3D fusealage design in CAD where to start?? - RC Groups
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Oct 05, 2004, 04:16 PM
superdave42's Avatar

3D fusealage design in CAD where to start??

Hello I wanted to try my hand at creating a vacum form for a custom fuse design. I am very fluent with 3D modeling and mostly use solidworks. I found an actuall model of the fuselage I want to make, but it is an actual display model that you glue together. what is the best way to dimension it and re-create it in CAD, can be a surface model or 3D solid. I appreciate any help you all can give.

or if someone has done this , please point me in the right direction/thread.

Thanks guys :-)
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Oct 05, 2004, 07:36 PM
Model Bender
OzDragonFlyer's Avatar
Never built an accurate replica from scratch but have seen it done from tri-view drawings. Sketch around the 3 views from a scanned document and create cross sections at regular stations from front to rear.

Use a controlled boundary blend or loft between these sections to create the surfaces. This is only one way to do it but pretty much my favourite as it's very quick to build complex surfaces with compound curves.

If you really need accuracy take it to someone who has a 3D digitiser that outputs point clouds, might take a little while to do something as big as a glider though
Oct 05, 2004, 07:40 PM
superdave42's Avatar
Thanks Oz, I think I need to get more into surface modeling.. everything I do is SOLID. good info though., still looking for more.
Oct 05, 2004, 11:41 PM
Model Bender
OzDragonFlyer's Avatar
I'd like to see how you solve this problem as I haven't the patience to duplicate an existing model exactly If you work out a good technique let us know! There's a plastic Mig29 kit at home I've always wanted to copy into a full size slopie
Oct 06, 2004, 11:43 PM
EDF rules... :)
AirX's Avatar
Check this model out...

I did this from just a set of 3 views and pictures I gathered doing research on the net for it. I will post more pictures of the process if you are interested.

Eric b.

I used a combination of surrface and solid modeling from AutoCAD and AutoDesk Inventor to derive the parts shown. It is a pusher model of the A-4 Skyhawk II and will be done in 65mm fan sized when the pusher version is finished.
Last edited by AirX; Oct 06, 2004 at 11:47 PM.
Oct 08, 2004, 06:41 PM
superdave42's Avatar
Hey air X I am interested keep posting dude :-)
Oct 08, 2004, 06:42 PM
superdave42's Avatar
I am trying to model a helicopter fuselage and need to create a vaccuum form.

I was going to model the cannopy and create then print it out in 3d stereo lith.

then use that to create the modl from.
Oct 08, 2004, 06:59 PM
EDF rules... :)
AirX's Avatar
Hi Dave,

Do you know AutoCAD 3d, without that it would take a full AutoCAD course to bring you up to speed on it.

Eric B.

Scratch that, I went back and started reading from the first and saw that you are fluent in 3d so I will start a few posts that will help to define what needs to be done to model in 3d starting with simple aircraft shapes.
Last edited by AirX; Oct 08, 2004 at 07:04 PM.
Oct 08, 2004, 07:12 PM
KG7TTQ - Las Vegas
mark_q's Avatar
If your are going to get into complex surface modeling and point clouds in SolidWorks, try and find a copy of the ShapeWorks plug in. here is a link for more info:


The only problem with it is how time seems to go awry when you start playing with it....

Oh, yes, they have an evaluation version
Last edited by mark_q; Oct 08, 2004 at 07:13 PM. Reason: Forgot something...
Oct 08, 2004, 07:22 PM
superdave42's Avatar
Yes airX VERY fluent with 3D SOLID modeling. no surface experience..

I appreicate your help guys.. very much

I am a mechanical designer.

Tis is my first surfaceing job....

Thanks for the link Mark...
Oct 08, 2004, 07:34 PM
Gravity is Winning.......
LiftVsGravity's Avatar
I agree with the AirX. It has taken me 6 or 8 months of lunch hours to learn enough to do this little bit. I am proud of it, but I have learned so much doing it, I think it stinks now and want to redo it.
At work we are on AutoCAD 2002 and are now moving up to 2005. It takes quite of bit of work, but it so worth it. This file as it is in the picture is 10mb. One of my coworkers (AutoCAD monster, taught me the basics) said the other products of AutoDesk work better for 3D modeling.
Oct 08, 2004, 09:53 PM
EDF rules... :)
AirX's Avatar
Ok, tomorrow I will get the first part read for a little fuselage modeling. I wont go into great depth but enough to translate over to other platforms. I will be using AutoCAD v2000, so the AutoCAD people will probably get more out of it but the general ideas are translatable to Solidworks and Rhino etc.

Eric B.
Oct 08, 2004, 10:22 PM
KG7TTQ - Las Vegas
mark_q's Avatar
Hey Dave,

Here is another RCgroups link called "SolidWorks, Show your Stuff"

Mostly SW, but others as well. Some good contacts for questions here too.

And another: http://www.solidmag.com/
This is the SolidWorks Users official publication and a great resource.

And lastly there is always Solid Solutions Advanced: http://www.d-digest.com/ssa/v3i2/model_tips_review.html

Another good pluggin if you can get it is FeatureWorks which does a great job of file conversion from all formats including converting AutoCAD 2D drawings into full featured parametric models. (providing of course the drawing was done fully associated to begin with).

Enjoy - Mark
Oct 08, 2004, 10:42 PM
Registered User
Mike James's Avatar

3D models from 3-views and/or plastic display models

If you're excellent, you can use your eyes, along with some good photos and 3-views to create a 3D model that's very close to the original. My general technique for creating a 3D model from 3-views is at http://www.nextcraft.com/3drcdesign.html

If you have a plastic display model that you believe is accurate enough for your needs, then you might try building it and slicing it up, then scanning the slices for import into your 3D software as cross-sections. The method I use for this is posted at http://homepage.mac.com/mikejames/pl...c_to_rc01.html
Oct 09, 2004, 12:34 AM
Kamen Raida Buisuri
Apivat J's Avatar
Hi Mike,

I discovered your website about a year ago and tried you technique but the problem is I couldn't get go enough resolution on the raster image like you have above without renderring it. So, the image appear jagged and it's impossible to trace accurate lines over it. Do you mind explaining about how did you do that in Rhino? I can only come close to your above image when I use 3DMax. Again 3DMax is only good for animation stuff not to mention its complexity.

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