New to the aviation/RC world and would like to ask a serious question about using composites for the skin of a UAV I am developing my first time out.
Want to use carbon fiber for a planned UAV approx 6-8 feet in length and weighing in at about 200 lbs powered by electric motors. But, instead of making a carbon fiber skin from a stryofoam (or similar) mold, I am thinking of printing out the skin (using a carbon fiber filament) from a large format 3-D printer as separate panels up to 20" x 20". They would then be attached to the UAV's metal airframe (of a semimonocoque style).
It just seems like a much simpler way than molding the skin from a plug. Yes, I am concerned about the necessary strength and elasticity needed from the skin but I am hoping that a well thoughtout design for the panels (and especially for the nose and empennage) along with a CF/nylon filament will provide that. I have also considered the production time and filament costs associated with this method, but it just seems so darn simple and easy.
But what do the pros think.