RC AIRCRAFT BUILDS 3D Printing RC Planes Predators 3D printed Mini Cub

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    • #13896

      Given that Gerald “Sinker” has already printed a Cub & is working on an Albatross & Ron “Gadget” has printed a Zero and is working on another (cant remember what) I thought it about time I also got on the bandwagon of 3D printing RC planes.

      Hopefully they will eventually post their builds here for all to see as they will be easier to find than embedded in our flying forum reports.

      My first foray into this area is also to print & build a mini Cub (as the plans are free on 3Dlabprint) but ultimately I will purchase the Corsair files & build that.

      Ordered a roll of LW PLA (lightweight PLA) from Cubic Technologies last Sunday and it arrived today so straight into the lightweight parts printing.

      I have been playing around for a couple of days printing the TPU-Flex parts (tyres) along with the PetG parts (landing gear, wheels, motor mount,wing mounts etc) and the normal PLA+ parts (dummy motor, canopy lock etc) as I had these filaments in stock.

      The first LW PLA part has just come off the printer (centre wing section) and it looks fine.

      I’ll put some pics up tomorrow.

    • #13900

      pictures  pictures

    • #13901

      Seek and yea shall receive Mr Kermit Sir!!

      To start off, this is what happens when the print come unstuck from the build plate (and you forget to check it regularly). This was going to be the tail section.

      It’s only happened once so far & I have taken onboard some great advice from Gerald to force feed the filament for a few seconds when starting a print with LW PLA. As it’s a foaming filament it tends to ooze from the print head before it starts the print & then doesn’t stick well. A quick force feed seems to fix the problem. I suppose another option is to edit the print GCode but force feeding is easier.


      This is where I started the mini Cub project while waiting for the LW PLA order to arrive. This is the complete landing gear printed in PETG (for strength) with TPU Flex printed tyres & stainless capscrews for axles.

      The whole assembly weighs in at 44.2 grams which is correct weight according to the instructions (once you deduct 2 grams for the SS wheel bolts & nuts).

      The rubber band is the shock absorber that allows the assembly to flex on a hard landing.



      This was my first LW PLA print. It is the centre section of the main wing with the second pic showing all the internal bracing. It weighs in at 9 grams which is 3 gm lighter than the original.


      This is the fuselage tail section showing the recessed joining lip & the internal tubes for the elevator & rudder control wires.

      This piece weighs in at 8 grams which is about 2 gm lighter than the original.


      This is the start of the fuselage front section (complete fuselage prints in 4 parts) and this part alone is a 4 hour print (I think the longest of any part on the mini Cub) and will weigh in around 26 grams when complete.


      Nose section print has finished @ just over 4 hours & weighs in at 20 grams so it looks like the eSun LW PLA prints lighter that the filament supplied by 3Dlabprint.

      Front part is the PETG Motor mount.

      More to follow eventually.

    • #13904

      Thanks for putting pics up,interesting

    • #13905

      Your printer is working very well Mike with very little stringing internally.

      • #13906

        Yes Ron, the prints need very little cleanup after printing. There are one or two spots (like in the rear of the dummy engine mount recess) that look to be a bit too thin but I’ll boost them with some CA and kicker when it arrives, other than that so far so good.

    • #13909

      YOU FELLAS ARE GUNNA kill the rc aircraft industry    ya know what’s gunna happen next dun ya ……….tax man   yep gunna cost ya  their probably watching this site right now figuring out to get a yus ………………………..just sayn

    • #13910

      Looking good Mike,

      Ready for a maiden next week?

      All my parts on the Cub and Albatros came out lighter than what the manuals said.


    • #13911

      Gerald, I wonder if the lighter parts is because we’re using a different filament to what they sell?

      • #13912

        Could be Ron, It’s not that much different but you could play with the temperature or extrusion rate.

    • #13914

      Mike, the Corsair is for normal PLA not lightweight like the Cessna I got.

      Corsair – Weight of printed parts (w/o wheels): 3710 g, That’s almost four rolls of filament!

      • #13915

        Thanks Gerald, as you may have guessed I hadn’t really looked into the nitty gritty of the Corsair, just liked the look of it.

        I’m guessing it WONT be my next build after all.  I’ll find another LW PLA build that takes my fancy instead but only after the mini Cub is completed & flying.

    • #13916

      Starting to look like a plane now !!

      Just printing the two parts for the canopy then it will be time to start on the wings.

    • #13919

      Even before I had started the mini Cub build I had pretty much decided that rather than a “Plain Jane” yellow Cub I would have a flouro pink version called the “Panther” Cub – “Pink Panther” that is !!.

      Found just the right colour today & tested it on one of the two failed to print parts that I kept for just such an occasion.

      That’s only one coat so it covers well & seems to stick OK to the LW PLA.

      The paint

      Anyway I’ll need to wait till the CA & kicker arrives and assemble most parts before painting so it’s back to printing.

      Currently printing the Rudder (4 parts) then the rear wing & elevator and perhaps start on the main wings tomorrow.

    • #13921

      You can get ca and kicker from the fibreglass glass shop and also McCanns.

      • #13925

        Thanks Andrew, I’ll have a look Monday morning as my online order won’t be here till Thursday or Friday.

    • #13927

      Sunday morning update.

      I started the print on Thursday so 2 1/2 days later everything is printed except for the main wing.

      Closeup of the tail & rudder parts

      I missed one PLA part, the main hatch locking lever, so printing that now then I’ll see if I can assemble the Tail & Rudder & the main hatch with the super glue I have here. It has a bit of a delay (10 seconds) before going off but if that causes assembly issues I’ll get some slow CA tomorrow.

      Would be nice to get some bits together & painted before I start on the main wing.

    • #13931

      The Tail & Rudder are now assembled & temporarily fitted along with the completed hatch cover (apart from a bit of cosmetic tidy up).

      2/3 of one main flap now printed & hopefully will get the remaining 5 bits printed today leaving only the main wing (8 pieces)

    • #13938

      I took Andrew’s advice & visited McCanns Hobby Shop today and got some medium CA & kicker (once you factor in postage cost it’s actually cheaper to buy local – I’ll know next time).

      Finished assembling the fuselage & also the ailerons so while waiting for the wings to print I set up a Bixler 2 motor (down-propped from 8 x 6 to 8 x 4). It has a slightly higher KV than the specified motor but is slightly smaller and lighter as well. With the smaller prop WOT is only 14 amps so I fitted a 25A ESC (smallest one I had) and that is now all good to go.

      Should have the wings completed tomorrow, then to paint it all & install the servo’s etc.

      Starting to look like a plane now !!

    • #13976

      Well then, the build for the Piper Mini Cub “Pink Panther” is almost complete

      Just need to add the 4 x 9gm servos & the receiver + glue in the dummy motor, radiator & exhausts & she will be ready for her maiden.

      Already started on the Eclipson Gö 1 Wolf 1935 vintage RC Glider


    • #13977

      Wow! You’re not going to lose that plane Mike!

    • #13985

      That’s bright! But where are the side windows?

    • #14006

      Still a work in progress, always little bits to finish off.

    • #14132

      As anyone that was either at our flying day last Wednesday or have viewed the day’s videos will know, I pushed Pink Panther way past its flight envelope and managed to snap one of the wings off.

      This resulted in a heavy contact with Terra Firma and to add insult to injury the poor little pink thing ended up impaled on a fence picket that was laying on the ground. (see Kermits video from Wednesday).

      The result

      Given that it was almost impossible to just remove the damaged front module #1 due to internal fittings etc all glued together, I opted to reprint module #1 & #2 and cut the fuselage further back.

      New module 1 & 2

      New front sections primed & glued into place

      Now to repaint the front to match & reinstall the electrics and the fuselage repair is finished. Then time to reprint the damaged wing (5 sections + ailerons)

    • #14133

      Nice job Mike.

      Who said 3D printed planes can’t be repaired? 🙂

      • #14137

        Yes Gadget, apart from the time printing the new bits the repairs are fairly easy to carry out, probably easier than foam or balsa.

    • #14134

      Easier than a balsa plane.

    • #14147

      The repaired fuselage is completed & painted (even remembered the exhausts this time Gerald !!) and the electronics installed & tested.

      Now all I need to do is print the new wing.

      • #14149

        You would never know it had been impaled.

    • #14152

      Top job Mike. It takes a bit of time but the end result is fantastic.

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