Bukobot Fly - 3D Printable 1-piece Glider That Flies!




Introduction: Bukobot Fly - 3D Printable 1-piece Glider That Flies!

The Bukobot Fly was originally made to test out some features of my open source Bukobot 3D printer prototype (http://deezmaker.com or Bukobot at Instructables) and experiment with thin layers. Then I got curious to see if I can actually make it fly..and I did!

First 3D printable hand glider?

Not sure if it's the first flying 3D printable mini airplane, but I couldn't find one anywhere that was small enough to fit on 8x8 platform and didn't require motors.

The Bukobot Fly has a 9" wingspan and 0.4mm thick wings.

This might be a tough print to do. It took me a few tries to get a decent first layer for the wings because the crappy PLA I had was very inconsistant in thickness... But if your platform is level and your material is good, it should work. Layer height should be set to about 0.1mm with a very flat platform and I recommend using PLA for the stiffness. Also, platform needs to be at least 7x7 inches to print at 100% size, not sure if it'll work any smaller, but should work bigger possibly.

I was able to make this actually glide pretty good, but I was alone at the park and couldn't film it (needed two hands to launch it). As soon as I get a helper, I'll try to make a video of it in flight.

UPDATE!!! I got video of it flying!!! youtube.com/watch?v=xQsI0d0aw8Y

I only used Slic3r, so here are the settings:

Slicing recommendations

First Layer Height= 3 (ratio, so first layer is 0.3mm)
Layer Height = 0.1mm
Perimeters (Shells) = 2
Fill = about 20% (Might need to experiment with this to get good balance)
Print Speed = about 40mm (Try to print it at a safe speed, if weird things happen you might need to slow down the feed rate)

You need to place the Bukobot Fly on your printer platform at 45 deg for it to fit an 8x8 platform, make sure you match the Fill angle to the direction of the body so the pattern follow the path of flight (more aerodynamic).

After printing:

1 - Warp the wings up a little. Take a look at the photos for reference. Grab 2 pencils (or pens) and place them under the wings about the middle, without touching the tail. Then, use a hair dryer and gently heat up the wings while pushing the fuselage down. Make sure you are as straight as possible or it will flight weird.
2 - Add front weight & hook. Find a small screw with nuts to fit on the tip to act as weight and launching hook.
3 - Gentle adjust rear flap to about 30 deg or so to start with
4 - Add or take away weight until it balances about the middle of the wing.
5 - Prepare a stick with a rubberband to use as the launcher (use the screw as the hook)

Making it fly

If you know about airplanes, you can figure this out. Basically, if the plane nose dives quickly, reduce the nose weight, if it falls backwards (or flops around), add more weight to the nose. You will also need to adjust the rear flap slightly to get it perfect.

The OpenScad file has some variables if you want to change some simple things.

Good luck! If anyone makes a video of it flying, please let me know!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Make It Real Challenge

Participated in the
Make It Real Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • First Time Author Contest

      First Time Author Contest
    • Space Challenge

      Space Challenge
    • Scraps Speed Challenge

      Scraps Speed Challenge

    6 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, I'm looking forward to the video! (Follows).