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Old May 26, 2015, 06:15 AM
StayQuiet is online now
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United States, SC, Boiling Springs
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Build Log
Snafuey II - a build of my own design

Over the years, I've built kits, modified kits (my favorite was a Sig MidStar 40 converted to electric with twin motors in wing nacelles), and built from published plans.

I've decided it's about time to try my hand at designing my own.

Here's what I've discovered:
#1 - there is a steep learning curve in CAD
#2 - when you build a kit, or from plans, someone else has worked out all the details. When you design your own, that's not the case. You have to do that (several times, at times )
#3 - after several snafus in design (see #2) you name your creation the Snafuey II

This is still a long way from the building board, but that will be the easy part. Right now, I'm getting a set of full size plans printed, and then will be sending the CAD files out to the laser cutter.

My biggest problem is the lack of a good local hobby shop. Having recently moved here, I've visited the only one I can find in a 45 mile radius, and it seems to be more geared towards the ARF/RTF/BNF crowd. I have to make a list of every little piece of hardware I may need for the build and order it online all at once. I really don't like waiting a week for a $2 part that costs $5 to ship. I'm really missing my old LHS (Creative Hobbies in Mendon, MA - free plug for you, Joe!) who had everything crammed floor to ceiling you would ever need.

This may not be the sleekest design, but it's designed to be simple to build, with the fuselage and tail feathers all tab and slot construction, and a constant chord wing with strip ailerons. The wing center section is actually a 'wing box' that fits into the fuselage, and will allow me (in the future) to build wings with various airfoils (flat bottom, semi-symmetrical, symmetrical) with varying degrees of dihedral that will all fit the fuselage. Maybe even flaps? Electric power, of course.

At least that's the plan.
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Old Yesterday, 06:05 AM
Captain Dunsel is offline
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Hi, StayQuiet

Yes, CAD does have a steep learning curve -- I've been drawing R/C planes with CAD since 1993, and have been strictly a TurboCAD user since 1999. Still, I find myself learning new methods with every model I draw (around two to four a year).

What I did as practice, though, was make up a library of motors, batteries, airfoils, etc. I didn't try to make them perfect, just accurate where it matters (i.e., mounting holes). Some manufacturers will help you by providing drawings of their items (i.e. Hitec servos) you can trace over.

If you aren't using layers, may I suggest you try them. I separate bits by layer, so I can edit without too much 'stuff' in the way. For example, I put hardware and sheeting in separate layers.

Regarding getting stuff, you're far from alone! We live in southern NJ, with three hobby shops within an hour's drive. But, none of them stocks much in the way of hardware or wood. So, I do a lot of shopping at Sig and Balsa USA (Sig has a lot of hardware you can't find at Tower or Horizon, and their wood is pretty good. Unlike Tower, for example, you can buy individual sheets of wood from Sig).

I like your convertible wing idea. Looks like a good way to do experimentation, without major redesigns.

Funny thing, I've designed and built all sorts of models over the years, but the simple sport ships are the ones that we've had the most fun with. The Senior Sassy, for example (below) is our favorite (my wife flies, too), but it's strictly as simple box-fuse model.

BTW, please make sure you keep posting pictures of the model as you go along!

CD
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Old Yesterday, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Dunsel View Post
Hi, StayQuiet

Yes, CAD does have a steep learning curve -- I've been drawing R/C planes with CAD since 1993, and have been strictly a TurboCAD user since 1999. Still, I find myself learning new methods with every model I draw (around two to four a year).

What I did as practice, though, was make up a library of motors, batteries, airfoils, etc. I didn't try to make them perfect, just accurate where it matters (i.e., mounting holes). Some manufacturers will help you by providing drawings of their items (i.e. Hitec servos) you can trace over.

If you aren't using layers, may I suggest you try them. I separate bits by layer, so I can edit without too much 'stuff' in the way. For example, I put hardware and sheeting in separate layers.

Regarding getting stuff, you're far from alone! We live in southern NJ, with three hobby shops within an hour's drive. But, none of them stocks much in the way of hardware or wood. So, I do a lot of shopping at Sig and Balsa USA (Sig has a lot of hardware you can't find at Tower or Horizon, and their wood is pretty good. Unlike Tower, for example, you can buy individual sheets of wood from Sig).

I like your convertible wing idea. Looks like a good way to do experimentation, without major redesigns.

Funny thing, I've designed and built all sorts of models over the years, but the simple sport ships are the ones that we've had the most fun with. The Senior Sassy, for example (below) is our favorite (my wife flies, too), but it's strictly as simple box-fuse model.

BTW, please make sure you keep posting pictures of the model as you go along!

CD
Figuring out the 'layers' concept was one of my big "ah-HA!" moments in the learning curve. Things really started to make sense, overall picture-wise, once I started using them.

I just finished up the last piece of the puzzle this morning. One of the little details you take for granted with a kit - aileron servo mounts. It looks like this project will begin a bit sooner than anticipated. I did have a kit on order, with plans to build it first before the Snafuey II, but after placing the order, it was immediately 'upgraded' to backordered. A call to the kit maker (I won't name them here) resulted in a promise to ship early the next week. Two weeks later, my order was listed as 'in process' - meaning it still hadn't shipped, and probably wouldn't for some time. I cancelled the order this morning. As soon as the refund shows up on my card, I'll send the files out for cutting.

I'm terrible at build logs. Once I start working, it's hard to remember to stop to take pictures and document what I'm doing, but I'm going to try my best!
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Old Yesterday, 07:20 PM
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One more spot I find layers very useful is in reference lines. I line up the fuselage side and top views, using the reference lines to maintain bulkhead positions. With the reference layer locked, I can do all sorts of editing without messing it up.

We just bought a retirement home, about a twenty-minute drive from our current home. My workshop is shut down and will be closed, probably until August. I'm drawing and finishing up articles to be submitted to RCMW magazine, but I'm not gluing any sticks together.

CD
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Old Today, 08:31 AM
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"Funny thing, I've designed and built all sorts of models over the years, but the simple sport ships are the ones that we've had the most fun with."


It's the law.
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