Solid Concepts Partners with the Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge

Solid Concepts has partnered with the Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge (wcUAVc) to bring unmanned aerial vehicles to national wildlife parks where animals are heavy victims to poaching.

Valencia, CA November 27, 2013


Solid Concepts is proud to partner with the wcUAVc for the international competition that seeks to inspire students around the globe to team up and create state of the art, affordable, UAVs. With poaching still at large in national parks in Africa where staff is limited and poachers are well versed in animal slaughter, the wcUAVc and Solid Concepts hope 3D Printing will provide an affordable manufacturing option to unmanned aerial vehicles - designed by teams participating in the challenge - that could seek out hot spots of human activity and warn national park rangers in time to save animals.

The wcUAVc, founded by Princess Aliyah Pandolfi - a well known animal preservation activist - sought out Solid Concepts early this summer for adviser and sponsorship in their challenge. Pandolfi and Solid Concepts strongly believe that 3D Printing, which has already helped to lower the costs of manufacturing in many other industries, could help to lower costs, enhance and widen possibilities for UAVs as well.

A key to this challenge is creating a UAV that can fly for long periods of time, is easy to use, and doesn't require heavy maintenance. After consulting with researchers who have flown UAVs in Africa in the past, it is also clear that a UAV with easily interchangeable parts would be useful, as access to spare parts is nigh impossible out in the bush lands of Africa's national wildlife reserves. 3D Printing could help to transform avionics housings and aerostructures, as it has in the past, helping to lighten the load and strengthen the UAVs. Solid Concepts has manufactured whole unmanned vehicles using 3D Printing, including fuel tanks for UAVs using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), a technology that utilizes sturdy and heat deflective plasticducting for UAVs using ULTEM material via Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM); and complex metal components utilizing the Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) process. 3D Printing allows for all-inclusive part consolidation which helps keep the cost of manufacturing lower.

The challenge has been featured on Popular Science online (http://www.popsci.com/article/technology/design-anti-poaching-drone-and-win-25000). Partners other than Solid Concepts include Dr. Tom Snitch, who has already successfully flown a UAV in a private wildlife reserve in Africa. Using imaging and algorithms to match and track animal and human movements, Dr. Snitch hopes to stop poaching before it occurs. Dr. Snitch will be available as an adviser to teams partaking in the challenge. Solid Concepts is proud to stand among the many prestigious partners that compose this challenge.

To learn more about the challenge and to enter, visit: http://www.wcuavc.com/home.html.

About Solid Concepts
Solid Concepts provides rapid prototyping and custom manufacturing services, with capabilities in PolyJet, Stereolithography (SLA), 3D Color Prints, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), CNC models and patterns, Composites, and QuantumCast™ advanced cast urethanes. Capabilities in tooling and injection molding make Solid Concepts a one-stop source. Visit http://www.solidconcepts.com to find your solution.

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