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my 3d printed FPV plane

#1
Hi!

A few month ago I got inspired by flite test (an other sites) to build my own FPV plane. But I didn't want to just buy one off the shelf, nor did I want to spend a lot of time cutting balsa ribs. So I desided it should be a 3d printed plane, using a hobby grade 3d printer (a leapfrog creatr).

And this is what I came up with...



It has not flown yet, but I thought to video it now that it is still in one piece :)

I hope I can post the maiden flight soon...



greetings,

Erwin
 
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ZoomNBoom

Senior Member
#2
Watching!

Im surprised you didnt build a foam or balsa prototype to see if/how it actually flies, are you just hoping or did you simulate it or something?
How much do all the printed parts weigh, and what is the build surface area required?

best of luck with the maiden, cant wait to see how this turns out.
 
#3
Nope, no proto's no simulations, all I need is luck...:eek:

Even trying to fing the cg wouldn't work as the weigh of any part is set by the 3d design software (autodesk Inventor) but by de 3d print software. And it matters a lot how I deside to setup the infil percentage ect. It took me a lot of time to find out how to 3d print a strong and light wing section. That by the way as a intergrated aileron with a live hing printed in one go....

The whole plane will weigh up to 2,7 kg (once it is trimed out), and about 1,5 kg of PLA was needed to print it. I used a Leapfrog creatr to print it, and it has a maximum build area of 23cm x 27cm and a height of 20cm .I guess a smaller printer can do it to as long as it's heigth is 20cm.
 

ZoomNBoom

Senior Member
#5
Im no aeronautical engineer, but just looking at it, I would guess pitch stability is going to be a problem. The split V tail looks cool, but does that even work? Did you use some washout in the profile? Tip stalls could be nasty otherwise with that square wing planform. Ah well, time will tell, but I hate to think what could happen to something that must have taken ages to print.
 
#10
Yes! Finally it was time to maiden my 3D printed plane!

I did ad a long section to the fuselage to balance it out because it was very tail-heavy.
So to the total mass of the plane was 3kg, and so the wing load was 62 gram/dm^2.

But it did shed some weight since then...:black_eyed:

[video]https://youtu.be/-xwFfzyz8s4[/video]
 
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#12
Yes! Finally it was time to maiden my 3D printed plane!

I did ad a long section to the fuselage to balance it out because it was very tail-heavy.
So to the total mass of the plane was 3kg, and so the wing load was 62 gram/dm^2.

But it did shed some weight since then...:black_eyed:

[video]https://youtu.be/-xwFfzyz8s4[/video]

OMG .
:crying :

surely you could slow launch it before slinging it?!?!
^^^^

Granted, at 3Kg, it probably wouldnt have survived a hand toss either, but find a slope next time, so that at least you will have some time to find out how she flies before crashing.

And I also dont believe your conclusion that the crash was to blame to the bungee not releasing. It doesnt look like you overflew your bungee achor yet, so how could it have caused the pitching down ? If it was not pilot error, then it was the pitch instability I feared for.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy printing more than you do flying :D and better luck next time
 
#13
Any reason you shied away from a more traditional design? Maybe print ribs, bulkheads, and structure and cover with a more traditional material like mono-cote?
 

Mid7night

Jetman
Mentor
#14
I feel your pain man, but that's not a bad first flight - as long as you learn something from it!

I did this myself a few years ago, and I'm still itching to revisit it. I don't have a 3D printer myself, so I had the parts printed on Shapeways, which gets a tad expensive... ;)

Parts unboxing:

Moving controls: I didn't actually end up going with the inverted-V tails, FYI.

Flight: (skip to 3-minute mark for the flight)...keep watching after the crash for the recovery footage, and you can see that I used a conventional tail...
 
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#15
Thank you all for your comments,

I used a ramp and rubber band because hand launching it would been very hard and kind of dangerous with that propeller at the back,
And I thought speed was everything....:cool:... It might have been a good idea to take it to a hill in the wind just to feel if it wanted to fly.....

And at second tough, and reviewing the video's it was probably very nose heavy. While the rubber band still pulled while being attached to the underside of the plane it torqued the nose up. but as soon as you see slag in the rubber band it nose dived down.....

At a dutch forum someone is looking in to the design to seen what must be changed to get this thing flying. One big problem was the wing section that I kind of made up...:rolleyes:... As this was my first design I did not knew at the time there are online databases for wing sections.

The reason why I did not want to print out ribs and bulkheads, is that I just want to be able to press "print", put my servo's in and start flying without gluing, sanding, wrapping ect.

The reason I chose:
A straight wing, because all the wing sections are the same, so I can easily lengthen/shorten the wings or put in special wing sections with camera's, motors ect.

A pusher folding prop; so I get a clear view to the front, and the prop folds away when landing. It also reduces friction as the prop wash does not passes over the plane.

The Split V tail: I did want to have some extra stability but without disrupting the prop wash.




In the mean time I am printing a smaller flying wing, that is easier to print, and is based on a real wing section ....

voor 2.jpg
 
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Mid7night

Jetman
Mentor
#16
Cool!

Hmmm, just gonna mention the controls on your wing; inboard controls are not as effective for pitch OR roll on a flying wing because of the short moment arm to the CG. Obviously you've built and assembled the thing already, so I'm very curious to see how it performs (and hope that it does well!); just for future design reference: You want your elevons to go all the way to the wingtips.
 
#18
Well, I did another test flight, and this time I could really call it a flight!

I did have some control issues.... have a look:

[video]https://youtu.be/P0UtegUAI4k[/video]
 

Mid7night

Jetman
Mentor
#20
With proper balance and aerodynamics, a 3D printed plane shouldn't be any less airworthy than another material. Durability is relative - Flight durability is probably better, because you have less in-flight flex in a stiffer airframe, but impact-durability is going to be worse because more-rigid means more-brittle.