MM: Continuous 3D Printing; 2-Seater Flying Car Prototype

In this Manufacturing Minute episode, another flying car prototype and a continuous 3D printer.

Flying Two-Seater

Despite any clear vision on what a personal aircraft future looks like, companies are moving ahead with trying to create a world of flying machines including the 2,425 lb. Workhorse Surefly — an electric, two-seat quadcopter. You may recall that Workhorse also makes the commercially available HorseFly UAV Delivery system that docks on the roof of delivery trucks for autonomous delivery and has worked with UPS to incorporate drones into delivery operations.

Utilizing two contra-rotating propellers on each corner and a range-extending gas engine, the Workhorse Surefly has a range of 70 miles and a top speed of 70 mph. The Surefly uses the same BMW 600cc twin-cylinder generator engine as the company’s pick-up and step van offerings. 

While little is known about the Surefly at this point, the quadcopter is expected to be a promising, affordable personal flyer when more is unveiled at the upcoming 2017 Parish Air Show. 


Could an affordable flying car be the missing link to mainstream personal aircraft? Are there any issues that need to be addressed before consumers take to the skies? Tell us what you think by leaving your comments below. 

Continuous 3D Printer

There certainly is no shortage of types of 3D printers these days. So what makes the Blackbelt 3D printer different from the rest? It has infinite volume.

Blackbelt, which was launched on Kickstarter last week and was fully-funded within 15 minutes, is built for continuous production. The standard print bed has been replaced with a conveyor belt which allows for continuous printing as well as the printing of long designs. 

An optional roller module unit placed in front of the printer would allow for continuous batch production of smaller items or printing extra-extra-long designs. 

The carbon-fiber composite conveyor belt means that as long as you have enough filament, the 3D printer will continue to make plastic items without downtime. The device has been designed to be used on a desktop or in an industrial setting.

Blackbelt, created by a team of developers in the Netherlands, has been successfully tested using PLA, ABS and co-polyesters materials. The device prints at a 45-degree angle which also allows the printing o horizontal overhangs without additional support. Creators say the Blackbelt could bring additive manufacturing to the next level.


Do you think the Blackbelt 3D printer is the future of additive manufacturing? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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