Archie O’Brien wanted to swim below the water with a device that could pull him underwater at a fast speed. He decided to take matters into his own hands and designed the Cuda underwater jetpack, according to New Atlas.
In O’Brien’s final year at the Loughborough Design School in Leicestershire, he began developing the Cuda. He noted that current products were too heavy, too slow or too expensive, and wanted to cut through the challenges to create a lightweight, fast and inexpensive device. Originally, he tried to shrink down a Jet Ski engine to be worn as a jetpack, but it could not hold water.
He designed the Cuda to be approximately the size of a small backpack that is built around a patented propulsion system. Although the project has been kept fairly under the radar, it is know that Amsterdam’s 3D Hubs created the impeller, which was SLS printed using carbon fiber-infused powder.
The Cuda can be assembled in less than 10 minutes, and was created using CNC machining, turning and 3D printing. In order to ensure all parts could run smoothly underwater, all 45 parts were 3D printed and coated in a thin layer of epoxy resin. Additionally, the access hatches for the rechargeable batteries and electronics were treated to silicone seals.
Cuda’s prototype speed is controlled by a handheld remote, but otherwise leaves the hands free. The direction is manipulated by moving the user’s body. The Cuda has been tested in swimming pools and open water, and O’Brien hopes to take it into production during 2019.
Filed Under: Rapid prototyping