Converting model aircraft plans into a 3D model for printing

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TonyR
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Converting model aircraft plans into a 3D model for printing

Postby TonyR » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:29 am

Hi all.

New to this 3D printing game, and keen as mustard to give it a crack.

I'm trying to create a 3D model airframe suitable for 3D printing using FreeCAD.

It's the old fashioned way, where I have a set of cross-sections and a plan to lay the sections along on in their correct positions.

One would then use balsa sheeting on the outside of the airframe to produce the finished product.

I'd like to try to 3D print my aircraft - but first I have to get all the cross-sections into FreeCAD, assemble them accordingly, and then 'extrude' the model from that.

I gather that I'll have to trace over each cross-section to produce a usable part, then somehow assemble them in their correct positions.

I've seen a YouTube tutorial where the guy creates .png files in Gimp, then imports them into FreeCAD and creates the 3D model.

I notice that FreeCAD also has a trace function, where you can import an image file and do the tracing part in FreeCAD itself. Not having a lot of luck in that department at the moment, and I'm hoping someone in this Forum can point me in the right direction.

Learning how to use FreeCAD is a bit of daunting task - hope I can get a few tips on how to go about creating a print file and finally printing it out on my new 3D printer.

Looking forward to hearing from you...

Kind regards,

Tony.
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TonyR
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Re: Converting model aircraft plans into a 3D model for printing

Postby TonyR » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:08 am

Oh, nearly fogot...

Attached is my FreeCAD version info.

It's v 0.16 rev 6706.

I just downloaded v 0.17 a few minutes ago, but it won't run - I get a Windows error (also attached)
Attachments
FreeCAD error.jpg
FreeCAD error.jpg (11.24 KiB) Viewed 1002 times
FreeCAD Version Info.jpg
FreeCAD Version Info.jpg (43.46 KiB) Viewed 1002 times
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TonyR
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Re: Converting model aircraft plans into a 3D model for printing

Postby TonyR » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:49 am

Starting with the nose of the airframe, these are the first 2 cross-sections I would like to turn into parts.

They need to be centred according the the broken line cross, and are 66mm apart.
Attachments
s14 2.jpg
s14 2.jpg (145.95 KiB) Viewed 995 times
s14 1.jpg
s14 1.jpg (55.46 KiB) Viewed 995 times
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HarryGeier
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Re: Converting model aircraft plans into a 3D model for printing

Postby HarryGeier » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:13 am

Hi Tony,

welcome..

I suggest.. before trying tto take off with an airplane construction.. first go through all the tutorial tha may be interesting .. Learn the basics and read the posts here in the help forum until you are at the point where you can construct simple stuff and know about the basics...

Your task is surely possible.. there a some airplanes fling around the net, done with FreeCAD ..

In your case of the nose.. the magic word , or one of them, is LOFT . A loft creates a solid based on several shapes ( sketches ) at different Z levels forming the shape of the nose.. There are also quite a few posts with that topic...

have fun
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bejant
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Re: Converting model aircraft plans into a 3D model for printing

Postby bejant » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:10 pm

Hi Tony, and welcome!
Here are some relevant past forum topics relating to model airplanes - I think you'll find them helpful:

Importing a .jpg (and more):
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7394


Another briefer model airplane topic:
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9100
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bejant
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Re: Converting model aircraft plans into a 3D model for printing

Postby bejant » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:41 pm

Until you get 0.17 working, here is a file made using 0.16 for you to look explore:
20180414d.png
20180414d.png (20.88 KiB) Viewed 973 times


20180414a-016-model-airplane.fcstd
(220.55 KiB) Downloaded 25 times


I wonder if you downloaded the 64 bit version of FreeCAD by mistake?
You want this one:
https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD/rele ... taller.exe

Or you can try the stand alone version, after you unzip it:
https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD/rele ... ortable.7z

They are both from this github page:
https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD/releases
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TonyR
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Re: Converting model aircraft plans into a 3D model for printing

Postby TonyR » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:20 pm

Thanks for the welcome and your feedback so far, Guys.

What should be a relatively easy thing to do is driving me start raving bonkers.

My main problem so far is trying to find a way of accurately tracing those outlines and getting them into FreeCAD so I can assemble them and finally produce a mesh or whatever to throw at the Slicer and give that 3D printer a decent work-out. :D

I watched a tutorial where the guy was using Gimp to do the initial tracing, then transferring it over to FreeCAD as a .png file.

I've tried several times to get as good a trace of the #1 piece, but they all turn our crappy-as.

I've also fiddled around with InkScape's trace function, but I can't seem to be able to produce a clean copy of the outlines.

I was really looking forward to be able to print something I've always wanted to build, but this is way more difficult than I first thought it would.

Hopefully, with your help, I'll get there.

.17 wouldn't work at all, Bejant. I even tried downloading it again but still nada.

So I thought I'd at least get .16 rev 6712 up and running, but it gave the same error.

I reverted back to my original .16 rev 6706 and it worked (after requiring the C++ runtime to be "repaired" again).
wandererfan
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Re: Converting model aircraft plans into a 3D model for printing

Postby wandererfan » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:25 pm

Vaguely similar problem - lofting between bulkheads: https://www.forum.freecadweb.org/viewto ... =3&t=27941

Something for a later stage: https://www.freecadweb.org/wiki/Macro_A ... _%26_Scale
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TonyR
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Re: Converting model aircraft plans into a 3D model for printing

Postby TonyR » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:30 pm

That's waaaaay further than I've been able to get so far, Bejant.

How did you manage to draw that circle on part #1 so accurately?

I don't seem to be getting anywhere trying to trace using FreeCAD despite the 10's of hours I've spent trying to learn FreeCAD, and my Gimp trace is a shocker (attached)...
Attachments
s14 1.png
s14 1.png (14.69 KiB) Viewed 963 times
tommeyers
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Re: Converting model aircraft plans into a 3D model for printing

Postby tommeyers » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:58 pm

Tony, that shape probably is more like a circle or circles or arcs or even splines. So rather than tracing with line segments try some orher shapes.

Tom