Glider 3D printed directly on to tissue paper

Great work from my friend Andrew Plumb. From the Ponoko blog:

Andrew Plumb (aka @clothbot), who I’ve interviewed here before, published an awesome glider design today called the PaperFly.

Based on an earlier glider (the Bukobot Fly) that was entirely 3D printed, the PaperFly is instead a minimal frame printed directly onto a sheet of tissue paper!

Andrew also put a tutorial on Instructables that covers the prep work necessary to make one of the gliders. Basically, in order to keep the paper flat and unmoving, it has to be secured in a cardboard frame that is then placed on the printer’s build platform. Like this:

Tissue paper and frame

Once the glider has finished printing, the weight of the nose must be adjusted to make it flightworthy. How is that done? By adding LEGO pieces to the connectors on the nose cone, of course. :)

PaperFly on platform

The design file is an OpenSCAD script, so it can be extensively customized or adjusted to fit on the user’s own 3D printer.

If you’d like to make one for yourself, check out the full details on Instructables here:

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Comment by Andrew Plumb on October 22, 2012 at 5:08am

Thanks for the post, Chris!

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on October 22, 2012 at 5:55am

Chris, remember when I asked you about the possibility of inserting a carbon fiber skeleton into a 3D printed structure?  Seems like this is a good starting point.  If we could accomplish that, the possilities would be endless.

Imagine printing a quad frame with voids for CF tubes in the arms.  Print half the frame, insert the tubes, finish the print to encapsulate them.  

Comment by Marooned on October 22, 2012 at 7:16am

Robert, doesn't seems difficult to divide printing process into pieces leaving time gaps for manually laying CF tubes in just printed areas.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on October 22, 2012 at 7:27am

Yes, it makes sense to me, but I don't have a machine so it's hard to say for sure.  I think one of the difficulties would be getting the print head to work around the tube after you've set it in.

But it would be awesome to be able to build a structure that combines the flexibility of the plastic, with a carbon fiber backbone.

Comment by Peter Meister on October 22, 2012 at 10:54am

That is very cool, man can you imagine what can be done with other materials in similar scope with these 3D printers. Its simply amazing....

Comment by Jack Crossfire on October 22, 2012 at 2:22pm

Now print a brushless pager motor.


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