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Jun 27, 2011, 01:41 AM
"We're in the pipe, 5 by 5"
Lupus78's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks Truckerboy! I think I've got the right equipment and sharp blades. My covering iron is a cheap Turnigy, but seems to do it's job just fine. As I've inspected the result, I think the film sticks maybe even too well on the rough surface of the printed material. So when I iron it, it won't flex and slide into place, but sticks where it's first set. I think I'll try to polish the surface even more. And when applied, I need to stretch it carefully over the surface. But seems easy enough. I'll see when I have more time to get forward with building this thing. (Babysitting duties currently get priority.)

As the Shapeways material can take so much bending and impacts without cracking, I think the final covered plane (with CF spars) will be near indestructible...! Here's a video showing off the material strength. And here's another one, an older video made by Shapeways.
Last edited by Lupus78; Jun 27, 2011 at 01:46 AM.
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Jun 28, 2011, 09:53 AM
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jlcamp7's Avatar
That's some scary strong stuff! This really could possibly be the future of rc. One problem though. Company's will never use it because if it never breaks/get's destroyed then there won't be a reason to purchase a new frame/arf packages.

I really am getting more and more excited about this project.
Jun 28, 2011, 10:29 AM
Registered User
That's interesting, most of this stuff is usually really really brittle! However, I highly doubt that the plane is indestructable. The plane simply has too many sharp corners and other places that are highly stressed when load is applied in the right angle and on the right spot. Usually all these angles and spots are somehow found during hard landings...

The first video is cool, but doesn't tell how well the plane will hold up. There is simply nothing to compare it to. What if the round thing was made out of balsa? Maybe it'd break, I don't know. Balsa is still very strong if used in the right way. It simply has very different properties and it needs to be taken into account when designing the object. The same might apply for this material. The real test will be the first hard turns mid air, and the first landings.

Sorry for being so boring . Durability testing is what I do for a living..... Just had to comment on this
Last edited by Truckerboy; Jun 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM.
Jun 28, 2011, 10:54 AM
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jlcamp7's Avatar
Definitely not boring. Well made points.
Jun 28, 2011, 11:48 AM
"We're in the pipe, 5 by 5"
Lupus78's Avatar
Thread OP
Nothing is indestructible, that's a fact. If it were, that would be the holy grail indeed. I just hope this thing flies and can land in one piece. The hardest thing is to get the weight of the complete plane low enough. And it will be fast - which will stress it during the flight and landings, as Truckerboy noted. This is an experiment and I'm not wanting to get your hopes too high. What's most exciting about this, is the ease of construction and precision the parts are made. I wouldn't bet too much on the durability. Downsides are weight of the material and the cost, which is relatively high. Using cheap components the overall price will be manageable, though.

I have lot of experience with this printed material Shapeways uses. This is why I even attempt to do a plane out of this stuff, as I believe it is sturdy enough. But when/if it will fly, I will definitely test it's strength and post my findings.
Jun 28, 2011, 02:33 PM
Registered User
Are you perhaps working at some place where you order mock up parts/prototypes of this material? At my job the designers usually make prototypes of this kind of material in an early design stage. It looks really cool! However it's kind of fragile. But this material from shapeways looks as if it's more flexible, which might be good in this case. Is it perhaps polyamide?
Jun 28, 2011, 02:44 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupus78
Thanks Truckerboy! I think I've got the right equipment and sharp blades. My covering iron is a cheap Turnigy, but seems to do it's job just fine. As I've inspected the result, I think the film sticks maybe even too well on the rough surface of the printed material. So when I iron it, it won't flex and slide into place, but sticks where it's first set. I think I'll try to polish the surface even more. And when applied, I need to stretch it carefully over the surface. But seems easy enough. I'll see when I have more time to get forward with building this thing. (Babysitting duties currently get priority.)
Oh, so you got a dedicated covering iron, eh? I've been thinking about getting one, but I'm just too comfortable with the larger one for clothes. Just have to be careful so that no colors get stuck onto the surface... Wouldn't be too good if the wife tries to iron something that's white!

What's your opinion on the Turnigy? Any downsides?
Jun 29, 2011, 12:40 AM
"We're in the pipe, 5 by 5"
Lupus78's Avatar
Thread OP
The "White, Strong and Flexible" material is called by a technical name "nylon 12". Here's a PDF datasheet about the material. Softening point is at 163 and melting point is at around 172-180 degrees Celsius, so using covering iron at temperatures appropropriate for light film materials will not harm it. The Solite suggests temperatures less than 100 degrees, which seem to work great. The Turnigy iron so far has worked great. I have been able to set it at temperatures good for the solite material. Also patched my Hyperion 25e Mustang tail once using this iron, after a cat's attack against my plane. The iron is easy to use, lot less cumbersome than clothing iron and warms fast. And cheap as dirt. Can't find any real negatives yet. But I'm just a beginner in this covering stuff.

And no, I work for Futuremark as a senior 3d graphic designer. This is just a hobby.

Here's a quick video of the landing gear door I've just made. It demostrates pretty well how tough this material is. The problem is really not the fragility. Bigger problem is that it gets VERY flexible and almost "rubbery" when made really thin. When stressed, it bends in almost ridiculous amount. This is why I'm planning of using some CF spars to make the structure more rigid. I don't want to play like a ragdoll when in the air.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZIKBBOKZZA
Jun 29, 2011, 01:34 AM
"We're in the pipe, 5 by 5"
Lupus78's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlcamp7
That's some scary strong stuff! This really could possibly be the future of rc. One problem though. Company's will never use it because if it never breaks/get's destroyed then there won't be a reason to purchase a new frame/arf packages.
I only hope this plane will be able to take the normal punishment like rough landings, nose overs and cartwheels (ie. the usual) without any major damage. I doubt anything can withstand full speed head on collision with hard ground. There are limits - and people WILL break these, even if they're sturdy (even that is yet to be seen). But the really positive thing is that I can make every single part of this plane available as separate item and you can order just the one you manage to break beyond repairs (although Shapeways has a minimum limit of $25 for any order, shipping included).

And being the "future of rc"? I don't think were there yet. Maybe one path to follow, but definitely not the universal solution. There are huge limitations like the printing costs and the weight of the material. Staying small is pretty much the only way right now, as weight and price goes up exponentially with the size. I'm trying to find the "sweetspot" where the price of the plane will stay low enough, weight manageable, but size big enough to be fun to fly outside. For the next plane I will try to make it even lighter, with a better weight to wing load ratio. Which makes WW1 biplanes an ideal subject. What would be the best place to start than the beginning of the aeronautics? (Errr... Except that I just began with a WW2 design... Oh well...)

The new polished Shapeways WSF material has really stunned me how good quality finish it has. I've received some parts I've ordered for my Hyperion Mustang and they look really good. The surface feels silky smooth and there's no left-over printing powder anywhere. Even the tubular sections are free of the usual dust. Now I'm actually considering splitting up the Hellcat's wing and fuselage into two separate parts so that they would go under the maximum 20cm size limit this polished material Shapeways has given. There would be slots for CF spars that will join the parts together. The other option is just to offer all of the smaller parts as polished and keep the wing and fuse using the rougher standard material. (Edit: Just noticed the limit was 15cm, not 20cm. So splitting the wing in two wouldn't help.)

Next weekend I'm hoping to have more time to build the plane. I'm planning of trying to rig the torque rods into the wings, glue in some CF reinforcements, cover them and see if I can make a plane out these parts. This week has gone in babysitting duties as my wife is having a shopping-spree in the summer sales. Any idea if a 0.6mm piano wire would work as a torque rod for ailerons, or should it be something thicker?
Last edited by Lupus78; Jun 29, 2011 at 02:29 AM.
Jul 01, 2011, 09:14 PM
Disturbed, but in a good way.
RotoGoat's Avatar
Subscribed.....very cool!
Jul 04, 2011, 01:13 AM
"We're in the pipe, 5 by 5"
Lupus78's Avatar
Thread OP

Some progress...


Got some progress yesterday. Mainly some sanding, carbon fiber spar reinforcements, aileron setup preparation, motor installation etc. Next I'll be covering the parts and setting up the linkage. Also got tons of ideas for the next version, so that everything would be so much easier to put together. I've also decided to try out the fuselage with stringers made from 1mm carbon fiber. The Shapeways material gets too flexible when made as thin. And it's heavier than carbon fiber.
Last edited by Lupus78; Jul 04, 2011 at 01:24 AM.
Jul 04, 2011, 08:15 AM
Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
verticalspark's Avatar
This is awesome! I'll be keeping up with this build for sure.
Jul 04, 2011, 09:21 AM
ProBro #261
mc71's Avatar
For the next one you could print in place the control horns for the surfaces, some little catch hooks for the servos to click in, and then just cut a piece of carbon rod to the right length and it controls would be done.

Matt
Jul 04, 2011, 10:15 AM
Registered User
jlcamp7's Avatar
Looking great lupus. I really love the use of the magnets for the cowl. Super clean and easy access.
Jul 05, 2011, 02:10 AM
"We're in the pipe, 5 by 5"
Lupus78's Avatar
Thread OP
I've considered doing controls for ailerons printed in place, but I'm not sure if the material has low enough friction to operate perfectly. And as I've told, once the material gets too thin, it becomes very flexible. I've already made traditional horns for the tail sections and I might also do some sort of horn you can just glue into aileron rods.

The magnets for the cowling seems perfect for the job and they keep the cowling in place really well. And they of course add some nose weight. With the 16 gram motor, cowling and one tail servo installed as you see in the picture, the CG of the fuselage sets pretty much around the LE. I think I will have no problem getting this bird nose heavy, even when the tail feathers are added. I think I might not need the heavier 350mAh battery after all. For this prototype I will make the rudder rigid, since because of the carbon fiber support spars inside the fuselage, these spars happen to intersect the space I had intended for the tail control rods. I will leave the other servo slot empty and route the elevator rod from that side.

If this Hellcat flies, I think my next printable micro model might be the Finnish Focker D.XXI, which has been seen only as scratch built models. Also some rare plastic scale models have been around. It's one of the less-known workhorses that the Finns used through the war. Especially winter war. The shape looks easy to make and there's some nice details I'd like to model. Quite a lot of resemblance with zero, actually. Also could have both the skis as well as regular landing gears delivered with the package, whatever you prefer.
Last edited by Lupus78; Jul 05, 2011 at 11:30 AM.


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