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Thread: 137.5" w/s 10.2% Boeing B-47E IV FAI F4C Model

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Houston, TX

    Default 157.75" w/s 1:8.7669 Boeing B-47E IV FAI F4C Replica

    I will be asking as much or more...than I show and tell...

    This project began Thanksgiving 2009...Well that's not entirely true...I must confess...this project began as I sat on the front steps of my
    childhood home in Kingsport, Tennessee. I sat there at least twice a week after school amidst the air raid sirens blaring moans across my
    home town. I watched B-47E IV's practice bombing runs on the Holston Ordinance Div. of Eastman Kodak in the late afternoons after I had
    walked home in anticipation of another daily warning at 4:00 pm or so.

    Anyone living in an industrial community from '47 through the mid-60's had some element of "Duck & Cover" in their schools, church, and work.
    Not many around me were interested in aviation quite as much as I. Obviously these events had an impact on me...Yes, most scale modelers
    are at least a wee bit OCD. In my case, a portion of my flight routine during competition is to actually replicate what I sat and watched, back
    -in-the-day as some call it.

    Practice bombing runs began at least four hundred miles Northeast at head end of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where B-47's initiated
    their mission which concluded with an abrupt LABS maneuver as I sat watching the bomb bay doors open then an abrupt vertical climb
    away to the right at full throttle heading toward Kentucky, across the mountains along the Tennessee, S/W Virginia, Kentucky border.

    Imagine yourself sitting there watching this no less than twice a week for something like two months or so. It tended to leave a mark...
    So here I sit getting ready to share, but more importantly to my project...ask questions of those with experience I desire to gain knowledge
    from. Please be patient with me as I ask what may seem simple to most of you.

    Design phase is all but complete. 2D drawings of airframe cross sections, air foils, etc. were brought together with traditional configurations
    of r/c models to form a 157.75" wingspan electric powered replica of the Boeing B-47E IV. Yes, its electric powered with two 127mm ducted
    fan in the inboard engine nacelles. I won't bore you with details, there are more than enough in these two threads withint

    Thread 1:

    Thread 2:
    Last edited by Flite-Metal; 07-06-2012 at 10:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Houston, TX

    Default In The Beginning...

    Above you see cross sections, aka formers, representing shape differenital through length of a B-47E IV fuselage obtained by meaning out
    shape differentials from artist drawings, or in this case, the few drawings available for the B-47E. Manufacturers do not normally have the
    multiple view drawings you find today. The only composite drawings created are for assembly~maintenance manuals, and marketing purpose.

    The B-47 was created after an Air Force initiated design competition to obtain a jet bomber. Not to restate details, multiple manufactureres
    were asked to submitted multiple considerations for the USA's first jet bomber. Ultimately this lead to not only the first USA jet bomber but
    the world's first swept wing jet bomber. There was tremendous pressure to create this with the growing threats represented in the Cold War.

    Physical design of our B-47E IV and a WB-47E (weather bomber) is comprised of CNC hot wired and milled Dow SurfBoard Foam® and Dow
    Styrofoam®. Don't laugh, it really is named SurfBoard Foam®. Back in the 60's a surfer (named Spyder) worked with Dow to create an ultra
    high sheer strength polystyrene he could make stronger surfboards from. Dow SurfBoard Foam® has vertical strands of solidified polystyrene.

    Unlike normal blue Styrofoam's behavior when hot wired, Spyder's SurfBoard Foam® hot wire cuts leaving smooth surface free of hard residue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Houston, TX

    Default Aspire Lofting...

    Our need for milling is rather simple by comparison to what you guys do every day:

    1. Front of the fuselage to just behind the cockpit.
    2. Inboard and outboard engine nacelles.
    3. Tail turrent section from the rudder post rearward.
    4. Wing tanks.
    5. Chin radar bulge.
    6. Wing tips.

    Obviously with the cross sections in all these areas we can loft, or I should say I would expect to loft 'tween shapes across the to-be-milled
    sections. I would like some feedback on this operation within Aspire and if PartWorks has lofting capabilities.

    The above image represents the individual section components. The front section has a removable nose piece so we can hot wire the internal
    diamond cavity which provides tension and compression so everything stays straight. There are two hot wired sections for the center portion
    of the fuselage. The formers beneath the blue tinted drawing show where each section of the entire fuselage parts.

    Transport of something this large could be problematic, except when it comes to sizing a project for your vehicles... The wing parting line is at
    in inboard engine pylon. Outboard of this point plugs into the wing center section which is also the fuselage center section.
    Last edited by Flite-Metal; 04-04-2011 at 07:41 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Lofting

    I am not sure about lofting those pieces in Aspire or Partworks but I do know it could be done with th e program we use. We use a 3D solid molding program called Solid Edge and it could easily loft those shapes. We have been exporting 3D shapes from the Edge into Partworks 3D and have been very happy with the results.
    Looks like a fun project especially at that scale!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Houston, TX

    Default Lofting Is Critical

    I've been down the CAD/CAM path (pun intended) many times over the most recent twenty years of my modeling obsession...reaching the same
    point, project after project.

    The issue is always everything had to be drawn, traced, rendered, before the real work could begin. Those of you who have traveled the path
    less followed over the last twenty plus years to this reading understand exactly that of which I reference.

    This wears thin on every resource's patience resulting in dimenishing returns of their and my investment. My perfect tool box will deliver virtually
    ready to use files to my CAD resource person. After having reviewed Aspire early on and realizing its capabilities, I had confidence my tool kit
    was nearing reality.

    The passage of time brings advances in technology and utilities with which to integrate it into my projects. Packaging of ShopBot with PartWorks
    the Aspire extraction results in V-carve Pro and Cut-3D for cut path. I desire to learn to what degree PartWorks may provide lofting capabilities.

    Scale modelers must deal with analog shapes, aka cross sections, as baseline resources. They evolve from photographic and artist renderings from
    engineered drawings created for maintenance and 1:1 aircraft assembly manuals.

    Aviation manufacturers do not use multiple perspective drawings, they have no purpose outside of marketing and artistic value. The whole is assembled
    from literally thousands of subassemblies...few workers know what finished aircraft looks like outside marketing's artist renderings.

    Lofting is an ultimate resource tool, yet it is usually a utility within a CAD program that has its own issues of having to learn how to fly to the moon
    in order to cross the street
    . Not to sound rude or demeaning, I'm simply sharing the typical scale modelers dilemma. With lofting comes the bridge from
    analog cross sections to .stl more than any other task within the CAD/CAM tool kit.

    ShopBot brings together a package I and my fellow modelers are excited about...after considerable review over the last 19 months. Many promise yet
    never fulfill what they claim within the modeling community's CAD community. This being CAD/CAM skilled DYI oriented individuals who marry their real
    world occupations with their "newly found" hobby. This always results in a DYI solution for CNC milling and hot wire because they seek to achieve the
    fastest task fulfillment beyond that skill set they possess.

    The above leaves long term scale modelers having to "either" learn full blown CAD or suffer the fate I referenced earlier when a resource suddenly finds
    something new to tweak their skill set. The going rate for true CAD/CAM is way above that which the typical modeler can afford...yet they dream of a
    solution. I believe ShopBot DeskTop with PartWorks/Aspire provides "the" solution. There is an untapped market out there. A market which is already
    spending $ with someone else's skill set, not enhancing their own.
    Last edited by Flite-Metal; 04-05-2011 at 02:50 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Delray Beach, FL


    Asked and answered previously!!
    You can not loft in Partworks as it is not capable of creating 3-d shapes. It can cut an imported 3-d shape in certain file formats.
    You can loft 1/2 hulls in Aspire. It does create 3-d shapes and can combine shapes in different layers as well. The issue in Aspire for your purposes is if the lofted form created from the station shapes is not to your likeing it is much more tedious to "fair" the surface then it is in programs that are made to loft such as Prolines. In Aspire you would need to reset the shape to flat, tweak the stations, and then recreate the shape possibly in a series of steps depending on the shape. In a hull generating program if you need to change a station a bit you simply change it in the section and then hit "loft".

    You can download a demo of Aspire for free and I would suggest you do so. You will learn much that way very quickly. The tutorials are excellant as is the program.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Houston, TX

    Default Lofting


    Thank you for repeating your post in my initial testing of this forum's operation.

    I am not being a "Doubting Thomas", I am opening up a discussion from which I desire to reap the wealth of knowledge across the
    accumulative experience of this forum's participants. Please do not think I am discounting what anyone states as their protocols
    and experiences. Consider me a blank page, or as most do...a void in need of filling

    Over the years of managing out sourced services I came to realize each of them were the result of where their skill set was prior
    to where they were at the time I was introduced to them. Remember, most of the time they were or had been modelers at some
    point. This provided a common base line for our conversations.

    I am left with not understanding the functionality of PartWorks as a utility. It was extracted from Aspire. What is its functionality
    with respect to design? I understood Cut-3D to be for defining cut path.

    A). What is the functionality of PartWorks (as extracted from Aspire)?

    B). What is PartWorks' functionality which does not benefit from lofting?

    Yes, the tutorials were and have been viewed since this began. I know that may sound as if I didn't believe what I saw and read,
    however you should know I have a close friend with two $275k plus CNC mills in California utilized in his cabinet business. He is a
    modeler and at this point has completed something like four 3D college courses covering three protocol.

    Now, you need to understand his business has been successful considering he has milled custom cabinets & architectural elements
    for multi-million dollar residences and businesses for twenty years. However, with the downturn in the economy he thought about
    integrating his hobby interests into his vocation.

    Cut-3D was acquired, however it failed to be capable of driving John's two 8' x 15' multi-axis mills...after a factory recommended tech
    made two $400 a day visits. John eventually received a refund with return of the software. Yes, I understand not all hardware can be
    driven by any one software. That is why I am focused on ShopBot with its integration of PartWorks extracted from Aspire.
    Last edited by Flite-Metal; 04-05-2011 at 12:37 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Delray Beach, FL


    Many users of partworks find that the 2-d design capabilities are sufficient to their needs. This may include cabinetmakers, patternmakers, etc. Because one can, for example, pocket a defined area leaving the balance uncut it can create signs. The v-carving aspect of it is also useful in sign making and also for forming texture patterns. A full explanation of the software can be found here:

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Houston, TX

    Default PartWorks Tutorial

    While I have yet to view the PartWorks tutorial since my conversation with Dianne the latter part of last week, I will do so.
    Dianne directed me here to better understand PartWorks functionality from those using it. This to learn more of differential
    between PartWorks and Aspire.

    I am in the midst of a corporate startup and have been posting here while working on another computer. This is more or less
    my B-47 project notebook.

    Over the course of the last 19 months. I have viewed and reviewed the excellent Aspire tutorials. I sought a down and dirty
    review of PartWorks with respect to what I intend to create as a tool box for scale modeling. I have yet to disclose the full
    purpose of my inquiries here. I am not alone. I and others seek to achieve this...

    David, in an earlier post in the "test" thread section, you made reference to a hull program and its lofting utility.

    A: What is that program's name?

    B: Was it a professional boat building program or a modeling utility with lofting?

    C: Did it permit head, rear and side views for alignment purposes?

    In aviation we work with multiple datum lines in the inter-relationship of shapes across an entire fuselage. A typical fuselage
    shape begins low and rises on the opposite end. Datum lines travel from ahead of the fuselage through its concentricy to
    beyond the rear of it.

    This is important with respect to making sure my internal diamond is lined up perfectly from section to section. The diamond
    is cut using CNC hot wire before the exterior is hot wired. The to-be-milled pieces will be hot wired internally before milling.
    The diamond is comprised of three elements.

    A: After the diamond shape is cut and removed from all fuselage components, bias-cut balsa is formed into a rectangle the
    dim of each diamond side and laminated with carbon fiber vale. Each rectangle is inserted and glued to each of the four
    diamond sides to impart T/C (tension and compression).

    B: A center spline of bias-cut carbon vale laminated balsa is inserted laterally through center of laminated diamond interior
    of the fuselage.

    This alone constitues the internal T/C element so when 1/8th balsa applied to the exterior of the B-47 with 1/6th ounce to
    the sq yd fiber glass cloth is bias laminated with 40% alcohol diluted epoxy resin, the shape of the fuselage will not change.

    Two triangles are created from bias-cut balsa then laminated with carbon fiber vale as the insert spanning each side of the
    diamond fore and aft from the fuselage sections. The triangles with four pins and receivers across face of each parting pt.
    of fuselage maintain shape continuity and strength to survive hard landings. One triangle is inserted in the top to the rear
    and the second is inserted in the bottom half of the diamond and forward triangle receiver.

    While I am involved in computer systems, I desire to enable a community with the Shopbot DeskTop, PartWorks, and Cut3D to
    empower them to achieve what they seek with integration of CAD/CAM to their extensive modeling skill set
    without having to
    go to the moon to cross the street
    Last edited by Flite-Metal; 04-06-2011 at 10:33 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Hi Ed,
    Your model seems to me very easy as almost all the curves are known and can be extracted. Mostly, CAM programs gives limited functionalities of CAD, especially those that are less expensive or for hobbiest use.
    If i was in your place i have to design your aircraft in 3D Studio Max(free versionGMax) or ZBrush as they are meant for generating the 3D Models from the pictures. I would then export pieces of that model and then use any CAM software like CUT3D or MeshCam (low cost softwares) to generate two sided toolpaths for it.
    Keep in mind that you have only a 3-axes machine so you can not do undercuts on 3D model. If the Model is too big in height you can use then the Slice functionality of CUT3D.
    I have no association with Vectric Product except that they are very good people to deal with.
    I left woodwork due to office work.

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