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Old Dec 03, 2012, 01:15 AM
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Joined Jan 2011
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Do a search on google for draftsight. It is a free program, made by Dassault Systems. It is a very good basic 2d cad package. It is basically an Autocad clone, and their are online tutorials/manuals for it from Dassault. Dassault is one of the big names when it comes to professional CAD software.

Check out my thread http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1780419 I'm converting an hand drawn free flight plan into CAD format, fixing errors along the way, with the intent of scaling the model to 150% when I'm done to give me a 33" span plane to build as R/C. You can see pictures of how/what I'm working on.
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Old Dec 03, 2012, 07:55 AM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
Australia, VIC, Melbourne
Joined Jun 2009
25,179 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclat View Post
Hello All,

After lurking for a long time I thought it was finally time to join the forum and with it post a request for help.

I am looking to restart designing my own near scale models and rather than sitting with pencil and paper in front of me I am looking at learning CAD and who knows maybe get kits cut from my efforts.

Can anyone offer advice on programmes, reading material to learn the subject and general advice etc etc.

A broad subject I know but I am all ears and genuinly wanting to update my skill set.

Many thanks in advance :-)
I'm in the same boat, Eclat.

Time to bite the bullet and learn something - but ho-li moley, is there ever some choices out there.

So far, I've learnt that whatever you design with, you still need something that will convert your drawing/3D model into something that a CNC Hotwire unit will understand so that it can actually do the cutting based on the drawing/solid form. Like Mach 3 if you're running G-code - the design software such as DevFus gets as far as producing the the code required by the machine to cut the job, but you need that extra bit in between to actually drive the cutter.

There's another Gsomething package - cant remember the acronym just now - that does it all (design, and cut from the same software without the need to output from one system and input into another (??)).

I could have that totally wrong, but I'm wading my way through a zillion Google pages at the moment - keen to learn enough to get me started.

What I'm really trying to find, though, is some software that will work back the other way around. I have some drawings with a full set of accurate cross-sections (formers, bulkeads, whatever you want to call them). Included is a half-plan view, and an elevation view - with the cross-section positions accurately marked on them.

So... in theory...all I need to do is read my (scaled) cross-sections into something, tell it where each cross-section lives in real space, and align the cross-sections to reference makers on the the drawings.

DevFus, DevFus Foam etc. look like they work by taking a 3-view diagram and going the opposite way i.e. attempting to create the cross-sections by creating a 3D image from a set of 2D drawings.

So I guess I still have a bucket-load of reading to do to find something that will accept my cross-sections/spacings/reference line offsets to create the final 3D solid form - which something like DevFus Foam ends up with, and I can finally cut the various fuselage sections using the CNC Hotwire machine.

If anyone understands what I just wrote, and knows the best way to go about converting my cross-sections and other related info into physical chunks of foam (that I can assemble and make a plug out of), I'd most grateful to hear your opinions...

BJ

PS - one other alternative is to print the cross-sections, stick them to 3mm plywood, cut/file/shape them until they're good enough to hotwire around a correct length of foam, then assemble those 'chunks' to make the plug. Which I've already started doing. But seriously, cutting 20+ of these suckers on a scroll saw, sandng/filing them is already driving me nuts. CNC Hotwire would be the go - if I just figure out how to get the friggen cross-sections back into a CAD package suitable for 3D rendering/cutting on a CNC rig...
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Old Dec 03, 2012, 08:13 AM
Father of Fr3aK, DLG Pilot
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USA, OH, Worthington
Joined May 2002
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BJ,

Any 3D cad package will allow you to import cross sections from a 2D scan or print or pdf and rotate / align them and loft them into a 3D object. I do this all of the time in Rhino, importing airfoils that were created as 2D files (simple X,Y coordinates) and rotating / aligning / lofting them into complex wing structures.

I don't want to sound like a commercial for Rhino but I've really been impressed with it over the past few years and I have found that I an create just about anything I can imagine.
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Old Dec 03, 2012, 08:46 PM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
Australia, VIC, Melbourne
Joined Jun 2009
25,179 Posts
Thanks Tom,

I have not had a look at Rhino yet, but I'll see what I can find.

I guess the main points regarding the use of CAD/CAM software are:

1. Does the software do what I want it to do (assuming I know what I want to do in the first place LoL).
2. Price.
3. Ease of Use.
4. Time required to get up to speed to be able to use the package fluently.

It can be so very, very confusing and frustrating learning all this stuff. You think you understand it, you go to do something, then you find out that there's a piece missing and you have to buy something else (and learn how to use it - again )

I'm a bit perplexed why you would want to use a 2D CAD if what you're trying to achieve is a 3D solid.

Is that just to digitize the cross-sections and save them in a format that is recognized by a 3D CAD/other software down the line?

For example, a 2D CAD isn't going to let me place my cross-sections along some kind of reference line in order to make the jump to 3D (?) - or does it?

I can see I have a loooong way to go in the learning curve yet...

BJ
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 03:37 PM
Build it again, Sam!
Harpye's Avatar
Germany
Joined Oct 2004
4,091 Posts
About Rhino ... It is not the easiest program but I love it....

You rather have the very most degrees of freedom in design ... if you would be able to handle it, so it is your decision if the results pay for the expenses you will have to invest ( money and time) ... some samples...
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 12:42 AM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
Australia, VIC, Melbourne
Joined Jun 2009
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Fast alles Luftwaffe

BJ
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 02:43 AM
Build it again, Sam!
Harpye's Avatar
Germany
Joined Oct 2004
4,091 Posts
Yes, but very international!

The Hurricane is British

the Comet , too ... but civil avionics

and the SPAD is French

Also have a worksheet about an Extra 300 in rhino to offer
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 09:01 AM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
Australia, VIC, Melbourne
Joined Jun 2009
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Merry Christmas (or Fröhliche Weinachten) fellow "CAD"ers.

I'm slowly learning this stuff - thanks to your help...

BJ
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 03:51 AM
Plowin Dirt
deckert's Avatar
USA, WA, Benton City
Joined Oct 2007
1,587 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclat View Post
Hello All,

After lurking for a long time I thought it was finally time to join the forum and with it post a request for help.

I am looking to restart designing my own near scale models and rather than sitting with pencil and paper in front of me I am looking at learning CAD and who knows maybe get kits cut from my efforts.

Can anyone offer advice on programmes, reading material to learn the subject and general advice etc etc.

A broad subject I know but I am all ears and genuinly wanting to update my skill set.

Many thanks in advance :-)
Just for the heck of it, why not try SketchUp from Google? It's a 3d program that's quite intuitive, fairly easy to learn, is totally free and isn't a resource hog. There are a TON of already made designs that you can DL and modify if you so choose to aid in understanding the program. Granted it's not the same quality as ACAD, Rhino or others and has limitations. But it's intutive interface and online help is quite extensive. There are literally hundreds of thousands of individuals world wide that utilize this pgm. to render images and perform design work that's beyond belief. It's not intended nor designed to replace an actual CAD type program but still performs things a CAD user would find surprising.

Dan
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 06:33 AM
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France, Auvergne, Lapalisse
Joined Dec 2005
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hi harpye how abbout another work shop in the new year use rhino and import from other sofware bits say wing from compufoil3D or profil and so on the Hurricane sounds good

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harpye View Post
Yes, but very international!

The Hurricane is British

the Comet , too ... but civil avionics

and the SPAD is French

Also have a worksheet about an Extra 300 in rhino to offer
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 07:11 AM
Build it again, Sam!
Harpye's Avatar
Germany
Joined Oct 2004
4,091 Posts
Just started a kind of common built project in a German forum ... but that is also difficult as all participants are rather new to CAD..... and two projects are too much in parallel! ( I did this within 4 days but no one of the others did start with the project!! See pic below)

( another thing is that I have two bigger projects at the job and currently don't know where to start and where to end!)

A dream which once came true with the more local situated modellers was to
gather for a CAD modelling and flying weekend , but in the current situ and with the international background, it would be impossible to do that ( more than half of the guys in here are from The States and flying overseas just for a long weekend would be a bit inefficient and expensive ( but I'd love to go there - quite for a bit longer - and even if it would not be RC related I'll go there once))!
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 10:10 AM
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France, Auvergne, Lapalisse
Joined Dec 2005
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i no what you mean there is all ways lots to do i have just moved from Britteny france to Allier france and am still seting up my new workshop may be later in the year.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Harpye View Post
Just started a kind of common built project in a German forum ... but that is also difficult as all participants are rather new to CAD..... and two projects are too much in parallel! ( I did this within 4 days but no one of the others did start with the project!! See pic below)

( another thing is that I have two bigger projects at the job and currently don't know where to start and where to end!)

A dream which once came true with the more local situated modellers was to
gather for a CAD modelling and flying weekend , but in the current situ and with the international background, it would be impossible to do that ( more than half of the guys in here are from The States and flying overseas just for a long weekend would be a bit inefficient and expensive ( but I'd love to go there - quite for a bit longer - and even if it would not be RC related I'll go there once))!
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 03:21 PM
Build it again, Sam!
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Germany
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4,091 Posts
We'll see! ( please let me know how far your new home is from Freiburg (Germany) ? )
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 05:35 PM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
Australia, VIC, Melbourne
Joined Jun 2009
25,179 Posts
16,395 km - in a straight line.... LoL

BJ
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 01:17 AM
Build it again, Sam!
Harpye's Avatar
Germany
Joined Oct 2004
4,091 Posts
Did not test it but I think I might remember where Australia is .... ( THought about dpot ... France is more or less neigbourhood compared with the Outback).

Perhaps sometime - so I decide to build a Vickers Vimmy in 1:1 scale .....
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