Marines Launch Affordable, Portable 3-D Printed Drone

By Yolanda R. Arrington
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

U.S. Marines with II Marine Expeditionary Force display an assembled Nibbler drone on Camp Lejeune N.C., May 16, 2017. The Nibbler drone was created through 3D printing to be low cost, easily repaired and have simple maintenance to allow Marines to use it. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Taylor N. Cooper

Everyone loves a good do-it-yourself project. Even the Marines love DIY! The Corps has developed the “Nibbler,” a 3-D printed drone that can be used in combat. It’s cheap, portable and easy to repair.

The Nibbler can be customized for various tasks, including carrying ammunition, gathering intelligence and conducting surveillance, all with touch of a button. The device can be controlled by a smartphone, tablet or radio controller. It’s just the latest in a long line of autonomous and 3-D printed products the military is developing.

U.S. Marines and civilian contractors with II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF) assemble Nibbler drones on Camp Lejeune, N.C. The Nibbler drone was created through 3-D printing to be low cost, easily repaired and have simple maintenance to allow Marines to use it. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Taylor N. Cooper

Marines have been training on how to solder, wire, program and construct the system which takes about six hours to build.

The Nibbler leverages 3-D printing and commercial-off-the-shelf technologies to serve as a low-cost and modifiable airborne system for Marines to utilize across all types of operations. Here’s a short video about how the Nibbler works.

RELATED LINKS: SPMAGTF-CR-CC Launches 3D Printed Nibbler Drone
The Future is Now: Inside the Navy’s Future Force Science & Tech Expo
3-D Printing Saves the Navy Time & Money

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