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Oct 13, 2013, 01:14 PM
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sqrt18's Avatar
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Build Log

9D- the 3D printed 3D plane

after graduating from the 3D printed flying wing and i designed a 3D printed 3D plane:

(3 min 11 sec)

although the design is not yet perfected, i think it's quite a good effort

the length is 110cm, the wingspan 90 (design error- it was supposed to be 100 ).
the printed parts weight 380gr and the AUW (no battery) is 920gr.
for power i used a thrust 30 motor with 12X6 prop.
Last edited by sqrt18; Oct 14, 2013 at 01:13 AM.
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Oct 13, 2013, 01:30 PM
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the design

the entire structure of the plane is a 3D printed scaffold with carbon rod reinforcements along the wings, fuselage and elevator/rudder.
since the material is heat sensitive, i used clear adhesive tape for the covering.

to fit on the printer tray and save printing time the fuselage is divided into 3 parts and the rudder and elevator are also printed separately.
i designed all moving surfaces to revolve within their corresponding stationary part (aileron in wing, etc.) so no gap sealing will be necessary. the moving and stationary parts could have been easily printed together as a working assembly, but i printed them separately for ease of covering.
separate features are integrated into the structure as much as possible- the landing gear, battery tray and motor mount are part of the fuselage and the control horns are part of the control surfaces, for example.

the plane flies quite well, in my opinion, but there are still some problem areas- the wings are too short, the motor holder is not strong enough, the horizontal stab is not held rigidly enough in the fuse.
i need to get my energies back and go back to tweak the design
Last edited by sqrt18; Oct 14, 2013 at 01:24 AM.
Oct 13, 2013, 01:39 PM
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can i have one?

the short answer- no.

i have access to the printer and resin through work, so price was not an issue for me. since it is very light the material cost is not very large, but because it is big the print times are long and if the printer uses a support material it will use a lot of it.
this means that printing this plane will probably cost several hundred dollars.

also, although very cool (i think ) this is really not the very best method for building a plane- the materials are not very strong (like carbon fiber) or very light (like Balsa or foam) and also the thin parts can be a challenge to print well.
another problem is that the materials are not always strong enough to withstand "light" crashes (or bad landings) while others can deform if left a little too long in the sun.

but with better and cheaper printers i guess (and hope) it will be very feasible soon.

for now, though, 3D printers can be really useful for jigs and parts for foamies, for example. you can see an example in the motor holder here (post #6), but i hope to have some more interesting things in the foamies section soon.
hope you enjoyed,

Last edited by sqrt18; Oct 14, 2013 at 01:21 AM.
Oct 13, 2013, 05:38 PM
Addicted to 3DHS, EF and Flex
3Daddict's Avatar
Vary cool. Post video if you can.
Oct 13, 2013, 10:11 PM
spitfire thunders superior
tuck's Avatar
Originally Posted by 3Daddict
Vary cool. Post video if you can.
Oct 13, 2013, 10:26 PM
FPV Racer - N4FPV
Eddie James's Avatar
What's its name?

How about Reginald.
Oct 13, 2013, 11:46 PM
↓↘→ + (punch)
theKM's Avatar
love it. very interested, would love to see it in person some time.

Mylar covering techniques would save weight over the tape... even just a lightweight covering like Ora-light. both will need some adhesive love, but lighter result for sure.
Oct 14, 2013, 12:22 AM
3D Sunset Flier
Buzzed's Avatar
The wings are a work of art. Outstanding!

Thanks for sharing and we are looking forward to video.

Oct 14, 2013, 01:15 AM
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strange. i posted a video. at first it looked OK, then i could only see a link and not the embedded video, but apparently you guys couldn't even see that?

i tried again- i simply pasted the link from Vimeo in my first post.
it looks OK again now, so i hope you can watch it. (or am I doing anything wrong?)

KM- i considered using other covering materials- shrink cover on low heat, mylar or cellophane with CA glue, but in the end the adhesive tape with it's strength and ease of application won the day, even though there are lighter options.
Last edited by sqrt18; Oct 14, 2013 at 05:02 AM.
Oct 14, 2013, 11:35 AM
Registered User
Awesome job!

I have made some 3D printed formers to replace broken plywood formers in my balsa planes. In my experience, these ABS parts are tougher than ply, more flexible but work fine in the traditional RC frame structure. However, 3D truss is beautiful and 100% presenting the benefits of 3d printing and design. I guess if you add some solid surfaces within the 3D truss around the horizontal stabs area will improve the rigidness significantly without adding too much weight.

Keep us posted!
Oct 14, 2013, 09:11 PM
Сделайте Америку Великой Снова
7oneWo1f's Avatar
Awesome! A+
Oct 14, 2013, 11:55 PM
I Love 30mm
FlyinAg's Avatar
Wow we thought we were cool when we printed pieces for our wind tunnel models back in school. That is awesome, nice work!
Old Oct 15, 2013, 03:01 AM
A moderator felt this post violated the following rule: Offensive content (Offsite link).
Oct 15, 2013, 08:52 AM
Сделайте Америку Великой Снова
7oneWo1f's Avatar
Originally Posted by randohb3
I know you already have it on the list
Malware alert. Server side scripting with selective redirect to malware.
Oct 15, 2013, 11:03 PM
spitfire thunders superior
tuck's Avatar
Thanks for posting the video sqrt18. This is a very foward thinking. I look foward to seeing more 3d printed aerobatic airframes, and the eveolution of structural integrity to handle high G. forces.

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