefeld airport.

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