A well-known manufacturer of 3D printers, the Chinese company DediBot presented the concept of a flying 3D printer with an extruder called "Fly Elephant" at the TCT Asia 2018 exhibition.
As you know, the "print" capabilities of conventional "terrestrial" printers are limited by their own sizes. The flying 3D printer Fly Elephant removes these limitations.
It consists of two parts - a block of six load-bearing engines with blades and a printed nozzle attached to it, designed to feed molten plastic, liquid concrete mixture and other "ink", which are fed through a tube passing through the top of the drone. The printing algorithm is determined by the appropriate software with an accuracy of 0.1 mm.
At the same time, the size of the object being created is practically unlimited, which makes it possible to use flying 3D printers when building high-rise buildings. The concept of "Fly Elephant" also involves the use of several aircraft at the same time, working with different "ink".
Fly Elephant is a conceptual model. One of the main problems, which is solved by engineers DediBot - to maximize the battery life of the printer-drones. In addition, it remains to be seen how strong winds will affect the accuracy of operations, and whether the drone can print finished products, or if only crude prototypes can do it.