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barbecue skewers, popsicle sticks, wodden control horns -- what are the alternatives?

#1
Hi,

I'm working on a FT Edge, but I'm thinking on doing a few things another way than the plan/video suggest.

The first thing I have changed is the battery mount - using a plate similar to the one used on the Super Bee (https://store.flitetest.com/flite-test-super-bee-hardwood-replacement-kit-flt-2052/p674261).

As I understand it, the point of the foam planes, are to build them out of "everyday items", but since I already have a few carbon rods, (screw-in) control horns, and other stuff from the balsa-building of yesteryear, I'm curious on how to use these. The control horns whould just crush the foam if they are installed on the bare foam, so en example would be to put in a patch of thin plywod on the top and bottom of the control surface.

Do you guys have any suggestions on using other materials or methods to make the planes a bit more durable?
 

kdobson83

Active member
#2
I personally 3d print as many components as possible. Firewalls, control horns, stabilizers, fuselages on smaller builds like the arrow, decor stuff like spinners and exausts, hatch's and hatch mechanisms and so on. Printing them in some cases are more durable and I can print as many as I want for next to nothing. Lots of great free files out there too. Plus, 3d printing has gotten cheap as of late. Paid $200 for my Creality Ender 3. I even print for other people for a small fee for people that do t have 3d printers.
 

Arcfyre

Well-known member
#4
As a replacement for BBQ skewers, especially as anchor points for rubber bands holding the wings down, I use 1/8" welding wire from tractor supply. Its just a little bit heavier, but you don't run the risk of it snapping if you have a slight mishap.

For pushrods I use signal flag wire. Available at hardware stores or at the side of the road if you're feeling really cheap.

For control horns, I have made them out of old gift cards or expired credit cards. For a mighty mini, a single layer of material is sufficient. For a full size model I would recommend laminating two pieces together to make one control horn. I have also recycled some plastic ones from an old FMS model and had great success just hot gluing the horn to the foam, not using the backing plate at all. YMMV

I haven't found a replacement or alternative for popsicle sticks. They are cheap, light, and useful for many different things.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#5
I personally 3d print as many components as possible. Firewalls, control horns, stabilizers, fuselages on smaller builds like the arrow, decor stuff like spinners and exausts, hatch's and hatch mechanisms and so on. Printing them in some cases are more durable and I can print as many as I want for next to nothing. Lots of great free files out there too. Plus, 3d printing has gotten cheap as of late. Paid $200 for my Creality Ender 3. I even print for other people for a small fee for people that do t have 3d printers.
Agreed, this is how I do most of my stuff now - plus I can customize the firewalls and control horns a bit if needed for different motor mounting situations. I bought some motors off of Amazon that don't match the Emax motor mount configuration, so I move the holes around a bit and modify it to work with my needs. :)

And you're right about 3D printers being cheap now, as cheap as regular inkjet printers. I've got a Monoprice Mini V1 that, I THINK I paid $250 for it originally - it can't print stuff bigger than 4.6" x 4.6", but for control horns, firewalls, little brace pieces here and there...It works pretty darned good!

For popsicle sticks, honestly - they're pretty cheap, they're available at just about any craft store like Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Joann Fabrics, Walmart, Target, etc., and they work pretty darned good as braces and skids, as well as a way to smear hot glue if I need to get it down around/into something (like, say, the landing gear cuts for a MiG-3 or Mustang). I've also used them as internal braces around the landing gear for my Bushwacker, and that's been great. Sure, I can 3d print something that's a little more accurate, but when it takes 15-20 min. to print out something the size/shape of a popsicle stick, I'll just go with a popsicle stick instead. :)

Bamboo skewers are great if you have them around the house. If you want something a little more durable and you WANT to use the carbon fiber rods, you're more than welcome to do so; I personally don't because the cost of the rods is more than a package of bamboo skewers, and there's a 24 hour grocery store down the street from me that carries them when the hobby shop closes at 6 PM, and can't always make it in on time after work. Nothing saying you can't use them, just that cost and availability is what pushes most people to the bamboo skewers instead. :)
 
#6
I really like the idea of being able to manufacture (print) pieces myself, but it’s a bit of a steep investment. In Denmark we have a fairly high tax on everything, so a 3D printer like the Creakity Ender 3, would set me back something in the 400-500$ range. That’s 10 times the budget for my whole build.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#9
I really like the idea of being able to manufacture (print) pieces myself, but it’s a bit of a steep investment. In Denmark we have a fairly high tax on everything, so a 3D printer like the Creakity Ender 3, would set me back something in the 400-500$ range. That’s 10 times the budget for my whole build.
Try looking at the Prusa i3. I suggest that printer because the guy who makes it is based in Europe somewhere - might be cheaper shipping for you, plus it prints to a large print base AND has a REALLY good quality control behind it.
 

kdobson83

Active member
#10
And you're right about 3D printers being cheap now, as cheap as regular inkjet printers. I've got a Monoprice Mini V1 that, I THINK I paid $250 for it originally - it can't print stuff bigger than 4.6" x 4.6", but for control horns, firewalls, little brace pieces here and there...It works pretty darned good!
The ender $3 is right at $200 and it does 220x220mm or 8.6" squared with heated bed. As entry level it's about as good as it gets.
 
#12
@kdobson83 and @SaltyGator do you have any pictures of the printed elements you have made/used?

I have a friend who may be able to help me access a 3D printer, so will definetly give it a shot.

For the FT Edge 540 in particular, the elevator needs popsicle-stick support on top and bottom, as well as on the control surface. Would you 3D print this as well, or just use a thin piece of plastic (like the credit/gift cards), and glue a control horn on to this?
 
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kdobson83

Active member
#13
@kdobson83 and @SaltyGator do you have any pictures of the printes elements you have made/used?

I have a friend who may be able to help me access a 3D printer, so will definetly give it a shot.

For the FT Edge 540 in particular, the elevator needs popsicle-stick support on top and bottom, as well as on the control surface. Would you 3D print this as well, or just use a thin piece of plastic (like the credit/gift cards), and glue a control horn on to this?
Do you mean pictures of prints I've made? Here's a picture of a spinner I just printed. Works pretty good.
20180819_143915.jpg
You can print pretty much any all component you want. Don't think supports for your elevator on your edge would work tho. There may be other alternatives like using carbon rods and glueing them into the foam. I just use BBQ skewers and cut a small channel in the stabilizer and glue the stick into the foam instead of how FT does it.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#14
The ender $3 is right at $200 and it does 220x220mm or 8.6" squared with heated bed. As entry level it's about as good as it gets.
I may have to look into that...I picked up my Monoprice...2 years ago, I think it was? At the time, I felt like it was a steal for a printer I didn't have to assemble and a great first time 3D printing machine. I mean, when I bought it, I didn't even know there were differences in material, really - just that there was PLA, which was supposedly better smelling than ABS, and ABS, which required higher temps. That was ALL I knew at the time. :)

Sorry, I know, folks - bit of a topic train wreck and derailment. :)
 
#15
There may be other alternatives like using carbon rods and glueing them into the foam. I just use BBQ skewers and cut a small channel in the stabilizer and glue the stick into the foam instead of how FT does it.
I was contemplating just that solution :)

That spinner looks very nice. How much does it weigh?