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Jul 04, 2014, 07:54 PM
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LuftwaffeSS's Avatar
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3D Models of Planes for 3D Printing (Polikarpov I-185)


Does anyone know where I can find any good 3D models of any WWII planes? I've been searching through the internet and I have not really found anything except rendered pictures of WWII planes. An idea I have would probably be extracting models from WW2 simulator video games like War Thunder.

If not, do you know any place which has very accurate blue prints for modeling these aircraft in a program like Solidworks? Since I'm new to this, I want to learn the process of turning 2D drawings into a full 3D model.

What I will do with this model is size it down to scale, adjust the interior for electric or gas engines, and then 3D print the aircraft in pieces using a 3D printer. I have got the idea from this video.

First flight of 3D printed plane (2 min 26 sec)


If anyone wants, I'll give away these models for free so that anyone with a 3D printer will be able to make these planes. 3D printed planes will lower the cost of buying plastic planes, and there will be more availability of rare planes like the Focke-Wulf Super Lorin. Thanks in advance.
Last edited by LuftwaffeSS; Jul 18, 2014 at 09:24 PM.
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Jul 04, 2014, 10:06 PM
Der Schaum-Kriegsvogel Pilot
FLTRI's Avatar
Have you seen this thread?

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2176450
Jul 04, 2014, 11:12 PM
Purdue Engineering
Rocketman1092's Avatar
Try GrabCad. A quick search reveals that there are several WWII aircraft models available in STEP/IGES format that will open in many CAD programs. Note that you'll have to create an account in order to download. Here are a few examples:

https://grabcad.com/library/vought-f4u1-corsair-1
https://grabcad.com/library/me-109-ww2-aircraft
https://grabcad.com/library/supermar...itfire-mk-viii

I think that making the models suitable for 3D printing will be no easy task. Perhaps the best approach would be to extract only the outer surfaces of the model, then add the internal support structure yourself. Alternatively, you could leave the model mostly solid and allow the 3D printing toolpath software to generate the infill to whatever density you specify. In any case, be sure to post whatever you end up doing. 3D printing for R/C models would be great if it were to become popular.
Jul 06, 2014, 05:46 PM
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LuftwaffeSS's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketman1092
I think that making the models suitable for 3D printing will be no easy task. Perhaps the best approach would be to extract only the outer surfaces of the model, then add the internal support structure yourself. Alternatively, you could leave the model mostly solid and allow the 3D printing toolpath software to generate the infill to whatever density you specify. In any case, be sure to post whatever you end up doing. 3D printing for R/C models would be great if it were to become popular.
I will mostly just copy the design blueprints into a 3D format. I would like to make the Super Lorin since it is a rare European concept plane and I just happen to have two ducted fans sitting around collecting dust. I got this image from Luft 46, do you know if anyone from Luft 46 might be courteous enough to give away any free 3D models?



Or if not, I will just copy off of this, yet it is kind of small for a very accurate reproduction.


Also, anyone know what that engine is in the fuselage of it that leads to the aircraft's underside?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLTRI
Yes, I'm waiting to see how that plane will fly.
Jul 06, 2014, 08:48 PM
Most people are stupid!
dambit's Avatar
So am I

I have some photos of this FW and other interesting designs from a museum I recently visited in Hanover. I'll look through them and post if they can help you out.

From what I can figure out the fuselage engine was actually a rocket for takeoff only. Once the aircraft reached a fast enough speed the ramjets (on the elevators) would kick in.
Jul 06, 2014, 09:42 PM
If it flies, I can crash it.
rocketsled666's Avatar
I do 3D graphics and animation, and some CAD stuff as a side-line. I use Lightwave and Solidworks. I have a Taig 4-axis CNC mill and a MakerBot Rep2 3D printer. The printer they used to make the plane in this video is probably >20x more $ than my Taig and Rep2 cost, combined. It's a laser sintering printer, it produces very strong parts.

I've considered making an airplane on my 3D Printer. I have used my Mill to carve foam to make some small RC planes including a P-47D. But I've decided that printing a plane with a fused filament machine like my Bot is impractical. The print times are very long for anything fairly large (and you would need to print it in many smaller segments, the print volume is not nearly as large as pictured in the video). And if you print in ABS (which is the strongest plastic these machines will print with), it's still only about 60% as strong as a molded ABS part, the plastic has a lower yield and tensile strength. so the model requires extra reinforcing and thickening to make it strong enough (=heavier). I might be able to print something small, like the e-Flite Ultra Micro size, since the smaller structure doesn't need to be as strong proportionally. But a large model like shown in the video would likely be too heavy if printed on any "affordable" consumer-level printer.

That being said, there are lots of airplanes in the public domain (I have a large collection, myself), just search for something like "3D Airplane Model" and start clicking links. But I think you'll find that most of these models are intended for animation work, not CAD, and do not lend themselves to 3D Printing. A primary requirement of a 3D printable model is that it be "water tight". I can only have two sides, and inside and and outside and there can be no way to trace a line along one surface to reach the other. It can't have "non-manifold edges", polygons with vertices that aren't connected to another polygon along a common edge. The models produced by 3D graphics packages often have many geometrical errors like this that can be nearly impossible to fix (or even find on a very complex model with lots of polys).

You can mill a model with these geometry errors, since the CAM software generates a toolpath following the contour only - if the tool wont fit in the gap, the gap "doesn't exist" and it doesn't affect the tool. But the 3D Printer needs to "slice" the model and generate a path around the circumference of the slice. Slicing is a complex operation performed by the printer's CAM software. Slicing assumes the model is watertight and manifold. The slicing operation (a prerequisite to printing) will fail if the model has flaws. Even when you CAD your own model, it can develop these flaws. There are programs like NetFabb that can fix simpler errors, but sometimes they deform the object in the process. When that happens, it can be a huge effort to correct by hand. I've scrapped designs I've spent days on, and started again from scratch because of this.

So bottom line, it's a lot more complicated than you might think.
Jul 07, 2014, 12:00 AM
Most people are stupid!
dambit's Avatar
But don't let that stop you if it's what you really want to do. If you have any decent ability to model in 3D then you should have no trouble modelling parts for printing, as long as you do it correctly from the start.

Do not even think about printing a plane that is intended to fly using PLA as your filament. It is far too brittle and weak for the task. ABS is perfectly fine but you will need to apply further materials in key areas for extra reinforcing. I'm using a combination of carbon spars, hard plastic coatings and in critical areas very light fiberglass.
Jul 07, 2014, 03:23 AM
Registered User
There is a CAD/CAM forum
https://www.rcgroups.com/cad-cam-660/
Jul 07, 2014, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dambit
So am I

I have some photos of this FW and other interesting designs from a museum I recently visited in Hanover. I'll look through them and post if they can help you out.
I would like to see those photos out of curiosity, and I hope that they will help with proportions and all. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dambit
From what I can figure out the fuselage engine was actually a rocket for takeoff only. Once the aircraft reached a fast enough speed the ramjets (on the elevators) would kick in.
Why is there an air intake for a rocket? And if the rocket is only for take off, then wouldn't the air intake just cause a lot of drag? On renders like the one for the Focke-Wulf Volksjäger they just have detachable rockets attached to the sides of the fuselage, I thought the Super Lorin used rockets like in the image but not one in the interior.





But also could the diagram be a mistake, and there is a redirectable thrust jet engine, so for take off the thrust is pointed down, and in flight the jet engine is operating at low rpm but directing air through the rear? Or what else could the rear opening be for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLOEY
There is a CAD/CAM forum
https://www.rcgroups.com/cad-cam-660/
Thanks for the link. I've noticed that some planes are modeled like this:


From Bart83.

And some are like the one below:



Do you think that 3D printing a plane's frame and then covering the frame with a light material or just 3D printing the plane as a solid hollow shape would be better? Since printing the frame would mean that less plastic is used, therefore a lighter plane, but the plane might not be that strong. And if printing the plane in hollow solid sections then the plane will be strong but heavier.
Last edited by LuftwaffeSS; Jul 09, 2014 at 08:27 PM.
Jul 07, 2014, 09:47 PM
Most people are stupid!
dambit's Avatar
I think either method is valid. If I was to redo my Beaufighter I would use a combination of both methods to achieve the result.

Not sure about the air inlet in the nose. The plane may not have been rocket propelled at all, and instead contained an early turbine (Jumo etc) for takeoff.
Jul 07, 2014, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketsled666
I do 3D graphics and animation, and some CAD stuff as a side-line. I use Lightwave and Solidworks. I have a Taig 4-axis CNC mill and a MakerBot Rep2 3D printer. The printer they used to make the plane in this video is probably >20x more $ than my Taig and Rep2 cost, combined. It's a laser sintering printer, it produces very strong parts.
I'm expecting that in the future there wont be such limitations such as very small and limited printer volume spaces, and weak plastics. If anything, we can save these 3D models made in today and print them in the future with better quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketsled666
I've considered making an airplane on my 3D Printer. I have used my Mill to carve foam to make some small RC planes including a P-47D. But I've decided that printing a plane with a fused filament machine like my Bot is impractical. The print times are very long for anything fairly large (and you would need to print it in many smaller segments, the print volume is not nearly as large as pictured in the video). And if you print in ABS (which is the strongest plastic these machines will print with), it's still only about 60% as strong as a molded ABS part, the plastic has a lower yield and tensile strength. so the model requires extra reinforcing and thickening to make it strong enough (=heavier). I might be able to print something small, like the e-Flite Ultra Micro size, since the smaller structure doesn't need to be as strong proportionally. But a large model like shown in the video would likely be too heavy if printed on any "affordable" consumer-level printer.
The 3D printers of today are limited in size and print times. For that reason I'm probably going to try 3D printing something like this plane:

It's small as it is, so it wont look like such a downgrade in size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketsled666
That being said, there are lots of airplanes in the public domain (I have a large collection, myself), just search for something like "3D Airplane Model" and start clicking links. But I think you'll find that most of these models are intended for animation work, not CAD, and do not lend themselves to 3D Printing. A primary requirement of a 3D printable model is that it be "water tight". I can only have two sides, and inside and and outside and there can be no way to trace a line along one surface to reach the other. It can't have "non-manifold edges", polygons with vertices that aren't connected to another polygon along a common edge. The models produced by 3D graphics packages often have many geometrical errors like this that can be nearly impossible to fix (or even find on a very complex model with lots of polys).
Well in that case it's best to download something from engineering programs like Solidworks instead of 3DS Max since 3DS max is just visual renders, and Solidworks is designed for very accurate engineering design purposes.
Jul 08, 2014, 06:36 PM
If it flies, I can crash it.
rocketsled666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuftwaffeSS
I'm expecting that in the future there wont be such limitations such as very small and limited printer volume spaces, and weak plastics. If anything, we can save these 3D models made in today and print them in the future with better quality.
Of course, that will almost certainly be true. The cost of 3D Printers continues to fall while the quality of their output continues to climb.

You could send your model to Shapeways and have them print it for you, instead of buying a 3D printer. For the first few dozen pieces, it would probably be less expensive. And it provides you with access to the highest quality most expensive printer capabilities that there are. They print in a wide range of materials from casting wax up to Platinum. But it's still pretty expensive. I designed a removable battery tray for my Carbon-Z Cub that uses maybe $2 of ABS to print. I uploaded the part to Shapeways and a print in their least expensive plastic is $50.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LuftwaffeSS
The 3D printers of today are limited in size and print times. For that reason I'm probably going to try 3D printing something like this plane: It's small as it is, so it wont look like such a downgrade in size.
The way I'd do this is with a DLP/Resin printer. Print thin walls in segments to act as a lattice, bond together, glass it and then fill it with foam.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LuftwaffeSS
Well in that case it's best to download something from engineering programs like Solidworks instead of 3DS Max since 3DS max is just visual renders, and Solidworks is designed for very accurate engineering design purposes.
Like I said, you can produce unprintable models in any modeling software, graphics oriented or CAD. It's more a question of the modeler than the tool used for the modeling. Some things you choose to do will minimize the kinds of errors that must be fixed to print, but I've been doing this a while now and I still sometimes screw up a model.

Also, printing isn't just having good scale 3D geometry. Getting a good print is a function of both the printer and the way you model the geometry. 3D printers are *not* very accurate and they have different mechanical limits/accuracy for different axes, so the shape and orientation of object features can have a significant effect on outcome. Outside radii tend to be undersized, and inside radii tend to be oversized (a 3mm hole in the CAD program will be closer to 2.5mm when printed). Quality also varies with print speed and ambient environment, and there's no real reference material, you need to learn how to compensate for these things by trial and error. In some cases you won't be able to compensate and you have to go back to adjust the model to deal with it.

I'm not saying don't try, I really don't want to discourage anyone from getting in to 3D printing. I think it's a blast. There are few things more satisfying than thinking of an idea and being able to turn it in to something solid that actually works, all without getting out of your chair. I've made tons of stuff, a GoPro 2-axis gimbal for my Armattan Quad, scale Iron gravity bombs for a friend's ME110, some jewelry, even Trophies. I just want to make sure you've got the right expectations going in, it's going to take some trial and error. You'll be very lucky indeed if you're happy with your first attempts!

I attached some examples of model-related stuff I've printed. The gimbal, bombs, a scale bust of me for an airplane pilot, and a cool carrying case I made for the Estes micro quad. You can't see it in the picture, but the sticks on the transmitter fit in to recesses on the back of the case, and the velcro strap on the cover goes around the entire thing, holding the lid on, as well as the TX. Also, the ends of the USB charger fit in to pockets and the wire wraps around notches on the corners on the outside, and the velcro. wraps around that, too I can keep this in my jacket pocket as a single "unit", and pop it open and have a quad ready to fly any time.
Last edited by rocketsled666; Jul 08, 2014 at 06:59 PM.
Jul 10, 2014, 09:05 PM
Registered User
LuftwaffeSS's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketsled666
You could send your model to Shapeways and have them print it for you, instead of buying a 3D printer. For the first few dozen pieces, it would probably be less expensive. And it provides you with access to the highest quality most expensive printer capabilities that there are. They print in a wide range of materials from casting wax up to Platinum. But it's still pretty expensive. I designed a removable battery tray for my Carbon-Z Cub that uses maybe $2 of ABS to print. I uploaded the part to Shapeways and a print in their least expensive plastic is $50.
Shapeways is an option since their print quality is good and less work. I currently do not own a 3D printer, but I will do so in the future when their printing quality and build volumes increases. As well as 3D printers being less expensive in the future. Thankfully the school that I currently go to has free use 3D printers which are priceless to use, so I will take that opportunity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketsled666
Like I said, you can produce unprintable models in any modeling software, graphics oriented or CAD. It's more a question of the modeler than the tool used for the modeling. Some things you choose to do will minimize the kinds of errors that must be fixed to print, but I've been doing this a while now and I still sometimes screw up a model.

Also, printing isn't just having good scale 3D geometry. Getting a good print is a function of both the printer and the way you model the geometry. 3D printers are *not* very accurate and they have different mechanical limits/accuracy for different axes, so the shape and orientation of object features can have a significant effect on outcome. Outside radii tend to be undersized, and inside radii tend to be oversized (a 3mm hole in the CAD program will be closer to 2.5mm when printed). Quality also varies with print speed and ambient environment, and there's no real reference material, you need to learn how to compensate for these things by trial and error. In some cases you won't be able to compensate and you have to go back to adjust the model to deal with it.

I'm not saying don't try, I really don't want to discourage anyone from getting in to 3D printing. I think it's a blast. There are few things more satisfying than thinking of an idea and being able to turn it in to something solid that actually works, all without getting out of your chair. I've made tons of stuff, a GoPro 2-axis gimbal for my Armattan Quad, scale Iron gravity bombs for a friend's ME110, some jewelry, even Trophies. I just want to make sure you've got the right expectations going in, it's going to take some trial and error. You'll be very lucky indeed if you're happy with your first attempts!
I've decided that I will make the Focke-Wulf Volksjäger(since its a simple and small plane) in CAD form and try to 3D print it when I get the chance. I'm using Solidworks for the modeling, though I do know the basic functions of Solidworks, I'm not exactly sure on how to make a 2D blueprint into a 3D model.

I am using these blueprints since it's the only I can find of this plane.





And so this is how far I have gotten. I drew this in 3D sketch mode and using the image from a 2D sketch. How should I proceed with modelling the round fuselage? And also how should the wings be added on?



Last edited by LuftwaffeSS; Jul 10, 2014 at 09:11 PM.
Jul 10, 2014, 09:36 PM
Most people are stupid!
dambit's Avatar
I posted a video in my Beaufighter thread on how I model the plane. Also youtube is full of tutorials for everything.
Jul 10, 2014, 10:11 PM
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LuftwaffeSS's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dambit
I posted a video in my Beaufighter thread on how I model the plane. Also youtube is full of tutorials for everything.
But you used Autodesk?


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