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Nearly 4 years ago I started an attempt at scratch building a Short Sperrin (scale 1/72) using CAD modelling, my CNC-machine, 3D printing and Vacuum forming. I got as far as a nearly finished CAD model and a few moulds made in the CNC-machine, but life got in the way, so the project ground to a halt. I recently felt the urge to take it up again but I quickly realised what a big project the Sperrin is regarding the number of moulds required (at least 18), so I decided to pause it again. Instead, I am doing something much smaller and more simple but using the same techniques. I have always had the ambition to model the most important planes of my real world aviation career, so I thought why not start at the beginning. I started to fly gliders when I was 14, and much of my training and my first solo was in a Grob 103 Twin Astir registered SE-TZL. Thus, SE-TZL will be the subject of this build. Here is my plan, process and progress so far: I started off by collecting as many images and references of the Twin Astir as I could. These were used in trying to create accurate drawings/profiles. The profiles were then imported into the 3D modelling program Blender where I created an accurate (hopefully) 3D model of the Twin Astir. Here is a simple render of the 3D model: The 3D model was then chopped up and turned into moulds (still just on the computer) and scaled to 1/72. I decided to create female moulds in order to get the dimensions accurate when vacuum-forming. The 3D moulds are then sent to my kit-CNC machine which will mill the moulds for me. And here it is milling the left-hand side fuselage mould. I have managed to mill the moulds for the stabiliser and the two fuselage halves, so that leaves the wings and canopy moulds to be milled. I will hopefully get that done over the weekend. Here is a picture of the right-hand side fuselage mould and the stabiliser mould. I have also vacuum-formed the right side of the fuselage and the stab. It really is a small model, and I think it is going to be a little tricky to build, especially since this is my first vacuum formed model! This is my very simple homemade vacuum-forming machine: And here is the right-hand side of the fuselage vacuum formed together with the stabiliser:
I have for the last few years been thinking of and experimenting with the new possibilities that technology brings us. We are now able to design a model with a CAD program (with relative ease) and then use CNC routers and 3D printers to turn out the parts. However, as with all scratch building it is quite time consuming. That is why I thought I would post here and see if any skilled scratch builder(s) would be interested in a joint effort. I am fairly competent in a free CAD program called Blender, I own a CNC mill and 3D printing is readily available online. I would create the computer model, CNC mill and vacuum form large parts. Smaller parts would be 3D printed online (shapeways, imaterialise). I will then send the parts your way and your task would be to build the actual model! Some parts will also have to be scratch built. We should of course document our progress here at the forum. We could go super accurate and detailed or just try the actual concept. So I am hoping this will interest some of you. This will be a great opportunity to build an unusual aircraft or at a particular scale (no point doing it if we can just pick up the airfix box). Let me know what you think! What aircraft would be fun to make? I will be up for any aircraft as long as we can find decent references to work from. As a bit of inspiration I have posted two pics of a Swedish Saab J21A that I have been playing with in my CAD program.
This will be my first post here at britmodeller but I have been a regular reader for quite some time. As I am Swedish, I am currently (slowly) building up a collection of Swedish airforce models in 1:72. There are quite a few types that have never been made into a model so I started thinking about creating them myself and that leads us to this thread. I am going to try to prove (to myself) the concept of creating the model in a 3D program and then either print it using a 3D printing service or a CNC. I will start by going down the 3D-printing route. This thread will hence be a mix of 3D modelling and traditional building plus painting (I hope it still belongs here). My 3D modelling skills are quite limited so I decided to look for an aircraft with simple lines. I found drawings for a project at SAAB in the 50's, called the SAAB 220 that fitted the bill. It was meant to be a delta winged, 2 engined jet trainer or business jet. The concept eventually turned into the much more conventional SAAB 105 (SK60 in the Swedish airforce) that is still in use in Sweden and Austria. I will shortly post the plans that I will use. Details will have to be improvised and I will use the Saab 105 as a guide for many parts. regards Marten
New to me, as he served the previous owner for years. I am absolutely virgin in this new world of precision machining. I'm yet to try it for lack of materials (going out in a few moments to get some aluminium and nylon) so only in a few days I can tell you more. Meanwhile, I would like to hear from others who use this kid of tools - lathes and milling machines. How often do you use them for modelling, and exactly for which purposes? Which materials do you use? Do you think that a milling machine is more useful? My Unimat has an attachment for a milling column accessory at the back - this one: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vertical-Milling-and-Drilling-Attachment-for-Unimat-4-/280791469201?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item416079cc91. So I can turn my lathe in a milling machine easily. Do you think that it would be wiser to have a dedicated milling machine? I get this one not only because it was cheaper than the Proxxon I also considered but also because I have a friend with great expertise with this particular model, so can use his knowledge. Are there any other Unimat users out there? Thanks in advance for sharing your advices and tips! Carlos