Would you get into an open-source, (partly) 3D printed airplane? - Stuff

Would you get into an open-source, (partly) 3D printed airplane?

Would you get into an open-source, (partly) 3D printed airplane?

The manufacture of an aerial vehicle is typically envisioned as being done by serious men with serious equipment but a new IndieGoGo campaign hopes to get the funding to bring flight a little closer to home.

The MakerPlane project might sound a little close to the term MakerBot but that’s probably intentional. The MakerPlane group aims to the funds together, via crowdfunding, to get a community-created airplane off the ground. In return, they intend to release the plans for an open-source plane to the public. Why to the public? Because the MakerPlane will be built using CNC machines, 3D printers and open-source software.

On the cards is a prototype Experimental Light Sport Aircraft, which will be unable to fly, followed by a flying prototype that will be available by 2015. CNC machines will be used for the bulk of the construction while 3D printers would be used for more cosmetic items. The price tag for all this on IndieGoGo is just $75,000.

Despite the misgivings that some might have towards getting into a plane that was created using home machinery, the practise of making your own plane is far more common than you’d think. MakerPlane says that three quarters of these projects are abandoned before completion, totaling around 6,000 planes, but the development they are doing could be a way to prevent so many amateur planes from being discarded. The roster of people on board with the MakerPlane program indicates that they’ve got a high chance of success in releasing plans for a fully-functional open-source aircraft, they just need the funding to make it happen.

At the moment the IndieGoGo campaign has raised just shy of $2,500 of the $75,000 total, with 54 days to go to fund the entire setup. And yes, Stuff would probably take a trip in the finished product.

Source: via Engadget

Previously the editor of PCFormat and T3, Nic is a wordsmith by day and a web developer by night. Or is that the other way round? He has been the managing editor of Stuff's print version for several years and is now the digital publisher, leading the web, mobile and app evolution of your favourite mag.

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