Introduction: World's First? Full 3D Printable Ornithopter Assembly Instruction

Designed by Yusuke Takahashi(Fablab Kitakagaya/The Flapping Wing Factory) using Autodesk 123D Design

Step 1: The Ornithoper "Flying Pants" Developed As a FABLAB Workshop Item in 2013

The original version was made of hybrid materials such as SLS(*) printed parts and carbon rods.
*SLS(Selective Laser Sintative): One of the high-end 3D printing technologies

Step 2: Design Update for Personal 3D Printers

In 2014, personal 3D printers are becoming more and more affordable, so I revised the parts design suitable to these printers.
The new design is suitable for any personal FFF(fused filament fabrication) type 3D printers like as Reprap, Replicator, and Cube, etc.

Step 3: There Are Several Sites Where You Can Freely Download the CAD Data of the Parts

Step 4: You Can Also Order the 3D Printed Parts at 3D Printing Services

Step 5: Specification of "Flying Pants"

Wing span: 300 mm
Length: 135 mm
Weight: around 2.5 grams
Power source: medium size rubber band * 2
Suitable materials: polyamid(SLS*) or ABS(FFF)
* Select "White Strong & Flexible" (Shapeways)
" ナイロン ( ポリアミド)"(
You also need a small paper clip for the crank and
a thin plastic bag for the wing membrane.

Step 6: Parts Check and Preparation

3D printed parts are often printed with a raft and supports.
They should be removed and cleaned up carefully.

Step 7: Parts Clean-up

A raft may be peeled off by hands.
Supports should be removed using cutter knives.
Parts surface can be finished by engineers files.

Step 8: Assembly of the Right Arm and the Frame

The right arm is fixed to the frame.
They are designed as snap-fit, but you can fix them by a drop of instant glue.

Step 9: Assembly of the Left Arm and the Frame

The left arm is a moving parts.
The arm should be able to flap freely.
If it won't flap smoothly, enlarge the holes of the arm by drills or reamers.

Step 10: Making of the Crankshaft

The crankshaft can be made from a small paper clip.
Bend it carefully using a needle nose plier and cut an excess off.

Step 11: Making of the Crankshaft

Diameter of the hook is approx. 3mm.

Step 12: Making of the Crankshaft -Finish

Length of straight part are approx. 8mm.

Step 13: Assembly of the Crankshaft and the Frame

Push the crancshaft into the holes of the frame.

Step 14: Assembly of the Crank and the Rocking Arm

Slot the crank pin into the slit of the rocking arm.

Step 15: Hook Rubber Bands

Hook a pair of rubber bands to the crank end and
 the frame.

Step 16: Test Run

Wind the crank up about thirty times.
As the crank rewinds, the left arm will flap bouncingly.

Step 17: Cut Out the Wing Membrane

Cut the wing membrane out from a thin plastic bag* using cutter knives.
* film thickness < 0.01 mm would be better
Cut size: 300mm base and 135mm height

Step 18: Apply the Wing Membrane to the Frame

Apply thin strips of double-sided tape to the frame.
And then apply the wing membrane carefully to the frame along the tapes.

Step 19: Assembly Finished!

Assembly finished.
Bend the tail up slightly for a stable flight.
Let's take it out for test flights!

Step 20: Test Flight

Test flights can be made either in the room or outdoors(in the calm, windless condition).
Apply power by winding the crank up about thirty to fifty times.
Hold the plane by your fingers horizontally, and push it off slightly upward.
If the plane dive straight to the ground, bend the tail up more or simply launch the plane upward.
If it turns sharp to right of left, bend the opposite side of the wing chip slightly backward.

Step 21: Some Hints of Hacking the Pants 1: Painting / Marking

Painting or marking on the wing is fun!
Colorful marker pens would be suited to the job.
Create your original pants.

Step 22: Some Hints of Hacking the Pants 2: Weight Reduction

You can upgrade the wing arms by carbon rods*.
The weight is dramatically reduced to under 2.0 grams and you can enjoy longer flight time.
* 0.7mm dia 140mm long size * 2

Step 23: About Author:

Yusuke Takahashi (Flappingwing)

Location: Osaka, Japan
A founder of The Flapping Wing Factory
Personally engaged in the development of small
ornithopters for 10 years.
Member / operating staff of Fablab Kitakagaya

Thank you viewing my instruction!

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