Introduction: Laser Cut Plane Toy
This is a small plane that flies!
The fuselage is one single part of plywood and the wings are made of polystyrene foam.
The last step of this article contains some design rules that you can use in order to make something that flies.
Step 1: Cut the Parts
Download the file and cut the parts in your nearest Fablab or Makerspace. I used 3 mm plywood for the fuselage and 5 mm polystyrene foam for the wings. Polystyrene foam is usually sold as an insulation material for homes.
Tip: To make accurate cut on the polystyrene foam, go fast with the power near to minimum and make several machine passes. Make a small test to find the right settings.
Step 2: Assemble It
To avoid scratching the foam, compress the leading and trailing edge with your fingers to create a fillet. Then slightly bend the wing with three fingers and insert it. The same technique is used for the tail. (Optional: use free from solvent glue (white glue or epoxy))
The plane is done.
Step 3: Design Rules
If you want to design something flying, here are some practical rules to guide your design:
- It has to have inertia so a minimal mass is required. For this plane the solid nose is sufficient.
- It needs a tail to keep the flight direction
- The center of gravity should be placed just in front of the lifting point. The lifting point is often at the first third of the chord (profile). When you carry the plane at the this point, the plane should observe an angle of 5 to 10 degrees with the horizon. In some CAD systems you can show the mass center of your model.
- The wing profile should make a small angle with the fuselage axis (around 5 degrees)
If your plane flight up and down, it means that it is tail heavy. You can move the wing backwards to correct it.
If your plane goes down quickly, move the wing forward or increase the wing angle (angle of attack).