They say that necessity is the mother of invention. We’re not sure what need prompted the invention of an Underwater Jetpack, but we can definitely see a need for one now. The Underwater Jetpack looks like a load of fun.
Archie O’Brien, a British student at the Loughborough Design School in Leicestershire, set out with a mission to create a more affordable mode of transportation for the water world. There are already different products out there, but those other options are all fairly expensive—definitely out of the budget of a poor university student. So O’Brien designed the ‘Cuda. To keep costs down, O’Brien opted to go with 3D printing as a means of manufacturing and teamed with 3D Hubs, a local manufacturer.
The Jetpack is basically what you would expect. It’s a backpack mounted jet that propels the wearer through the water using a patented propulsion system. While the majority of the pack uses FDM (fused deposition modeling) and PLA, reinforced by an epoxy resin and coated in silicone, the impeller uses carbon fiber-infused powder for increased stiffness. The entire pack is so simple that it can be assembled in less than 10 minutes.
Controlling the unit is a matter of a handheld remote, used for speed, and maneuvering the body to facilitate turns. You do have to be underwater to use it, and how it might integrate with scuba tanks isn’t ready apparent, but it does look like this unit is one heckuva ride.