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Eclipson Model C - build log

#1
After flying my Simple Cub for the last month, I wanted something more. As I've been 3D printing a lot lately, I decided to give the Eclipson Model C a go, as it's such a magnificent plane that reminds me of Draco!

First of all: while it prints fantastic, the winding on this ColorFabb LW-PLA is the worst I've ever come across...


First trial:


Working on the fuselage:









Almost everything printed:


Glueing:





First layers of spraypaint. This LW-PLA is an absolute joy to paint. No primer needed, it sticks great, masking tape comes off easily. The only downside is that masking tape doesn't stick as well as I'd like.




This is where we're at currently. She's got a landing gear, servo's are mounted, paint job is complete and she's fully assembled. The only thing that's missing is my motor, prop and the magnets for the wingtips/front hatch.





I must say so far it's been going a LOT better then I expected. Even on my heavily modified Ender 3 (different hotend, direct drive, ...) the GCode files from Eclipson still work great!

I've been able to spot 2 smaller issues so far. The first is that I've apparently glued on the final tail section with a very slight twist, which means my elevators are slightly angled compared to the main wing.
I'm going to see how she flies, because I'm not really looking forward to cutting that entire section off and glueing it on again...

The second is that because I wanted to get printing done I was impatient and removed some of the pieces of the wing off the heated print bed too fast, causing them to warp apparently. So there's a bit of a gap between the center section and the first section the right. I've filled it with CA, so I'm not expecting this to be a problem.
 

Turbojoe

Elite member
#2
Very nice job! I've thought about 3D printing a plane but it looks like it would take days to print. I have a mostly stock Ender 3.
I'm with you on that filament. Probably the worst I've seen. I can't believe they sold it like that. I finally stumbled onto the best filament I've used yet. Got it from Amazon. Enotepad filament. Wound beautifully and prints even better. After I tried the first roll of red I bought a roll of black and grey. I've got plenty of filament on hand so printing a plane is no problem. It's just the amount of time it might take. Seeing yours makes me want to give it a shot.

Joe
 
#3
Very nice job! I've thought about 3D printing a plane but it looks like it would take days to print. I have a mostly stock Ender 3.
I'm with you on that filament. Probably the worst I've seen. I can't believe they sold it like that. I finally stumbled onto the best filament I've used yet. Got it from Amazon. Enotepad filament. Wound beautifully and prints even better. After I tried the first roll of red I bought a roll of black and grey. I've got plenty of filament on hand so printing a plane is no problem. It's just the amount of time it might take. Seeing yours makes me want to give it a shot.

Joe
Actual printing time for this plane is around 48 hours, but the largest part is under 7H, so you can print this daytime only in less then a week.

This lightweight PLA was poorly wound, but ColorFabb is the only producer as far as I know and it's a fantastic material! You can't compare it with regular PLA, this stuff is more like paper/foam than plastic...
 

Spitfire76

Active member
#4
I had built the Model A (free download) with regular PLA but after several good flights it crashed during a hand launch. I was planing to simply build another Model A but this time with the LW-PLA but decided to buy the files and build the Model C. I did noticed that its more difficult to remove the brim on LW-PLA and it leaves a ragged edge so I might try to print with a skirt instead providing of course the part adheres to the bed.
 
#6
I had built the Model A (free download) with regular PLA but after several good flights it crashed during a hand launch. I was planing to simply build another Model A but this time with the LW-PLA but decided to buy the files and build the Model C. I did noticed that its more difficult to remove the brim on LW-PLA and it leaves a ragged edge so I might try to print with a skirt instead providing of course the part adheres to the bed.
I use the standard gcodes provided by Eclipson for this one on my heavily modded (direct drive, other hotend, custom firmware, ...) Ender 3. Even though I have quite a bit of 3D printing experience as a hobbyist, I found it hard to beat their provided gcodes.

I've meanwhile printed the entire plane, crashed it into a signpost, cut out a wing section and fuselage section, reprinted those and glued them back in and then had a BEC overheat causing the plane to nosedive into a million pieces. So I've even printed a complete 2nd plane by now, and it's every bit as amazing as the previous one :)
 

Attachments

Spitfire76

Active member
#7
I had built the Model A (free download) with regular PLA but after several good flights it crashed during a hand launch. I was planing to simply build another Model A but this time with the LW-PLA but decided to buy the files and build the Model C. I did noticed that its more difficult to remove the brim on LW-PLA and it leaves a ragged edge so I might try to print with a skirt instead providing of course the part adheres to the bed.
By using painters tape I was able to use a skirt instead of a brim. I also changed the initial layer height from 0.2 to 0.3 to compensate. On another note I am having problems finding the small magnets as Banggood does not ship this item to the US and Amazon no longer have them in stock.
 
#9
I bought my magnets on aliexpress, took months to arrive. Meanwhile I had bought another set on amazon (Germany). They're supposed to be the same size, but those I bought on amazon are roughly 1mm wider and 1mm thicker and have a LOT more holding power, a bit too much really.

But hey, at least I now have 30+ spares :)

photo_2021-06-10_09-07-56.jpg
 

Spitfire76

Active member
#11
Just finished building the Model C with the natural LW-PLA and would like to paint it but not sure how to mask off areas not to paint especially when they are curved. For example the cockpit windows. Any tips or tricks would be appreciated.
 
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jpot1

Elite member
#12
Just finished building the Model C with the natural LW-PLA and would like to paint it but not sure how to mask off areas not to paint especially when they are curved. For example the cockpit windows. Any tips or tricks would be appreciated.
I painted the fuse first then used blue painters tape along the edge of the windows. Lightly used an exacto knife to follow the curve. Worked pretty well.

image.jpg
 
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#13
Very nice builds here. My pilot (aka my son) finally got to fly the build I did. Not the best looking build but it seemed to fly nice. I will paint the wings now that I know it flies and has not had any major accidents (other than me being neglectful and having the PLA warp while drying the paint!)

 
#14
I want to eventually get into 3d printing as well. How much filament does it take to print a plane? I know there are many variables like reprints plane size, etc., but ballpark are we talking about less than 1 spool, several spools?
 
#15
I want to eventually get into 3d printing as well. How much filament does it take to print a plane? I know there are many variables like reprints plane size, etc., but ballpark are we talking about less than 1 spool, several spools?
I see now that at the bottom of each plane page, there is a shopping list that states how much filament is required.
 
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#16
Although it had been built for several months I only just got to maiden my Model C. Here are the before and after photos. On the second flight the wings just folded in mid-air. No, I did not install a CF spar but wish I had.
IMG_3196.JPG IMG_3215.JPG
 
#17
Although it had been built for several months I only just got to maiden my Model C. Here are the before and after photos. On the second flight the wings just folded in mid-air. No, I did not install a CF spar but wish I had.
View attachment 221919 View attachment 221920
My experience with the Model A folding a wing, encourged me to add a CF spar to the Model C when I built it. So far so good.
 
#18
My experience with the Model A folding a wing, encourged me to add a CF spar to the Model C when I built it. So far so good.
I won't be rebuilding it anytime soon but I do have the Model A fuselage built and the wings printed so could try adding a spar to that. Could you please let me know how you installed the spar on your Model C.
 
#19
I won't be rebuilding it anytime soon but I do have the Model A fuselage built and the wings printed so could try adding a spar to that. Could you please let me know how you installed the spar on your Model C.
I used 5x.06x1000mm CF strips and glued them in the same chanel as the servo leads. The last few wing panels, I simply cut small vertical on the ribs to continue running the strip out to the wing tip. Because the strips were glued with the flat side forward, there was no flex in wings at all, and have held up well. I did the same thing in the Eclipson racer.
 
#20
Eclipson have said that they will be bringing out a larger version of the Model C as they recently did with the Model A and it will require CF tubing so I think I will wait for that to come out instead of re-building the current version.