What software to design a skeleton aircraft model

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by Mark_1984, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. Mark_1984

    Mark_1984 Guest

    Hi Guys, I'm after a bit of advice, as I know what I want to do, but not sure of the best tool to do it.

    I'm going to produce a model of an aircraft from drawings. The model will be a skeleton (I.e.) unskinned model of a WW2 fighter, showing frames, longerons, ribs spars, etc. I'm actually going to make it in etched brass, but it could quite easily be made in paper (the test builds will all be done in paper).

    What I need is to be able to scan the drawings in, and them convert them into a format where I can print out a model. The printout can be any common format that the etchers could use. CAD or graphics would be fine. I could do it all in a simple graphics package, but I've a feeling that would be extremely tedious. I've produced photo-etched frets in Paintshop before, and it's a pain......

    Any advice from you guys would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Sounds like you need a 2D (or 2.5D, no need for 3D, since it's a skeleton...) software that is capable of accurately make drawings... AutoCAD? Rhino? Any more cheaper suggestions?
  3. outersketcher

    outersketcher Illustrator, Tinker

    Have you looked at Sketchup? It's a simple, and fairly easy to use program that will lend itself to the particular project you have in mind I think. It's free.


    I'm using it right now to build and unfold a steampunkish flying thingie I've designed. I didn't know much about 3-D programs when I started. That's why I chose to use Sketchup... less down time in learning how to use the tools...
  4. Mark_1984

    Mark_1984 Guest

    Thanks - I've downloaded Sketchup to have a play with.
    Does anybody know of any software that can convert a JPG (or other scanned format) into a 2D CAD format. The scanned image will be a line drawing of course.
  5. outersketcher

    outersketcher Illustrator, Tinker

    I don't know if this answers your question correctly... but you can import 2D images into Sketchup and build directly from them. And if the blueprints had been build in illustrator, you can even convert the actual drawings themselves into 3D objects...

    There are little peices of free script called "rubies" that you can download to make Sketchup go faster and turn corners even better! My favorates are the unfold ruby, the centerpoint ruby, the make faces ruby, and the skin ruby.

    I've been building my design by importing my 2D illustrator drawings as dwx files into Sketchup. From there, I literally select the lines I want, add faces and pull up the shapes I need and then add the additional dimensions along the other two axis to make the part 3D.

    Than, I unfold the part using the unfold ruby and send it back to Illustrator to layout in my parts sheets.

    Course, if you have access to pepakura, you won't need to use the unfold ruby at all. I have to cause I'm on a mac.


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