Design and Build a Glider Using Tinkercad

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About: Before we head to Mars or another faraway planet, humans must first learn how to survive in space. There is radiation, extreme temperatures, no air to breathe and meteorites falling from the sky! How do we d...

This Instructables guides you through how to design and manufacture your own Airbus Glider! Before we jump into this guide, start by first visiting Airbus Discovery Space where you can find some amazing lessons on why things fly. This will help to inform your glider’s design and help to fly further than the competition.

https://www.airbus.com/company/discovery-space/sci...

Using Autodesk Tinkercad, you’ll be taken step by step through the process of how to design and manufacture a glider using a 3D printer, laser cutter or just scissors. There’s multiple ways to design and make your glider so why not try as many as possible to see what works best.

Step 1: Getting Started in Tinkercad

Instructions:

  1. Go to the Tinkercad Website. If you already have an Autodesk account, sign in. If not sign up, it’s free.
  2. Once signed in, create a new design.
  3. Change the name of your design by double clicking on the funny name.
  4. Place a Cylinder on the work plane, change the dimensions of the cylinder to 5 x 5 x 50mm.
  5. Change the amount of sides the cylinder has from 20 to 64 for a better resolution.
  6. Change the orientation of the cylinder by using the black arrows at the top of part, rotate the cylinder by 90 degrees.
  7. Congratulations, you’ve completed the main body of the Glider.

Step 2: Creating the Canopy

Instructions:

  1. Place a Paraboloid onto the work plane, change the dimensions of the cylinder to 5 x 5 x 10mm
  2. Rotate the Paraboloid using the black arrows, rotate 90 degrees so the top of Paraboloid is facing the screen.
  3. Select both bodies by holding shift on the keyboard and click on both shapes.
  4. Align the two shapes using the align tool, make sure both shapes a centred and the Paraboloid is at the front of the cylinder.
  5. Whilst selecting both shapes, use the group tool to combine the two bodies together.
  6. Place another Paraboloid onto the work plane, change the dimensions of the Paraboloid to 5 x 5 x 70 mm.
  7. Rotate the Paraboloid using the black arrows, rotate 90 degrees so the top of Paraboloid is facing backwards.
  8. Select both bodies by holding shift on the keyboard and click on both shapes.
  9. Align the two shapes using the align tool, make sure both shapes a centred and the Paraboloid is at the back of the cylinder.
  10. Whilst selecting both shapes, use the group tool to combine the two bodies together.

Step 3: Creating the Tail Fin

Instructions:

  1. Place a wedge onto the work plane, change the dimensions of the wedge to 2 x 20 x 20mm (depending on manufacturing method this might change)
  2. Flip the wedge using the flip tool, select the back arrows pointing forward and backwards on the left side of the shape.
  3. Select both bodies by holding shift on the keyboard and click on both shapes.
  4. Align the two shapes using the align tool, make sure both shapes are centred and the wedge is at the back of the glider.
  5. Whilst both shapes are selected, group the two bodies to combine them together.

Step 4: Adding the Elastic Band Slot

Instructions:

  1. Place a cube hole (Striped) onto the work plane, change the dimensions of the cube to 2 x 20mm x 20mm.
  2. Rotate the cube using the black arrows at the top of the shape, rotate by 45 degrees.
  3. Move the cube so it is intersecting the nose of the glider, make sure it is overlapping the main body.
  4. Whilst holding shift on the keyboard, click on both bodies to select them both.
  5. Selecting both the main body and the cube, use the group tool to cut a slot into the front of the gilder.

Step 5: Creating the Wings

Instructions:

  1. Place a Cube onto the work plane, change the dimensions of the cube to 120 x 40 x 2mm
  2. Select the cube and then use the duplicate tool to create a copy.
  3. Change the dimensions of the second cube to 40 x 15 x 2mm
  4. Move the smaller cube to the back of the glider.
  5. Move the larger cube to the front of the glider.
  6. Whilst holding shift, click on all three bodies to select all.
  7. Next, use the align tool to centre the wings around the main body.

Step 6: Export for Making

Instructions:

  1. Once the design is complete, go to the export tool
  2. To create a 3D print of your design, export your glider as an STL file.
  3. You will need to learn how to prepare your STL file for 3D printing.
  4. Before creating an SVG file, first move your design so it is intersecting the work plane.
  5. Rotate the glider to create an SVG file of the side of the design, go to export and then select SVG.
  6. You will need to learn how to prepare an SVG file for Laser Cutting.
  7. Go to the Send to tool to send your design to Fusion 360, select Fusion 360 in Send to.
  8. Once in Fusion 360, try modifying, rendering or creating a manufacturing drawing of your glider.

Step 7: Design, Iterate and Build!

Once you've completed your first glider, try changing the design using Tinkercad. Why not also try using different ways of manufacturing your glider to see which method works best.

Why not try downloading one of the example STL or SVG files?

Make sure to share your glider with us, thank you for watching this tutorial. Happy gliding!

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    Discussions

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    AlexT306

    5 days ago

    Great tutorial! How well do these gliders fly?