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08 Jun
2017

Airfoils: You Are Doing it Wrong

  • June 8, 2017
  • Guest HzAPg
  • 75 views

To be fair, I was at least doing it wrong-ish for many years, or at least, not as right as I could be. Allow me to explain – and yes, I’m dusting off this blog after many years of inactivity. I figured I would get things going again by going back to the very beginning, and pass along some of my updated thinking as it pertains to drawing airfoils in NURBS. In case you haven’t read it, here is my original post on drawing airfoils in NURBS.

17 Sep
2015

6 World Speed Records to be Broken!

Get over to sunny Moriarty, New Mexico for the “Thunder Over Moriarty!” This world record-breaking event will feature Nemesis Air Racing presenting the NemesisNXT (Bottom picture) on September 21st through October 3rd. Located just 35 miles east of Albuquerque, NM, Jon and Patricia Sharp, with the Nemesis Air Racing team, will assault 3 different speed distances in two..

10 Sep
2015

SAMPE High Desert – 2015

Coastal Enterprises will be exhibiting at the SAMPE High Desert – One Day Symposium. The event will be held at the Antelope Valley Fairground’s Hunter Pavilion, September 30, 2015. Registration Opens at 8:30AM and the keynote speaker begins at 9AM. Admission is complementary, though an RSVP is requested. See us at Booth #20! Join us..

10 Jun
2015

Free yourself from the insanity of Zebra analysis with Autodesk Shape

  • June 10, 2015
  • Dan Sawatzky
  • 66 views

So you’re working on your surface model, and you are trying to get everything to match up nicely, usually to either G1 (tangent) continuity, or G2 (curvature) continuity.  You think things look pretty good, you join them all together, you run ShowEdges to see if your model has any naked edges……and then you use Zebra to check that your edges are continuous in the way you desire.  Which, frankly, I think is completely nuts.  Allow me to explain.

07 Jun
2015

Why we build our surface models from scratch

  • June 7, 2015
  • guest_BGZvm
  • 19 views

Well, it’s time to dust off this blog and get it going again!  It’s been way too long.  Let’s just say life happens sometimes, but I’m glad to be back at this again.  So, to kick off the first post, I’m going to talk about something that we spend a lot of time talking to customers about when we build surfaces from laser scanned data.  We’re often asked, “Why do you use Rhino3D to do reverse engineering work, instead of one of the purpose made reverse engineering software platforms?” The short answer comes down to one word – quality.

07 Dec
2012

It’s Raining Software!

Well after a long blog hiatus, I’m back and happy to report there are some exciting things happening in the land of CAD.  In the past few weeks there has been some very exciting news on the software front. First, out of left field, Autodesk suddenly announced it was going to resume development of T-Splines for Rhino!  The first news of this came from the T-Splines message board, where none other than Autodesk CEO Carl Bass chimed in and informed the community of the decision.  That pretty much made my jaw drop to the floor.  This means that there will be future releases of T-Splines for Rhino, with new tools and functionality.  Really, I truly did not see that coming.  Also, in the past few days they put out a release candidate for Rhino V5.  You can download that here.   There are some really nice fixes and upgrades in that release – most notably for symmetry and exact insertion of geometry.

29 Jun
2012

T-Splines Webinar: Transitioning from NURBS to T-Splines

Well let’s get some of the dust off this blog, it’s been far too long.  I’ve been busy with a variety of projects and distractions, unfortunately very little of which can be shared here.  I did however do a nice one hour webinar hosted by Autodesk on the very basics of T-Splines.  Especially for those who are coming from a NURBS surface modeling background (as I did), T-Splines can be a fairly daunting piece of software to wrap your head around.  The way you work in T-Splines is often very different from your standard workflow where you start with your big macro shapes, and then trim them and blend them together.  So, with that in mind, we created what will be the first in a series of webinars aimed at helping people make the conceptual leap.  At the end of the webinar there is a preview of T-Splines running on an Autodesk platform, which is very exciting to see, since there has not been a ton of information forthcoming about how T-Splines will be integrated into Autodesk products. The folks at Autodesk took the “Egg Man” demo I did at the end of the presentation and put it to some music, which I thought was really cool.  So, dim the lights, crank the speakers, and enjoy!

11 May
2012

48″ Convair 240 – Wing Lofting

  Pecking away at the Convair 240 radio control model.  This is being done for a contest on the Ezone forums , and so I really need to get moving on this thing to get it in the air by June 30th contest end date.  The wings are getting there – mostly lofted, just have to add the rear spars and ailerons.  Having designed more than my fair share of RC planes in 2D using AutoCAD, boy, is this a better way to work!  The wings are going to be my favorite style – 1/32″ balsa d-tube leading edges with shear webs.  Super strong, super light, and very “stick and tissue.”  I’m going to try to get the tailfeathers and fuselage formers knocked out this weekend.  Haven’t quite decided if I want to do the nacelles out of balsa or vac formed styrene, but I’ll have to make a call on that pretty soon.

03 May
2012

Using Rare Earth Magnets to Join Composite Structures

You know what I think is a little silly?  Using clecoes to join composite structures.  I mean, sure, they work, but unlike when you are working with sheet metal, at the end of it you have a bunch of useless holes that have to get filled in.  Also, multiple insertions/removals of the cleco tends to open up the hole, reducing the grip of the cleco.  So I started thinking about a better way of doing it, and I think I’ve come up with a workable solution – rare earth magnets.  I’ve used them on radio controlled aircraft in the past, and have always been amazed by their small size and large holding power.  So, I bought some of these 5/16″X3/16″ N42 disc magnets from K&J Magnetics .  On the inside of joggle for the Giles 200 gear leg fairings I put down some electrical tape.  I then placed a disc magnet every 1.5″ along the length of the joggle. The fairing half is on a magnetic building board that I use for building balsa model airplanes, this was very handy because it kept all the magnets in place while I laid them out.  Tucker and Walnut, faithful four legged shop assistants supervise from below: Okay, really, they’re just watching for that cat that walks by the window from time to time.  Anyhow, moving on – I then broke out the hot glue gun, and just surrounded each magnet with a little glue. All we’re going for here is keeping them from falling off the tape once we slide this thing off the table.  Then, I simply clamped the two halves together at the edges.  After that, I just took one magnet at a time, placed it relatively close to where I thoughts a magnet was.  Once I felt it pull, I just let go, and the magnet snapped into place. Well that was easy!  The “hole layout” was less time consuming than if I was using drills/clecos, and more tolerant of edge distance.  Once I bond these together and the resin has cured I’ll simply slide the exterior magnets off one by one, and then pull off the piece of electrical tape that the interior magnets are glued to.  Easy!  Obviously, this will only work in non-blind applications, but it sure seems like a nice method to me.  If your alignment is super critical, I would still recommend using a few holes/clecoes just to make indexing them together fool proof

27 Apr
2012

The Method Part II – Demolding the Parts

Following up on my previous post on my method of making high quality, re-usable tooling with CNC machined foam and Stretchelon bagging film , here’s how things tend to go on the demold side.  First, turn off the pumps, and then remove all the secondary fabrics/films that are bagging the part: I’ve left the peel ply on here, because the parts are still pretty darn soft, but everything else has gone into the trash.  Now, simply get some air underneath the layer of Stretchelon covering the mold, and then pull the parts up, along with the film: Now, just simply peel the Stretchelon off the parts – if you’ve used mold release, it should come off very easily more or less in one piece: Presto!  And the molds are totally unharmed – same as they were when we started.  Here’s a closeup of the surface texture of the finished part: Yes, a bit of texture, but like I said before, a few swipes with some 80 grit to prepare for primer and the texture just vanishes.  Or, if you really want a smoother texture, just get more dense tooling foam.