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I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

Its 1/24 scale. Wingspan of 1.68m or 5'6". I chose that because that is the scale of the balsa C-130 I have been working on. It's neat because the fuse cross sections fit nicely on the table of the printer.

This example is far from final. I'm still learning Blender.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

But will the wing also fit at this scale?

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

Yes, but just barely. I have to rotate it so it is diagonal on the table. I will be able to print the motor mounts and part of the nacelles attached to the wing. The nose of the nacelles will have to be separate which is ok because it allows for access. I'm not super excited about having the wing made up of so many sections, but hey, it will look like wing panel lines.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

Ok, so the obvious question is what would it take to get one in the US. Maybe somewhere in Iowa?

I'd prefer not to make the plane out of so many sections, but I'll do what I have to. I've considered having it printed on one of the powder based printers. I'm afraid it would be pretty expensive and I want to have more control over the process. That's not really the point anyway. My thought is to have planes available that people can print themselves. If this works and can be done easily enough, it might catch on.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

Ok, so the obvious question is what would it take to get one in the US. Maybe somewhere in Iowa?

 

You could build it yourself from the kit version. You would need to get new side panels lasered, longer Z rods and lead screw, and lengthen all the electronic cables. (actually, I would put the electronics on the back near the top and only lengthen the Z motor cable, less cables to extend)

The height limit is mostly limited by how large of a laser-cutter you can find. The experimental ones at Ultimaker have a build height of 55cm. But the one at Protospace (who have a larger laser) does 70cm I think. Ideal for you would be 100cm of print height I think.

A machine of this length can have stability issues, with the mechanics moving at the top. But nothing a few bricks laying in the bottom could not solve.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

I had not seen the plane mentioned above. Nice, but not what I am aiming for. My goal with this project is to take scale plans of a plane, from a 3D scanner or an existing mesh model like one used for video games (my source), and turn that into a flying model working from the outside in. I've seen scale RC planes printed, but the examples I've seen so far have needed the surface completed and I have not seen a video of one in flight.

After further consideration, I have decided to stick with the shorter and factory ready UM2, assuming the units (which should start shipping today) get good reviews. My dollars eagerly await! My thought is that anyone who wants to buy a 3D printer can develop and print their own plane without a lot of tinkering and mods to the printer. I would rather spend my time tinkering on and flying the plane. I hope that after initial set-up I can hit "print" and leave the printer by itself for a few hours. I would also hate to start printing a long section and discover 15+ hours into it that I had something wrong.

In the past month or so I've been many places searching for someone who has already done what I am attempting. I've had no success. I'll be world-famous!! I can just imagine the beautiful women lining up to pose with my C-130 for magazine covers. The talk show interviews. The money!! I'll be able to retire, buy an island!!

Probably not . . .

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

At least someone still has his dreams ;)

If you succeed in printing that baby, I'll definetly be one of your fans!

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

Still moving forward - slowly. I spend about 4-5 hours per day in Blender and am becomming very pleased with it for my project. There is a YouTube video solving almost every problem I have encountered. I don't know which is faster, gluing balsa or designing in CAD. I suspect that if I devoted my time to gluing I could have the plane done before I'm finished with the CAD file, but what fun would that be. . .

It is a very different process building a RC plane from the outside in. I have to plan where to make the section cuts for the available print space, think about how that will affect the next section, and think about where it needs to be stronger/thicker. All this from someone who thinks he knows how a 3D printer works but doesn't really know for sure. I'm sticking with .8mm skin thickness in most places remembering that every 19cm or so there will be a double thickness where the sections join. If things work out, it is going to look great on the outside and pretty nice on the inside. There should be room for a truck or something to fly along.

I had the idea to use carbon fiber arrows for strength. Here in the US, you can buy them just about anywhere. They have a uniform diameter and are cheap. Next to free, cheap is good. I held 4 of them at one time and flexed them. They have a great "feel" that I think will work great for the wing.

The good news is that my wife hasn't shut me down yet! She wants an island also . . .

I will stop posting for a while as most of my Ultimaker questions have been answered. As soon as I have what I think is a finished section I will put it on the Youmagine site for review. Hopefully by that time I'll have a UM2 ordered.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

I'm about 1/2 way done with the fuselage. My intention was to have the fuse done before making another post. However, it is taking longer than I thought and I want confirmation that I am designing it correctly. If no one notices any problems I will be ordering a UM2 soon. If there is still a long lead time the printer should arrive just about when I am ready to go. Late December, maybe??

Here are the first 4 sections of the fuse.

https://www.youmagine.com/designs/c-130-fuse-sections--2

The first section - the nose - seems easy enough. Only 45 minutes says Cura - nice!! I notice in the layers view in Cura there appear to be blank areas around some of the windows. Anyone have ideas about this?? Also Cura puts bridges in places I don't understand.

The second section is for the nose gear. I kept it short to have shorter bridges. Also since it is complicated I wanted to keep it as easy as possible. I plan on using 100% infil for this section for strength. The nose retract is from E-flite.

For the 3rd section I plan on having no bridges. The support tubes for the carbon fiber arrows are beveled at 45 degrees. I read or heard that most printers will print 45 degrees without much trouble. Keep in mind that I'm not terribly concerned about the appearance of the inside of the plane and can sand or cut as needed.

The 4th section starts the wing and main landing gear mounts. It took a long time to design this section. I plan on using 50% infil for this section. The layers view also shows some holes in the outer skin??? I will likely modify this section as I am not very excited about a print that will last for more than one day. I machined the main gear retracts out of aluminum as I could not find retracts that go straight up like the C-130's.

I am considering drilling the nozzle to .8mm to speed up print time. When I set the nozzle size in Cura to .8mm many of the outer skin sections fail to show up on the layers view. Any ideas?? Will drilling the nozzle work or will Cura have problems with the skin of the plane which I have designed at .8mm? How about layer height?

So, am I ready to place my order or I better go back to design school? If I order a printer this C-130 will be the most expensive ever. The next plane will be cheaper and faster to design.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

Once you've printed a dozen experiments and played with the printer for a week, printing a 30 hour print is no big deal. Just do it. Just have the patience. It takes you longer than 24 hours to design a section so it should be okay to take 24 hours to print a section.

Cura won't print anything less than 2X the nozzle width. e.g. with .4mm nozzle, if the part is tilted and is exactly .8mm thick the cross section will be slightly less than .8mm so it won't print. Other slicers might let you get away with this. You can lie about the nozzle width up to a certain amount - for example saying it is .3mm when in reality it is .4mm will work okay but the quality won't be quite as good (but not too bad really).

I recommend you stick with .4 or .6mm. .6mm can push through 5(6/4)^2 or 2.25X as much volume of PLA so it can print about twice as fast. Illuminarty uses a .65mm nozzle. .8 is kind of extreme for a mere 8 by 8 by 8 inch bed.

I also recommend you get the UM1 if you are going to be messing with nozzles.

The nozzle on the UM2 is a single piece integrated with the heat chamber. You can't just easily change nozzles. You have to remove the thermocouple, remove the heater unit, swap out the assembly, and reinsert. This is *not* easy. Both the heater *and* thermocoulple are delicate and tend to fuse to the chamber after a few months. On the UM1 it is easy. (well some people have had trouble after a year or two of never removing it but I had no trouble). You heat it up, unscrew it, screw in a new one. Takes 2 minutes.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

You should go ahead and place an order for the UM1 kit. You seem quite smart and handy and patient and I'm sure you can put it together yourself.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

...Only 45 minutes says Cura - nice!!

Be aware that this is a bug in Curea 13.10! It basically always "calculates" the printing time to 45 minutes... The developer is aware of this and it's probably going to be fixed soon.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

IMG 0403

IMG 0404

Here are a couple of prints from my C-130 project. I'm very happy with the results so far. You can see the excellent detail of the cockpit windows. I can't claim this as my own work. The detail comes from the original mesh I purchased which is intended for use in a video game. The nose took 17 hours to print at 75mm/sec and .1mm height. I was originally hoping for 100 and .15 but it seems that is too aggressive.

In the nose you see small gaps and holes. I think these gaps resulted from a nozzle which had burned PLA inside.

I am very concerned about the weight of the plane. In one picture you see where I added "ribs" to the mesh. I did this because I wasn't happy with the bonding between layers and the whole thing felt flimsy. The thin sections are .8mm and the thicker areas are 1.2mm to 1.6mm. Oh crap - more weight. :shock:

As I am satisfied with a section, and know it will print, I will add it to my C-130 file on YouMagine. There are about 60 sections.

I know there are programs which calculate the power needed for a plane of a given weight and size. Once I get finished with the sections I'll have to look into that. There are also lots of "experts" who know RC aeronautics better than I do.

Spring is coming quickly. At this pace I won't be ready until late summer.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

Real nice looking print. Did you print it vertically without support? Actually I am surprised you got that quality at 75m/s, most impressive.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

I used Cura's support feature. The tip of the nose was the very last point to print. I actually think it would print ok without support since the inside of the nose is not very important. I'm going to make the nose thicker to allow for a build up of layers without support.

The motor nacelle was printed upside down from the way it looks in the photo. I built the support for the air intakes in Blender rather than use Cura's support feature.

It turns out the small gaps and holes are a result of the underextrusion problem that many people are trying to figure out. I'm going to slow my speed to 65 to see if that helps the problem.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

I'd lower the speed to 40 or 50 mm/s. It usually helps with the quality. I only do "let's have a look if this works at all" prints at higher speeds than 50 mm/s. If it has to be good, I go 50 mm/s.

Not that it couldn't print faster, but you just get the very best results if you print slower. Usually. This is probably not applicable for all situations...

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

Those "holes" are underextrusion - I would raise the temp to 240C if you aren't already up there. For this part and other parts I assume you will be painting them anyway so you can simply cut off any strings which you would not get on 90% of this part anyway. So I don't see any reason to go below 240C on this convex part.

Other parts will need cooler and slower. Parts with external overhangs.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

Also the underextrusion may have been caused by filament tangling so pay attention to that occasionally.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

Hi Shafe,

Love the topic. I am a HUGE RC fan and as former airborne soldier, I have a special affection for the

Bug smasher (Herky bird) It's the Portuguese airborne mule!

Wow, what a project! This is a huge project, I am impressed!! I am also used to build my planes and most recently I printed some detailed parts for my F-16 cockpit.

I suspect that the weight will be a big problem. If I ever have the courage for a project of this size I would build the wings with the traditional method and print all the rest, meanwhile I will follow your thread closely and try to learn with your mistakes and surely I will be glad to help if and when necessary.

Hey can't wait for the 1º flight video :cool:

Have fun

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

Well crap, or as I recently learned, blarp. I've spent the night looking into weights and foruming with the RC "experts." It looks as if it is going to be too heavy, way too heavy, even before I add the electronics. I already have the motors and speed controls so I'll likely press on after some "comfort beer." This is the first time people all over the world will know about one of my failures. It will at least look neat in my garage.

I know you can fly an anvil with enough horse power. Maybe I can add helium bladders to the thing. Hydrogen might be better. Nice combination. Hydrogen with electronics that spark a little from time to time and batteries which burn violently. Bigger motors might be the next thing I try. I will have to reconfigure the motor nacelles for larger diameter props. So much for 100% to scale. Along with bigger/heavier motors comes bigger/heavier batteries and bigger/heavier speed controllers. There has to be a point where enough horse power and money can get this thing in the air - maybe off of a cliff or roof-top.

My wife is supportive, although she thinks it is weird that I spend hours watching the thing print, recently along with the olympics.

On a positive note, I did get excellent results recently with the Ultimaker blue that came with my printer. 65mm/sec, .1mm height, 100% flow and 245C for an 8 hour print.

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

After some "comfort beer" all I can say is

Stupid Gravity!

 

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Posted · I want to print a C-130 Hercules for remote control flight

Good morning Europe. Iowa is going to bed. Long live the Jamacian bobsled team. Stupid Gravity.

So do I earn a warning post for this???

Yes, it took several attempts to get this spelled properly.

 

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