Flitetest Planes

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Flitetest.jpg

Flitetest design several RC airplane models with freely available plans built from Dollar Tree foam board, which is designed to be built quickly and cheaply. You can order laser-cut kits from the Flite Test store for about $30, or laser cut your own using the Lasersaur at the space for about $5 in materials and laser time.

Models

There are many Flitetest models. These are ones that have been converted to SVGs, and sized to print on the Lasersaur.

FT Bloody Wonder V2
BloodyWonder1.jpg
FT Explorer
Ft-explorer.jpg
FT Mini Arrow
FTMiniArrow.jpg
FT Mini Cruiser
Mini Cruiser.jpg
[FT Mini F-22]
Mini F-22.jpeg
FT Mini Guinea
MiniGuinea.jpg
[FT Mini Vector]
FT Vector.jpg
[FT Sea Duck]
FT-Sea-Duck.jpg
FT Simple Soarer
SimpleSoarer.jpg
FT Sparrow
FTSparrow.jpg
FT Spitfire
FTSpitfire.jpg
FT Versa Wing
Versa1.jpg

FT Swappable Power Pod

Used on a multitude of Flitetest planes

Control Horns

Laser Cutting - Lasersaur

The Lasersaur Laser Cutter should be used for laser-cutting foam core.

These power settings work well on the Lasersaur with Dollar Tree foam board:

Color Action Feed Rate Power Level Passes
Black Cut 1500 25% 1
Red Score 1500 12% 1
Blue Etch 1500 6% 1

New: High Speed Cutting Mode!

Color Action Feed Rate Power Level Passes
Blue Etch 6000 16% 1
Red Score 6000 40% 1
Black Cut 3500 100% 1

The following settings work well on the Lasersaur with 3/32" plywood:

Color Action Feed Rate Power Level Passes
Black Cut 1500  ?  ?

Laser Cutting - Thunder Laser

--This section under development for cutting foamcore on the Thunder Laser (if/when the Lasersaur is broken)--

The Thunder laser uses RDWorks and can't accept .SVG files. You'll have to convert the SVG files to a format that can be opened by RDworks and then configure RDworks to be ready to send your file to the laser cutter.

  1. Open the .SVG file in InkScape
  2. Select all (Ctrl-A) and select "Object to Path" from the "path" menu. (not 100% sure this is necessary)
  3. Select "Document Properties" from the "file" menu
  4. On the Page tab, change the default units to in. (at the top)
  5. On the Page tab, in the orientation section, change the Units to "in." The custom size should show 30x20 inches for full sheet plans.
  6. Close the document properties window
  7. Select "Save As.." from the "File" menu.
  8. Change the Save As type to "Desktop Cutting Plotter (AutoCAD DXF R14) (*.dxf)" Give your file a name and click Save
  9. On the window that appears, UNCHECK both boxes. (use Robo-master... and Use LWPOLYLINE...)
  10. change the base unit to "In" and click OK
  11. Close Inkscape. (you can save your updated file as an SVG too if you wish)
  1. Start RDWorks
  2. Select "File Para Setting" from the "Config" menu
  3. Change the DXF Unit to "inch"
  4. Select "import..." from the "file" menu
  5. Navigate to your file, select it and click Open
  6. Adjust the page size - Config/Page Setting. Set the page width to 762mm (30") and height to 508mm (20")
  7. Select all and move the drawing to the center of the page

Then: Set the color/cut order to Blue first (etch), then Red (score), then Black (Cut). If you find another color on the drawing, it might need to be changes to Red, Blue, or Black. (set the priority in the work tab on the right)

Set the speed and power according to the table below.

Select "Cut Optimize" from the Handle menu. Select the "order of layer box" and "inside to outside" and "single inner to outer"

Click the Preview button (looks like a TV) and then click simulate. It should "cut" the blue lines first, then red, then black.

NOTE: When I installed RDWorks - I specified Inches as the default units. Still need to test these steps using RDWorks at DMS.

NOTE: Please update or correct any steps that aren't correct or could be -- this is what worked for me.

Thunder Laser FoamCore settings (Still needs testing and work...)

Color Action Feed Rate Power Level Passes
Blue Etch 500 5% 1
Red Score 300 5% 1
Black Cut 200 50% 1


3D Printing

ABS should be used for strength, and parts should be printed at high-density.

Converting Flitetest plans to SVG

  1. Download the "Full" size of the PDF plan.
  2. Open the PDF in Inskcape. For multipage PDFs, select one page at a time
  3. Once open, ungroup any grouped parts (Ctrl+Shift+G a few times, in case there are nested groups)
  4. Make a new document that's 30" Wide by 20" Tall
  5. Copy and paste plane parts from the opened PDF into your new document.
  6. Flitetest plans often have a variety of different shades of color, so follow the next few steps to make sure you end up with only three colors.
  7. Select all parts now on your new document (Ctrl+A), then set Stroke color to Black (Red: 0, Green: 0, Blue: 0, Alpha: 255)
  8. Next, set Stroke width to something a bit wider (To make easier to visualize). A value of 0.020 Inches works well.
  9. Now, using the original PDF for reference, select all the lines/parts that need to be scored (by holding down shift)
  10. Change the stroke color of those parts to Red Black (Red: 255 Green: 0, Blue: 0, Alpha: 255)
  11. Select the lines/parts that should be etched. Set the stroke color to Blue (Red: 0 Green: 0, Blue: 255, Alpha: 255)
  12. Make sure all parts of your plane fit with-in the 30"x20" rectangle.
  13. Save the file as the default format, SVG.

Need Help?

Harold and Nick both have experience in converting FliteTest plans to SVG, cutting them on the Lasersaur, and putting them together. There's also several other DMS members that have constructed various FT models. If you get stuck or need a hand, let us know!