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Scratch build university?

MrGravey

Senior Member
#1
I think it would be great to see a video, or a few, on how to design your own scratch build. When you guys started Flite Test the process couldn't have involved a laser cutter and fancy software. Show us how you did it when this all started so we can all learn how to better layout and build our own models.

If you could point to some free or cheap software, show some basics, and explain how to print in the right scale to tile like your plans do I bet you would double the amount of unique creations people on the forum are flying. In the process you would help all the people that watch YouTube for RC stuff and don't really know enough about forums to feel comfortable with getting involved learn to build too. Over all, your guys have as much if not more, knowledge on this subject as any other group around. Why not share? I for one would be extremely grateful. I always have ideas for simple mods or completely new models that I just have no good way of putting on foam board.


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!
 

MrGravey

Senior Member
#2
So, imagine if you can, how stupid I feel now that I have watched today's upload from FT. I literally posted that, watched a show with my wife, and thought "hey, it is Monday, I should check the new video" and now I feel quite silly.

Lets just say an expansion of the provided information would be interesting indeed.

I'm going to go hang my head for a little while.
 

MrGravey

Senior Member
#4
I went to check on the software the guys mentioned they design in... I can't afford that. Am I missing something or are both of the mentioned programs very pricey?
 
#5
No Your not imagining anything. Your free options would be Inkscape or Blender. Inkscape is similar to adobe illustrator and Blender is great for 3d modeling.

Be warned though they both have a fairy steep learning curve.
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#6
Google Sketchup is another option. It works well, but my brain thinks in AutoCad which is a whole different ball of wax. There are plenty of tutorials available for sketch up. If you are just learning a drafting type program and have no prior experience, your brain won't try to fight it like mine does. Stupid brain...

Sketchup

Even though I have AutoCad, I'm pretty old school about drawing the plans for my scratch builds. I start with a sketch, throw on dimensions, then draw it directly on the foam board using a ruler. I peel the paper off, so I end up with templates after cutting the parts. Don't let the lack of software hold you back!
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
#7
Well, I started learning to make 3D models for RealFlight in Wings3D. Its a very simplistic program that works in solids. You can export--> import to Sketchup and zoom extents and print from there. If you are just starting I would recommend just going straight to sketchup. There are great tutorials out there for this. Trimble has the best tutorials for all the basics and it does not take long to go through it and get your bearings. Exporting for CNC or laser cutting can be done too. Loads of free plugins that make your life easier. Make your 3D solid and use the slicer plugin to get interpolated formers for a fuselage. Make your wing and do the same for wing ribs. You can make your washout/in with this same method. There are airfoil generators that can give you drawings to base your wings off of and trace the outline in whatever program you chose.

Basic airplane design is fairly straight forward. Adamone's site is fairly comprehensive for the beginning designer. There are even CG, wing loading, and electric power setup pages to help you get started on the main page. I use these tools often in my scratch builds. I build scale models so my profiles are usually found on the web. Finding scale airfoils can be hard on obscure models but the IGTAU makes quick research on most aircraft. After you find the airfoil find your CG and mark where you want your main spar on the wing, making compromises for electronics layout as needed.

I've made many custom models on RealFlight and tweaked the physics to learn how I may want to incorporate things like incidence and washout for a smaller model of a real airplane. My Chester Goon is a great example of it.

I hope this helps. Sometimes just finding the resources you need is the hard part. Motivation to finish a project is all on you! Keep us updated and always ask questions.
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
#9
I have it. It works quite well but the free part is rather useless. You cannot print anything. You cannot export anything. Its basically about seeing the capabilities. You need the XT at the very minimum. Pro for sure if you can afford it. Value per dollar it the best on the market. Compufoil is also quite good but more $ for the same capabilities.
 

MrGravey

Senior Member
#10
I have played with SketchUp more a little. The information I have found on starting with that has a lot to do with a lot of things I just don't care about. Honestly my only interest in that program is designing air planes. My understanding is there is a lot of good information on RcGroups about using SketchUp for making planes, but saying "there is a good thread on RCGroups" is a lot like saying it is somewhere on the internet and making it harder to find.

I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and figure it out. Can you atleast lay out the plans and print them in the right scale? The thing I like about CAD is I can restrict lines and such to certain lengths and angles and know I have a plan that is right. If people use SketchUp as often as they do surely there is a way in that software as well. I should fine it.
 

MrGravey

Senior Member
#12
Thank you sir. You clearly have a better understanding of that forum and more experience with the places things are listed. I have meant 100 times to spend some more time there and learn how best to use it and as of yet have not.

Truly, thank you.