Instructables

Dragonfly 3D fold-up

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Picture of Dragonfly 3D fold-up
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My metal direct class this year had the fantastic opportunity to visit a company called FedTech in MN. They were nice enough to help our school (St Olaf College) by printing a few small metal laser cut images.

I decided to sketch of a dragonfly in 2D using Graphite (http://www.ashlar.com/2d-3d-drafting/2d-3d-cad-graphite.html) and then I drew in fold-up tabs that would enable it to turn 3D. 

After submitting the files, we went to their lab and watched the process as the giant laser cutter did its work. From here, I folded my dragonfly up along the perforations I had drawn in earlier.

The finished product didn't exactly turn out as nice as I wanted it to (the tail wasn't long enough) but the wings for sure turned out pretty gossamer, just like real dragonfly wings. I love the wings :)
 
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Step 1: The Sketch

Picture of The Sketch
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You can use whatever CAD software you want so long as it supports saving as a .DXF file. I used Graphite and it worked splendidly. It was my first time using it and I had my doubts at first, but I love it now :)

The dragonfly sketch is saved below. Feel free to do whatever you want with it!

You will notice that the entire dragonfly is at the top of the image and then halfway down it mirrors (kinda) so that the dragonfly can fold the belly underneath the top half so as to have a real 3D model.

Two corrections (possibly 3):
     the legs don't quite work as drawn (the are directly flush with the wings and two short to reach the ground)
     the bottom of the head doesn't quite line up with the body. I would make the body side flaps thinner to avoid this.
     the tail is too long. I knew this going into the drawing since I was confined to a certain amount of space.

If you have any questions, post them either by messaging or in the comments below.
ejed15 days ago

That metal folded dragonfly is so cool. Did you make it yourself or get the design from somewhere? How difficult was it to make? How big is it when completed?

Elisa Jed | http://www.shoreviewmetalcraft.com/part-services.h...

LostRite (author)  ejed14 days ago
I designed it from pen first and then drew it up using simple CAD software. I made it while in a class that had a field trip where I was then able to get the design laser cut. There were many designs leading up to this and still many errors in the final design but due to constraints and only a couple days to draft the whole thing I am very happy with the result! :)

It was not difficult to make but has the caveat that you need access to a laser cutter or water jet cutter to cut the sheet metal.

Without the model in front of me I think it is around 8-9" long. You could probably figure out the exact size by opening up the file.

The link you posted is right next to my home :) Can't picture where it is though exactly.
Jimmy J1 year ago
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l8nite1 year ago
that would look great hanging in a tree ! you're right, the wings turned out awesome
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