[5/15/2020 Update: I have designed some modifications to this design that are included in the Flyer Mk. 1a design that I recently uploaded to this site. These modifications include more rigid and stronger wings, and two new higher pitch propellers. These modifications can be found in my new design at https://cults3d.com/en/3d-model/various/flyer-mk-1.]
For the last two years, I have been experimenting with 3D-printed rubber-band powered model airplanes. The challenge in doing this was to print something powered only by a rubber band that is light enough to fly, but is at the same time strong enough to survive repeated landings. After nearly two years of experiments, I believe that I have finally achieved this goal, and the Flyer Mk. 1 is the result.
This video gives a good overall description of the Flyer Mk. 1, and shows it in action: https://youtu.be/2k9LypU1OJI. Not only will you get to see the Flyer actually fly in this video, but you can also see it crashing into trees. (I attribute those crashes to pilot error.)
The material that makes this airplane possible is a lightweight PLA filament made by ColorFabb BV in the Netherlands. This lightweight PLA filament expands as it is being extruded. Depending on your print settings, this filament can expand to a 'foam plastic' that can be as little as 35% of the density of normal PLA. This results in structures that are very lightweight and have a degree of flexibility that makes them very resilient. I believe this filament is one of the most innovative 3D printing materials of the last few years, and I am really looking forward to seeing what others can do with it.
The Flyer Mk. 1 is not something that can be printed quickly. As you can see, this fairly simple looking model airplane has a lot of parts. But with patience, you can print and build something rather incredible; a truly flyable, 3D-printed rubber powered airplane. I believe that up until this design, this has never been done before.
Most of the components for this model are printed in Colorfabb Natural White LW-PLA in vase mode. You will need to print them with an 0.3 mm nozzle. See the 'Flyer Mk. 1 Instructions' PDF file for detailed instructions about printing, assembling, and flying this model. This file also has detailed lists for other tools, parts, and materials that you will need.
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