P38 Lightning 3D Print - RC Groups
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Nov 29, 2016, 05:24 PM
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Richard!'s Avatar
Discussion

P38 Lightning 3D Print


This is my build of a P38 Lightning.
Printing the model from 3D Lab Print.
https://3dlabprint.com/shop/lockheed-p-38-lightning/

Have had a 3D printer for some time now and used it make all sorts of useful and useless items.
Having build RC models from scratch with balsa, bought ARF, foamies etc this is a really interesting new avenue.

The print guide from 3D Lab is very clear and the model is excellent. I am printing it on an Ultimaker 2+. Made a few test prints to get the settings nailed down. Some of the setting had to be quite different from the suggested. However on the guide got me into the correct area.

Made good progress so far with the printing. Had a minor hiccup the cooling fan for the hot end of the printer failed 11 hours into a 15 hour print for the second motor fuselage. Have made many prints with the printer, just a shame it happened now. No matter new fan should arrive soon.

The parts fit together really well, so far i'm really impressed.
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Nov 29, 2016, 11:21 PM
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mkcp40's Avatar
Very impressive- I'll be watching this with interest. How's the thrust to weight ratio look? I printed a micro (30mm EDF) A-4 Skyhawk a while back but at that size 3D printed airframes weigh too much.
Nov 30, 2016, 02:04 AM
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Richard!'s Avatar
These are the specs from 3D lab
Length: 1042mm (41.0in)
Wingspan: 1410mm (55.1in)
Height: 298mm (11.7in)
Wing area: 30.5 dm2
Wing loading: 65.9 g/dm2
Airfoil: aircombat modificated
Print weight: 1160g
Empty weight (w/o battery): 1750g
Takeoff weight (3s 3000 lipo): 1980g
Max takeoff weight: 2200g

So far the parts I've printed are coming in a little under the expected amount. I will weigh it once the print is complete.
Going to running 2x Motor – 620KV on 6S. Hopefully plenty of power.
Dec 02, 2016, 02:25 AM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
That is *sensational*, mate

BJ
Dec 02, 2016, 02:39 AM
Kicking Tires
I applaud the innovation! Being at the forefront of adapting newer methods for model airplane construction is not an easy thing. I enjoyed seeing some flight video of 3DLP's P-38 at Flite Test, and want to see more!
Dec 02, 2016, 02:49 AM
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Vik_'s Avatar
I have seen spitfire from them and it looks good.
Obviously you can feel the 3D PLA skin is not 100% smooth. But it flies well and if you need new part you simply print new one...
need to try it too
Dec 05, 2016, 04:41 PM
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Richard!'s Avatar
Certainly am looking forward to this one. The most recent Flight Test video is very positive.

3D Printed Airplane - P 38 Lightning | Flite Test (10 min 36 sec)
Dec 07, 2016, 04:30 AM
An aspirational fast jet pilot
Great_Goose's Avatar
Hi Richard,
I contacted a 3D printing company here in Australia about printing the P-38 for me. I sent them a copy of the user manual so they would know what I wanted. Based on the user manual saying the print weight was 1180g it would take them 80 hours to print and cost $800 ($560 US). Is there a misunderstanding or is there more information I need to give to get an accurate idea of printing cost?
Dec 07, 2016, 06:47 AM
Wing Commander of 40+ Planes
Area81Racing's Avatar
The 2:11 Min mark in video above indicated that if you own the 3D printer, the PLA and PETG material build cost is about $ 18.00
Dec 07, 2016, 04:14 PM
An aspirational fast jet pilot
Great_Goose's Avatar
I was not having a go at Richard, I think he has done a great thing and made it available at such a good price. Yes I read the material cost of $20 was based having your own 3D printer. Obviously you can tell I know nothing about 3D printing. I was just very surprised if the materials cost is $20 the final printed product costs $800 given they had to do no design work just print from a supplied file. I now know why 3D printing of RC aircraft has not taken off commercially it is just too slow to be cost effective.
Dec 08, 2016, 01:25 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Great_Goose
.
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I was just very surprised if the materials cost is $20 the final printed product costs $800 given they had to do no design work just print from a supplied file. I now know why 3D printing of RC aircraft has not taken off commercially it is just too slow to be cost effective.
80 hours x 10$ per hour ain't bad.

3D printing the complete plane isn't cost/weight effective. If I should only make one off plane, I would only print
the complex details and made the rest out of balsa/foam or what ever suitable.

If I should make several/many planes I would have printed out molds and frames.

But!

If You are into extreeme scale, 3D printing will save You a lot of time and make impossible things possible in "no time",
compared to traditional methods.
Dec 08, 2016, 03:35 AM
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Richard!'s Avatar
Quick note, I didn't create this model. I've just purchased it from 3Dlabprint to print my own

In the past I've had items printed by shapeways. They do everyone by material required. It's certainly quite pricy. I suspect that it would cost a fair bit to have it made there.

For me this project is of interest as I have a 3D printer. Bought it about a year ago and used for various projects of greater or lesser usefulness. Printing a plane seems like a really interesting concept and this model certainly looks fantastic.

For me the material cost is a little higher as each 750g spool is 30 (38usd). I need a little extra for test prints. Also need to factor in the electricity cost which won't huge amount. I'd have to add up the print time, I've set mine to print a little slower so the number will probably be a bit higher than 80 hrs. (Will add up the time required later this week). So far the parts I have printed have come in a little under the amount specified in the manual. (Couple of grams)

If I didn't have a 3D printer and was only interested in printing this one thing then I'd give it a miss. I don't think I'd go to an external company for this sort of thing either the cost is to high when compared to other models available on the market. Especially when you consider the cost of all the electronic etc that are required to finish the model.
However if 3D printing is of interest for more than this one model, then the printer cost would less of a factor when considering what else you may be interesting in doing with it.
Dec 08, 2016, 03:41 AM
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Richard!'s Avatar
The 3D printer does allow the creation of very precise item and with the correct material increably strong. For example I printed a bracket for a clutch master cylinder in my brothers kit car. This was done with Colorfabb HT, http://www.msportster.co.uk/2016/09/...tch-assembled/

The same sort of items could be created for tradition rc models too, e.g. Servo trays / landing gear door or as Floey suggested scale items such as cockpits, lights...
Dec 08, 2016, 03:57 AM
Wing Commander of 40+ Planes
Area81Racing's Avatar
Full disclosure, I am not a environmental tree hugger/activist.

One the benefits of 3D printing that really intrigues me is the benefit of producing a product locally.

This P-38 is not made in a far away land, stored in a box with packing material for transportation across vast oceans, then shipped by various trucks to a destination, then stored, for who knows how long, simply awaiting sale until I purchased it, then shipped again by multiple delivery trucks to my home.

This concept can be applied in so many products we all purchase, own, maintain and consume everyday.
Dec 08, 2016, 04:04 AM
Registered User
TyberJV44's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Great_Goose
I was not having a go at Richard, I think he has done a great thing and made it available at such a good price. Yes I read the material cost of $20 was based having your own 3D printer. Obviously you can tell I know nothing about 3D printing. I was just very surprised if the materials cost is $20 the final printed product costs $800 given they had to do no design work just print from a supplied file. I now know why 3D printing of RC aircraft has not taken off commercially it is just too slow to be cost effective.
You forgot that you live in Australia, when even an automated process is expensive because someone has to do minimal work, like press the button or put the material onto the reel.

I had a quote to get plane laser cut from balsa when I supplied the DXF files and they wanted $250 plus the material costs. Complete rort, so I've decided to build my own CNC router instead.

Back on topic that looks amazing, certainly if you can get the same weight to strength abilities as traditional builds the possibilities are endless


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