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HK B-17...C 5/4 sweating the metal


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Thanks very much Peter! I'm putting together the instrument panel at the moment and using some of your fantastic instrument bezels in the process! It certainly won't look as good as the Tigercat's, but hopefully You should be able to read the decals when it's done. 


In the meantime I'm madly trying to learn how to turn this...




Into this....




I just can't figure out how to make the thing solid at the moment, hopefully I'll stumble across a tutorial somewhere that will explain it to me in a level I can understand!


I see you are well on your way with the designing process, that engine of yours is amazing!



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great start on getting some shapes into Rhino!


try this tutorial - I found it useful when trying to make organic shapes that are not regular cylinders, cubes etc - the process you are after is 'surface from a curve network'



keep at it..



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So here's the wrap up for the weekend.


There were quite a few highs and lows over these last two days; I've been trying to get my head around Rhino3d, which while initially frustrating, some sound advice from Tim and Peter got me back on track and everything started to slowly make sense.... 


Even though I only started using it yesterday, I've been continually amazed with what it can do. It literally seems if you can think of a process you want, there is a command or feature to do it. The hard part is working out what you would call it, then wondering if the makers of Rhino called it the same. Most often they didn't, but a few tutorials later and I was starting to make some ground. What I really wanted to do, was to see if it could be viable to print the replacement fuselage in sections, then stick it together like a normal kit. In theory it could be done, but obviously things like print resolution means it would still require some filling and sanding when it came out of the printer... 


Anyway, here's the nose section.......




And after an hour or so "in print"




As you can see it's not perfect, but it has potential....






I have come to realise that designing is one thing, getting a successful print is another. This was the first way I tried, and you can see it tended to sag a little under its own weight. Next I tried the other way round, like an upturned boat, but this didn't end great. Thirdly, I tried vertically, but I think I set the model too high in relation to the print bed and it separated during print and turned into a mangled mess.... :( The only thing I can think is maybe the bed doesn't have enough heat in it?????? I'll have to investigate further.....


I also made a start on the instrument panel. I puddled around for a bit with some really excellent photos of the duxford B-17, before I remembered I was building a D! Sure enough, the D panel looks nothing like it, but I couldn't find any really great pics so it's going to be a bit hit and miss. 


I also really wanted to use Peter's instrument bezels and decals so I figured I would lay the decals on a flat piece of styrene, place the bezels over the top, then punch a disc of clear styrene for the glass in each. Great idea, except I did;t have a punch(s) the right size. In the end I decided I'd have to knock up my own custom punch and die. The drill bits are expendable :)



Works a treat too!




The final thing I did was make the little canvas boots for the control columns. The lines down the front were my attempt at zips. I am hopeless at sculpture.....


So I think overall I made some progress. I certainly increased my understanding of how to use Rhino, so that can only be a good thing for the future. Now I just have to work out what I'm doing wrong with the printer.....





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Well done Craig, for a first time this is great progress. I'm stuck at work just now, but I'll try and put something on the tutorial thread when i get home. Real life, and the need to pay the mortgage, can really get in the way sometimes....



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Thanks Tim! After a fair bit of stuffing around with the printer I managed to print a fairly decent LH nose side and am half way through attempting to print the right. You're not wrong, once you get a bit of a handle on the way Rhino works, it makes things pretty easy! I'm enjoying it a lot and I certainly look forward to your next tutorial :)


I'll post some pics of the results (hopefully successful) soon





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Well after several unsuccessful attempts at trying to print a decent set of left and right side nose halves, I managed to get something that I can definitely work with.


I'm 100% sure the failures were operator error, as in a few of the failed prints the model broke away from the support structure during the print process. As the machine has no idea this has happened it continues to print merrily along and you end up strings of dried plastic all over the place! So I had the thought that if I increased the "footprint" of the design, it would be more stable. Seems that did the trick!






This was then very easy to break away from the support structure or "raft." Each side took about an hour and a half to print, and this is what I ended up with...




Offered up to the HK fuselage to test the fit. Pretty happy with that!












Yes there is a small gap running down the bottom, but nothing I can't handle. Considering what I'm trying to do here, I am absolutely stoked with how it came out! :)


Now I can crack on with the instrument panel bulkhead as I know everything lines up. This is good news as it means that printing the rear fuselage in sections and gluing them all together will be easily achievable and a really viable alternative to vacuum forming, which I was going to have to get sent away, with no assurances I'd made the master right!


Thanks for looking,




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Amazing work; I would love to see this sitting next to the original model to see the full extent of your modification. I think that would be pretty striking. I wasn't aware there was only one example remaining IRL.


The 3D printing leads me to believe in the future we might be paying for a licensing fee to print one set of a particular kit plus cost of materials. What might that do to the pricing structure of kits if the costs of manufacturing were left up to the consumer - all the company has to do is get you to fork over some financial info and then click "download" to send some data to "that noisy crap" your wife makes you keep in the garage so they could be generating pure profit per set of CADs pretty quick if played right. Imagine being able to print out every variation of [insert cult favorite plane here] in an afternoon? YOU COULD KEEP SEVERAL LIFETIMES OF STASHES ON A FLASH DRIVE!!!


How long until 3D printers are common as toaster ovens?

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Cool !


A question though. I thought one of the issues with the HK kit was that the nose section just ahead of the windscreen was not flat enough. Yours looks very rounded when mated to the kit, but one of the photos of the part on the platform may lead to think it has the flattened curvature.



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I don't think 3D printers willEVER become household items; maybe in the workshops of nut-cases like us lot, but for the general public? No. 


What WILL happen though is universal access to 3D printing services. You can do this already of course, but the limitations on speed, time, accuracy, material qualities, surface resolution etc mean that Joe Public would not accept a machine that produces the kind of materials the current crop of 'domestic' printers produce.  However, if local service providers can fund higher end machines that build quicker, better, smoother, stronger, etc, then we can all tap into that, without spending a fortune, for us, on machines that don't quite come up to scratch.


Materials still need to improve, but things are moving in the right direction.


What WE can all do though, is learn how to model in 3D CAD programs. As Craig and Peter and others have discovered, it isn't so difficult to get your thoughts onto the screen, and from then on, you can 3D print, CNC, laser cut, decal print, photo etch, and more, to your hearts content.


But you HAVE to have the original data. Nothing works without this....



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