As if that wasn't enough, the jetpack was made entirely using 3D printed materials. Archie O'Brien, a design student at Loughborough University in the UK, began building it as part of a student project. The CUDA underwater jetpack was conceived just one year ago, but could go on sale as soon as 2019.
The jetpack can go up to 8mph, but users can adjust it manually, or even turn on a cruise control mode. O'Brien worked with 3D printing company 3D Hubs to build CUDA, which contains roughly 45 3D printed parts total. It can be assembled in less than 10 minutes under water, according to 3D Hubs.
Even the device's impeller, or a rotating mechanism that powers the centrifugal pump, is made out of 3D printed material, further reinforced with carbon fiber that gives it the 'extreme stiffness needed for such parts.'O'Brien originally wanted to shrink down a jet ski engine into a jetpack, but later devised a custom, compact propulsion system.
CUDA operates similar to a jet ski, in that it sucks in water and shoots it out through a rear funnel at higher speeds, according to Gizmodo.Users wear the jetpack like a backpack and only have to point their body in the direction they want to swim toward. To control the speed, users operate a hand held trigger system.
O'Brien coated the parts with epoxy resin and added silicone seals on the doors to the battery so that water can't leak in. They tested CUDA in pools and open water for months at a time and in close to freezing temperatures. The extensive testing should help O'Brien get closer to making CUDA available to the public. It's also much cheaper than traditional underwater propulsion technology, which can cost as much as $17,000, however, O'Brien hasn't yet indicated what CUDA will be priced at.