3D Printed Kits - FAQ
The latest innovation in Model Airplanes construction.
Check out all the 3D Printed RC Model Airplanes
Before anything else, watch this video.
The most common question I get is:
-How do these planes fly?
The video at the right is from FliteTest's Youtube channel, they installed cameras on the plane and filmed it in flight with a drone, these images are not only spectacular but they also allow us to see the behavior of the plane in flight. Enjoy!
All our 3D Printed planes are here.
This P-38 in the video requires:
- 12 channels radio if you don´t use y-cables.
- 4-5 full days straight to print on one printer if everything goes well.
About 3D Printing
3D Printing is not a new technology, in fact it is about 30 years old so, why is it only now becoming mainstream?
Because only in recent years hobbyists from around the world started to develop a cost effective and highly controllable method of producing 3D printed objects.
The video below is a 3DLabPrint P-38 being printed.
What can be done on a 3D Printer?
Almost anything, and making model planes on a 3D printer isn't new either, what is new and revolutionary is the work of Stepan from 3DLabPrint, he is a highly talented aircraft designer and 3D model artist, you cannot stop becoming amazed with his extraordinary models. Have a look.
How strong and light are these 3D Printed model airplanes?
These planes are printed on PLA, a bioplastic, ABS we all know what it is and PETG, similar to the water bottles plastic. Any of these plastics, if properly printed is very resistant, a lot more resistant than balsa, obviously.
A PLA printed plane with 1 meter wingspan can weight around 400 grams (the ME109 is like this)
How do these planes fly?
One thing is for sure, if the designer is good and if the printer is well calibrated the printed parts will be accurate reproductions of the digital counterparts so, these planes are like any other plane, they will be as good as you design it and as good as you build it.
They are as solid and as light as a balsa plane and probably more resistant and much easier to repair than a balsa model.
The PT-17 flying:
Electronics and control linkages...
Everything is printed, the servo beds, the receiver place and fixings, the battery pack holder, the access hatches, the wing and landing gear fixings. Even the link tubes are printed inside the fuselage so a thin piano wire can slide inside, a truly wonder to behold. If you never had a printed plan from 3DLabPrint you will be completely amazed, just as I as did :)
How long does it takes to print a model plane?
The Edge takes around 48 hours straight to print, this is one printer working non stop for 2 days, the Spitfire takes a a little less but the Cessna 180 that is a 1.6 meter span model full of small parts and details takes 5 days.
How are these kits assembled?
The parts are printed on a hot surface called "print bed" the first layer is a little wider than the second in order to provide adhesion during the printing of the part so when assembling this little scrape of plastic, 1/10 mm tick has to be removed with a sharp blade, it's just a mater of lightly scraping it. After this cleaning job the pasts are simply glued with medium thickness CA glue and accelerator spray, the accelerator is mandatory.
The P-51 being assembled in less than 10 minutes:
Can the PLA be painted?
Sure, PLA can be painted with acrylic paint, preferably acrylic spray. The paint will adhere perfectly and your imagination and talent as a painter is the limit :)
What is the waiting time for an order?
As said before these planes take long hours to print and are printed on demand. Count with at least 3 or 4 days to see your order being dispatched.
How about repairs and spares?
These planes are made of several individual parts, we can reprint any of them an have it sent to you in a short time, to replace a broken part you will have to use a blade to separate it from the rest of the plane, it will separate along a print layer so it will be easy to put the new part in place but you will have to do the cut on or very close to a bond.
Apart from replacing a section its always possible to glue a crack or rebuild a small part of the fuselage or wing.
What servos and motors to use?
Each model is designed to standard components, the servos will be typical 9 gram or mini size servos, the motors will be described in the plane manual and listing page. Usually there is a performance power setup and an economic power setup, usually built around HobbyKing stuff.
Where can I find these models?
The are all here and as Stepen adds new models to his site 3DLabPrint I will be adding them here.
May I print thes e planes myself?
Yes, of course. The file packages with all the stl, factory, settings files are available for purchase and download at Stepan's website 3DLabPrint.com.