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Episode III Tie fighter quadcopter

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Hi all.

Bit of a long intro as this is my first project post. Been hammering on the anvil of 3D printing for close to 6 years now. Got the company I work for interested in getting the UM3X based off the parts produced on my UM2 (to produce M&E components for a large UK supermarket chain). Spoke with a lovely chap by the name of Shaun Pulford whom works for Ultimaker GB while getting an invoice and after over an hour on the phone swapping techniques and whatnot he thought I would be interested in joining the community here.

Having had a good poke around I've seen some very impressive prints. Clear plastic from colorfabb, large prints. Incredible surface detail etc...

Thought I would share my latest project on here, partly as a way for me to document it for myself, and to share and gather information from the hive mind.

RIGHT, onto the fun stuff. Been in the works for almost 6 months on and off, designing in sketchup is a little tedious at times. Here's what I have so far:


So the general specs are:

Dimensions (not including props)

Overall height 628.4mm

Overall width 475.1mm

Overall depth 511mm

20 separate printed components (so far)

outer wing hub X2

Inner wing hub X2

Motor mounts (two parts each) X4


Cockpit top and bottom

Thrusters X2 (printed separately for ease of LED installation)


Center spar cockpit links X2

Swinging 12" CF props on some 4108-580Kv Motors. 6S lipo. Haven't decided if I'm going for a Naze32 FC or a DJI Naza V2, That decision seems like a long way off yet :p.

The cockpit in the center is being printed about as big as I can fit on the UM2 build plate. The top and bottom of the cockpit are being printed separately. Exploded view below.


The center spar is a 30mm dia. cf Tube, The motor mounts are attached to 16mm CF tubes that link to the main spar at the wing hubs.

The wings themselves are a challenge to build. I have designed a mould to be CNC milled from a block of alucast so that I can pull GF resin vacuum infused parts from the ali mould. 8 of those, double em up and ill have 4 top and bottom wing panels. still working out the best draft angles and tooling for the master mould. will be testing on MDF first as the slab of alucast I need is about £90. Ill probably fill the wing panels with either plywood spars or polyurethane expanding foam. The lower wing panels will have internal CF spars to strengthen the lower wing panels for landing, and the upper panels will house my UHF RC control antenna, as well as my GPS antenna, Magnetometer and 5.8GHz Video Tx antenna.


That funny looking thing floating below the cockpit is a 4" celestion driver (speaker) that will be attached to a sound module and 20w amp. blummin loud! Hidden inside the lower section of the cockpit with holes carefully placed should let a lot of the noise out. That and I don't plan on putting any glass in the windscreen. lots of time searching youtube and the rest of the net for appropriate noises and sound samples.


Apologies for the lack of renderings in some of these images. The visualiser plugin isn't playing ball tonight.

So far Ive got a good print of the Center spar cockpit links, and a windscreen I may redo. As well as a failed motor mount (didn't have enough grip on the motor arm). All in PLA/PHA from colorfabb. By far and away not my finest prints from any angle. Printed hard and fast for dimensional checks.


So there you have it. Im almost done with the initial CAD drawing stages. Spent a long time upping the number of polygons on the cockpit as it looked a little blocky before. No doubt it isn't going to look all that spherical but I have limited free time, and if anyone has ever tried to mesh multiple structures onto a compound curve on sketchup before, then decided to add resolution to that curve... Well you have yet to visit that particular circle of hell.

Suffice to say the devil is in the detail and Im very pleased with how the wing hubs have turned out and am anxious to print them. Gonna wait until I have cut my moulds and pulled some parts from them before that though as it's easier to tweek the printed part to fit the fibreglass panel. Also Im going to do a fair amount of finishing on this model, Either SmoothOn's XTC-3D which I have had some great success with in the past, or lots of sanding and some high build primer before base coat, weathering and topcoat.

Hopefully all that mixed with it moving at 60 MPH while screaming like a banshee and firing blasters should distract from the slightly low poly cockpit :p.


Edited by Guest
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Thanks for the warm welcome guys. Feedback always welcome, positive feedback even more so :p.

It does look a little inadequate when compared to that monster star destroyer I saw further down this section. But sketchup has its limitations.

If my company go for this new printer I've also set aside a budget for solidworks as well as training for myself on the software to save time, and make them superior components. If I have the heart to I may redraw it on solidworks should they agree to pay the £9k bill. Chances are I might not bother though. I've got so many hours invested in this already. A labour of love.


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Whoooaa what a project!! Can't wait to see where you will take this!

So this thing is going to fly right?

Do you have any idea what a decent side wind will do to its stability?

Did I read it correctly it will have speakers? Will you be playing theme songs or mimic tie fighter sounds?

Really cool!

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Hi Sander. Thanks for the comments.

Oh yeah she'll fly alright. Side wind shouldn't be a massive issue as the finished weight is going to be reasonably high, makes for good penitration as us RC hobbiests call it. That and the motors are monstrous, 3.5kg of thrust @ WOT (wide open throttle) each. So I'll have 14Kg of lift to play with. I'm aiming for a total weight with lipo's of around 5kg.

The speaker was going to go in a 1/12th scale Lancaster bomber model I have but it's been reassigned to this for engine noises, blasters etc... just before I start her up I've also got a sample of the hanger scramble siren from the rouge one trailer, that'll sound until I blip the throttle and the engine startup noise is called up. Lots of fun but lots of work!


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Wow was it two weeks ago that we spoke?

Christ on a bike where did that time go.

This project looks better than it sounded on the phone!!!

Just to be walking down the street and hear the "banshee" noises of the Tie Fighter would be something to behold.

And if you could get it ready for the Rogue 1 release? Unlikely, I bet, but the gauntlet is set!

Great start to your community career 4558, I'll look forward to your posts.

You've met Sander and some of the other mods I mentioned.

Here is cloakfiend also. Had me crying (with laughter) within seconds of finding the thread.


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