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CAD Software Question

GMalatrasi

Active member
#1
Does anyone know what CAD software the FT guys use to design and more importantly convert the 3D shapes into 2D patterns?
I have access to professional CAD software but the process to get the 2D plans out of the 3D shapes is cumbersome.

Just for eye candy, here's a screenshot of what i'm working on:
Starship.png
 

Merv

Legendary member
#2
I don't know what FT guys use, I just use Sketchup. I'm sure some one has a better way than I do. I basically draw just 2D images, then position them to fit together. I'll draw one side, copy it & flip it for the other side. Draw a bottom, them move the sides into position. The tops I generally make separately, but you could attach one if you wish. I find starting with 2D is easier than messing with 3D.
 

GMalatrasi

Active member
#3
Yeah but that doesn't work for this since 2D projections distort curves.
I need to flatten the curved pieces then I can do the 2D projections.
 

Merv

Legendary member
#4
You are correct, there is some distortion but it is just not enough to worry about. We’re building with foam board, our tolerances are not that tight. Give it a try on test piece, something like a curved nose, no need to test on a complete plane.
 
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buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#5
I'm not a CAD guy. I'm just chiming in to say your design looks really cool. Also, your winglets don't match. One is vertical, the other is angled, top and bottom. It's a work in progress, I just didn't know if you were aware of it.
 

GMalatrasi

Active member
#6
I'm not a CAD guy. I'm just chiming in to say your design looks really cool. Also, your winglets don't match. One is vertical, the other is angled, top and bottom. It's a work in progress, I just didn't know if you were aware of it.
Thanks! It’s actually my first ever build. So I’m pretty excited to see how it flies!!
I think it’s an optical illusion, both winglets are the same part so they definitely match.
Here’s another angle:
FAA11048-7AB6-468B-A913-9950AE094A98.png
 

buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#7
Thanks! It’s actually my first ever build. So I’m pretty excited to see how it flies!!
I think it’s an optical illusion, both winglets are the same part so they definitely match.
Here’s another angle: View attachment 116481
From that angle both winglets look vertical. Dude, Just print it and build it! It's complicated as heck, though. I have yet to fly my first plane. I've only just built my first plane. I have, however been educating myself...

Take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt. I think you should read my stuff, decide if you agree or not, adjust accordingly or not, and just build it!

TLDR: I suggest some stuff, then I say do it or not. The important thing is to build it.

Sketchy. Very little wing surface. The body of the plane may act as a lifting surface, but not a controllable one. To my eye, you've got very little area for control surfaces. Exactly which and where is beyond my current knowledge level. It just seems like it's going to be light and fast and you need to be able to control it. It doesn't seem like you've got the wing space to do that.

Differential thrust should be considered here. I'm still learning about how that affects control surfaces, but the short is, it removes the need for some of them. Again, we're getting outside of my knowledge range.

The canards and the piece they're connected to should be one piece. Slide one canard through the hole in the fuse, hot glue the plate in the middle of the base to the bottom of the fuse. If the angles work, you could then slide the other canard through the hole in the other side of the fuse and glue that side of fuse to the rest.

Unreinforced, your nose is too narrow. First nose-in and that paper is going to pop and the nose is going to open up. I'd take a page from the FT book and run packing tape the length of your fuselage from the back, right over the nose to the "windshield" wrapping it over the sides. It'd probably still crumple, but may still be flyable.

Built as-is the green part of the wing is going to need reinforcement. From what I've watched and read, probably a carbon-fiber rod, though I've seen those have flex issues as well. I've seen square, hollow, carbon-fiber beams used to better effect, but they are heavier.

The nicely-curved vertical, purple pieces on the walls on the inside of the fuse seem superfluous. It's just added weight to support things and weight is bad. You know what? Redesign.

The main wing needs to be solid. Drop that whole purple bay. Make the main wing one part and just attach it to the bottom of the fuse. That fuse is going to be a "B" fold, and they are notoriously strong. Working the wing shape into the bottom of a "B" fold fuse? I'm not there yet. You're kind of on your with that one. I can sort of see it. Just not quite.

You *might* find that you need a tail. In that case, extend the fuse to the back before you add one. Those double pushers would make a rudder right there act really crazy.

That's my 2c, dude. I want to do what you're doing. It *may* be obvious I've been thinking a lot about it. Whatever route you take, just build it and see what it does. For me that's the beauty of this hobby. As a CAD guy, it may be even harder for you. Remember it is foam board. It DOES NOT have to be perfect. Not even close. Build. Fly. Crash. Repeat. Enjoy.
 

GMalatrasi

Active member
#8
From that angle both winglets look vertical. Dude, Just print it and build it! It's complicated as heck, though. I have yet to fly my first plane. I've only just built my first plane. I have, however been educating myself...

Take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt. I think you should read my stuff, decide if you agree or not, adjust accordingly or not, and just build it!

TLDR: I suggest some stuff, then I say do it or not. The important thing is to build it.

Sketchy. Very little wing surface. The body of the plane may act as a lifting surface, but not a controllable one. To my eye, you've got very little area for control surfaces. Exactly which and where is beyond my current knowledge level. It just seems like it's going to be light and fast and you need to be able to control it. It doesn't seem like you've got the wing space to do that.

Differential thrust should be considered here. I'm still learning about how that affects control surfaces, but the short is, it removes the need for some of them. Again, we're getting outside of my knowledge range.

The canards and the piece they're connected to should be one piece. Slide one canard through the hole in the fuse, hot glue the plate in the middle of the base to the bottom of the fuse. If the angles work, you could then slide the other canard through the hole in the other side of the fuse and glue that side of fuse to the rest.

Unreinforced, your nose is too narrow. First nose-in and that paper is going to pop and the nose is going to open up. I'd take a page from the FT book and run packing tape the length of your fuselage from the back, right over the nose to the "windshield" wrapping it over the sides. It'd probably still crumple, but may still be flyable.

Built as-is the green part of the wing is going to need reinforcement. From what I've watched and read, probably a carbon-fiber rod, though I've seen those have flex issues as well. I've seen square, hollow, carbon-fiber beams used to better effect, but they are heavier.

The nicely-curved vertical, purple pieces on the walls on the inside of the fuse seem superfluous. It's just added weight to support things and weight is bad. You know what? Redesign.

The main wing needs to be solid. Drop that whole purple bay. Make the main wing one part and just attach it to the bottom of the fuse. That fuse is going to be a "B" fold, and they are notoriously strong. Working the wing shape into the bottom of a "B" fold fuse? I'm not there yet. You're kind of on your with that one. I can sort of see it. Just not quite.

You *might* find that you need a tail. In that case, extend the fuse to the back before you add one. Those double pushers would make a rudder right there act really crazy.

That's my 2c, dude. I want to do what you're doing. It *may* be obvious I've been thinking a lot about it. Whatever route you take, just build it and see what it does. For me that's the beauty of this hobby. As a CAD guy, it may be even harder for you. Remember it is foam board. It DOES NOT have to be perfect. Not even close. Build. Fly. Crash. Repeat. Enjoy.
I appreciate the comments/suggestions/concerns.

I have already considered most of what you mentioned... But I did realize something while reading your comments: I can't install the canard the way it's designed right now, so I'll have to fix that.

I did wonder about the wing area... for that we'll have to wait and see how it flies. this is a test build after all. ^_^

Yup, differential thrust was part of the plan.(y)

Not too concerned about the nose. The nose/canopy piece is replaceable. And yes, tape will be applied, mainly to guard it from moisture on landings.

There is a full length, carbon-reinforced spar. wing strength should be good.

The curved inner purple piece is what the wing and spar attach to, and all the electronics go in. It's what makes the nose/canopy removable to access the electronics, replace batteries, and such.

Yeah the center section of the wing is already one piece, the inner fuselage sits on it and the spar tabs in through both pieces.

The actual plane has a tiny vertical stabilizer under the fuselage tail, which is a bit difficult to add on this since it's open in that area. But i'm thinking it'll fly like a wing for the most part, so I should be ok.

"Just build it!" you say...

image1.jpeg
 

buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#9
I appreciate the comments/suggestions/concerns.

I have already considered most of what you mentioned... But I did realize something while reading your comments: I can't install the canard the way it's designed right now, so I'll have to fix that.

I did wonder about the wing area... for that we'll have to wait and see how it flies. this is a test build after all. ^_^

Yup, differential thrust was part of the plan.(y)

Not too concerned about the nose. The nose/canopy piece is replaceable. And yes, tape will be applied, mainly to guard it from moisture on landings.

There is a full length, carbon-reinforced spar. wing strength should be good.

The curved inner purple piece is what the wing and spar attach to, and all the electronics go in. It's what makes the nose/canopy removable to access the electronics, replace batteries, and such.

Yeah the center section of the wing is already one piece, the inner fuselage sits on it and the spar tabs in through both pieces.

The actual plane has a tiny vertical stabilizer under the fuselage tail, which is a bit difficult to add on this since it's open in that area. But i'm thinking it'll fly like a wing for the most part, so I should be ok.

"Just build it!" you say...

View attachment 116560
Dude!! Rock on, man! That's what I'm talking about! You went into CAD, you designed an airplane, and now you are building it just to see how it flies. That is so awesome and I am so jealous. I can not wait to see more!