Problems making a C-130 Hercules to 3D print for remote controlled flight

I have been using Blender to create a C-130 to 3D print for RC flight. Its been a challenge, but it seems no one has ever attempted to print a scale RC plane. Someone needs to try. I’m going to give it my best shot. My wife is even approving of my latest “crazy” idea. If this works I can simply reprint badly damaged sections.

I started with a .obj file of a C-130 from I have been modifying the mesh from that file to fit inside a hobby class 3D printer with supports and places to glue in carbon fiber shafts for strength. I have the units in metric with the scale set at 1.00. I resized the plane to 1/24 scale which results in a wingspan of 1.69 meters. Using the ruler function verifies the size. A CAD program that is more engineering based might seem like a better idea than Blender, but I couldn’t find one that works well with mesh files and is also free. Free is good!

The main problem I am having is working with very small verticies, edges and faces. I took the exterior mesh from the file and applied a Solidify modifier of .8mm with a negative offset. This gives the skin a thickness that is 2X the width of the extruder nozzle. When I scroll into a section I want to modify, the view will typically scroll past or through the section I want to work with. Basically I can’t zoom in close enough to select an edge or face that is only .8mm wide. I can see the various edges and Blender doesn’t seem to have a problem with such small sections, but the cursor to too big to select these small sections. I mainly have this problem when working on the interior of the plane.

Thanks for your help.

On the contrary. Do a google search on 3D Printed RC Plane and you’ll see quite a few.

Steve S

No doubt that RC planes have been printed and flown. What I intend is to print the entire plane ready to glue together, install electronics and fly. The printed planes I have seen have not been scale models or are scale models that still need the surface completed.

sounds like you need to change your camera clipping. In the 3dview window, type ‘N’, then look under ‘view’ you will see a start and end clip range. The default start range is 0.1, change this to 0.001.

The big question is why do you torture yourself working at such a small scale? Forget about the Metric system. Just work in Blender units. Say (to yourself) that one unit equals 1 cm. 0.1 is 1 mm (and you still have plenty of decimals for a higher precision). You will have some room to work and Blender won’t shoot the camera across the model every time you move it. :wink:

AFAIK, all 3D printing services on the web allow you to select the unit to which the numbers in the file correspond to and even a scale. And even without that, it’s not a big deal to scale everything uniformly to export.

Grumble I really wish somebody (No name, please!) didn’t put in everybody’s head this stupid idea that working at the real scale with the Metric system was the best for 3D printing. This is just pure masochism! :wink:

I’ve had success changing the lens from the default 35 to 250.