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Design assistance request!

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MAD Dave01/11/2019 22:51:08
92 forum posts
9 photos

Having got my 3D printer kit built and working successfully, I have used Tinkercad to design and print a few sundry items, even a made-to-measure battery tray/Rx mount for my "pre-loved" HK Spitfire. I am very pleased with the quality of the prints so far and have aspirations to use the printer for further modelling bits and pieces. As a start, I decided I would like to have a go at constructing a simple straight sided (trapezium) outline fin for my latest home build project – and have hit a brick wall. I am aware that a classically built up fin would probably be lighter but just wish to give it a go and see what I can achieve.

My status in the 3D print world is of course biased toward the inexperienced end of the spectrum, so, any tips and suggestions would be most appreciated.

Put simply, I have the root aerofoil and the tip aerofoil but I cannot see how to smoothly fill the space between them. I am quite able to position each aerofoil correctly in 3D space in software relative to each other but filling the space between them is my challenge. I am yet to come across the "secret button" or process.

I have had reasonable success with Tinkercad and have installed Fusion 360 on my pc. I am slowly working my way into '360.

As stated above, any help would be much appreciated.

Martin Harris02/11/2019 10:13:25
9505 forum posts
256 photos

Could you just opt for a suitable fill pattern in your slicing program?

Tony Bennett02/11/2019 10:51:43
5082 forum posts
129 photos


take your root aerofoil.

grab the outlne and extrude it out to the length you want.

then while it is still grabbed, scale it down so you get the taper needed.

you can also drag it about to get the slope needed on the leading edge.

hope this helps in some way

Tony B

Colin Bernard02/11/2019 10:54:14
505 forum posts
93 photos

Hi Dave,

I don't know Tinkercad but in Fusion it is quite simple. Create your root airfoil in one sketch then create an offset plane at the height of the fin and use that to create the tip airfoil.

Then use the 'Loft' command to connect the two. This will give you a solid body which you could export via Tools/Malke/3D Print to your slicer. Then print with the necessary fill setting.

Alternatively once you have the fin body you could use the Shell command to give you a hollow body which you could then add in internal strengthening within Fusion.

Hope that helps.

FlyinFlynn03/11/2019 09:58:47
158 forum posts
95 photos

Pretty much the same process in 123D Design.....lofting from one profile to another and hollowing out with the shell command. I know 123D Design is obsolete now but I got used to it and found Fusion too cumbersome....horses for courses!

John Stainforth03/11/2019 11:45:43
371 forum posts
64 photos

Rhino has a beautiful command called Sweep in which on "sweeps" a cross-section along one or two "rails". The command Sweep2 uses two rails. For wings that have the same (scaled) airfoil section throughout, one selects the airfoil section with a mouse click, and the planform lines of the LE and TE of the wing (to use as rails) and preferably the point at the very wing tip, and bingo, the whole surface of the wing is produced instantaneously.

All the 3D drafting programs have a myriad of ways to loft surfaces, and the trick is to find what works best in a given situation.

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