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glenneaux

Creating aircraft from CAD data

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Hello everyone

 

I'm a bit of a newcomer to X-Plane but glad to be here :)

 

I'm going to attempt to create the below aircraft, the Gippsaero GA8.

 

3612670-3x2-940x627.jpg

 

 

Now what I'm finding frustrating is wrangling Plane Maker into letting me do it, and what's more frustrating is the fact that I had CAD models of the aircraft. Is there no way to import cross sections with actual dimensions? Or do I have to eyeball everything to the side/top/bottom profiles?

 

Does anyone have any tips for how to construct this aircraft?.

 

Some things that I've noticed that I need to be careful of are:

  • Ventral fin
  • Rudder extends to the bottom of the fuselage (Fuselage doesn't end in a point)
  • Do I model the fuselage upto the firewall or all the way to the base of the prop?

Other than that it's relatively straight forward. I believe.

Edited by glenneaux

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I think you are better off using a more advanced modeling tool since you have CAD drawings.

I don't know Blender, but many have used it to make planes for X-Plane.

I use LightWave because that's what I've been using for a decade.

Others use Modo.

All of these should be able to import CAD drawings (plugins may be needed) and images for the modeling stage, and have a good arsenal of tools to let you do exactly what you want.

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This is for the visual model yeah? What about creating the aerodynamic model?

 

Right now I'm struggling to get my top/side views aligned.. i've created them so they are both 2048 pixels in width with the same start/end aligned horizontally, but when i load them into plane maker they're different sizes because of the vertical size being different? 

 

Do I have to make them both exactly the same width/height so it maintains my alignment?

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There seems to be an art to getting appropriate background images.. I cut mine off at the very tip of the plane and now when I try to drag the front points to the edge of the window it shifts them all.

 

Man what a head f.......

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Try modelling yourself a rough mesh in a REAL 3D application. (aka blender in this case) 

 

Then export this rough mesh to X-Plane OBJ format.

 

Import the OBJ into PainMaker and use the OBJ as a guide to model your ACF mesh.

 

This will stop you from losing your mind fighting with PainMakers insane GUI concepts. (eg; it wont rescale everything when you try and move one thing)

  • Upvote 3

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Ahhh

 

Ben thank you haha, filled in the missing link.

 

I actually have the NMG for the aircraft so hopefully that can short cut the process a lot.

 

"losing your mind fighting with PainMakers insane GUI concepts" .. hit the nail on the head, and made me laugh !

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Here's how I do it....just an FYI.  I use a CAD program myself as a "virtual measuring tape", measuring the offsets in CAD and then just input the data into Plane-maker.  This is akin to Ben's suggestion above but I find the 3D objects in PM can visually get in the way sometimes and they don't show up in the section editors anyhow.  This only gets me about 75% of the way towards the right shape though....as I mainly hit the "major dimensions".  Then I go "by eye" from there adjusting the and this is the tougher part and will not be the same for everybody as to whether it is easy or difficult.  I happen to have a history of dealing with boat line drawings and can "see" shapes rather well visually so this works really well for me.   BUT I don't import 2D images into Plane-maker as it's just a major pain to deal with IMO.   I know those who do not have access to CAD software are not as fortunate.

 

As an aside, you can type numbers into those numerical field boxes in Plane-maker..you don't have to use those up and down arrow keys.  That speeds things up a bit.

 

TomK

Edited by tkyler
  • Upvote 2

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Cheers,

 

I'll have to have a play with it a bit (lot) more and find a way I'm comfortable with.

 

I spent a lot of time this afternoon in CATIA making a nice surface model then ended up with a 40meg STL file and was kicking myself for not realising it was going to end up unusable, even though it should be obvious!!

 

Cheers for the tips guys, I suppose like most I'll have to find the way I'm most comfortable and take it from there !

Edited by glenneaux

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Hello,

We have some new, small aircraft and UAS/ Optionally Piloted designs (Ultralight and LSA category) which we'd like to transform from CAD to import into X-Plane for some sim runs and adjustment....in addition to other FEA and CFD analysis.

We're aware of the difficulties on import to X-Plane 10 and need to convert to mesh with redraw as close as possible in PlaneMaker, or other methods you'd suggest.  No time to mess with it, basically.  Looking for a contractor well-experienced in these areas.

  • Non-Disclosure / Non-Compete Agreement required.
  • Proof of substantial assets to signatory required -- in backing your NDA.
  • Open to U.S.-based/ citizens only.

Aircraft are in early proposal stage for program funding, and your contracting availability & price we can include in the budget.

  • Larger funding & contracting is still months out.
  • Seeking one first model with airfoil specified.
  • Subsequent contracting on same aircraft with alterations and actual airfoil.
  • Subsequent contracting on other aircraft & flight vehicle (hypersonic & rocketry) variants and future designs.

Thank you,

Stan

 

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