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Thread: CAD Program for Aircraft Design

  1. #1
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    CAD Program for Aircraft Design

    G'Day all,

    I'm looking for a decent CAD program that I can use to model a few designs I have on paper. Ideally, the sort of program I'd like would be:

    a) Easy to use
    b) Cheap!
    c) Have the facility to accurately model airfoil sections
    d) Able to integrate with a CFD program to calculate lift, pressure and drag coefficients for a design
    e) Able to perform "aeronautical" calculations on a design, such as calculating wing area, wetted area, etc
    f) Able to save in a format compaitble with a CNC mill or lathe

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,


    Brad
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge"

    -Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    Registered User StRaNgEdAyS's Avatar
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    You might want to give Rhinoceros 3D a try.
    I don't know what you define as being cheap, but if you've forked out for a good CFD application, you shouldn't find Rhino too much of a stretch and it will fit into most of your parameters when teamed up with other apps like dreese code's DesignFOILfor instance, oh and it is espescially easy to use.
    You can build your own macro's to run almost any computation you desire, and it is CNC and CAM compatible.
    Life is short,
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator orion's Avatar
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    I whole-heartedly concur. We use Rhino almost exclusively for all our design work, as well as all the modeling for subsequent FEA analysis. We have also worked with two organizations for using the Rhino generated surfaces for subsequent CFD analysis however, we do not tend to recommend this route to most of our customers unless they are just after the pretty pictures. (CFD for design is not really meaningful)

    The modeling abilities of Rhino are beyond anything in its price range and from my own experience, well beyond the capabilites of packages that cost more than an order of magnitude more.

    As a modeling example, see below. And by the way, the reason I have not updated the kit progress thread lately is because my time has been somewhat taken up by this contract, a new Reno unlimited class racer. Fun, fun, fun.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CAD Program for Aircraft Design-f2small.jpg  
    Doug2233 likes this.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys, I'll give it a look, it sounds exactly what I want!

    Cheers,


    Brad
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge"

    -Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    Site Developer Jman's Avatar
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    a new Reno unlimited class racer. Fun, fun, fun.
    AWSOME!!

  6. #6
    karl_pogi
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    Re: CAD Program for Aircraft Design

    Quote Originally Posted by orion View Post
    I whole-heartedly concur. We use Rhino almost exclusively for all our design work, as well as all the modeling for subsequent FEA analysis. We have also worked with two organizations for using the Rhino generated surfaces for subsequent CFD analysis however, we do not tend to recommend this route to most of our customers unless they are just after the pretty pictures. (CFD for design is not really meaningful)

    The modeling abilities of Rhino are beyond anything in its price range and from my own experience, well beyond the capabilites of packages that cost more than an order of magnitude more.

    As a modeling example, see below. And by the way, the reason I have not updated the kit progress thread lately is because my time has been somewhat taken up by this contract, a new Reno unlimited class racer. Fun, fun, fun.

    Sir good day,, wat type of aircraft is dis? Can i have a copy coz we have a subject called "Aircraft Design I" and i want dis A/C to be my model. Thnks. God bless...

  7. #7
    Super Moderator orion's Avatar
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    Re: CAD Program for Aircraft Design

    The "Gumbo" twin pictured is a custom, one-off development (created and prototyped by my company, Orion Technologies,LLC) slated for the Unlimited Class of racing planes at the Reno Air Races. Because the aircraft is a unique one-off design being developed for a private customer, we are unable to share or distribute any detailed information or configurational data outside of the general arrangement illustrations seen here.
    "To live is to learn; to learn is to live" (author unknown)

  8. #8
    Registered User ultralajt's Avatar
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    Re: CAD Program for Aircraft Design

    It is the sexiest bimotor I ever seen!
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  9. #9
    Registered User timberwolf8199's Avatar
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    Re: CAD Program for Aircraft Design

    Gotta say, you do nice work Orion.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator orion's Avatar
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    Re: CAD Program for Aircraft Design

    Thanks guys - it has been a lot of fun but it's almost over. The airframe will be delivered to the customer in a few months for the work he wants to do on it prior to getting it into the flight test phase.
    "To live is to learn; to learn is to live" (author unknown)

  11. #11
    Registered User timberwolf8199's Avatar
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    Re: CAD Program for Aircraft Design

    I'd never heard of Rhino before. It looks interesting (and even affordable) from what I see on their website. I see they also offer a number of add-ons for it, are any of these necessary or useful for the type of design work discussed here? Have you found any quirks/limitations worth noting? Likewise, are there any particular stand-out features or capabilities that you find notable?

  12. #12
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    Re: CAD Program for Aircraft Design

    Quote Originally Posted by orion View Post
    I whole-heartedly concur. We use Rhino almost exclusively for all our design work, as well as all the modeling for subsequent FEA analysis. We have also worked with two organizations for using the Rhino generated surfaces for subsequent CFD analysis however, we do not tend to recommend this route to most of our customers unless they are just after the pretty pictures. (CFD for design is not really meaningful)

    The modeling abilities of Rhino are beyond anything in its price range and from my own experience, well beyond the capabilites of packages that cost more than an order of magnitude more.

    As a modeling example, see below. And by the way, the reason I have not updated the kit progress thread lately is because my time has been somewhat taken up by this contract, a new Reno unlimited class racer. Fun, fun, fun.

    Wow Orion,

    That looks amazing. I just had a look at your company site and it looks like you are doing some fun stuff. I am a solidworks user but if I were to ever design a plane, I think I would look elsewhere. It has problems with complex shapes and compound curves.. However it does have a surfacing module, but I have not done any surfacing since I used Mechanical Desktop long ago. Anyhow, I should look into Rhino again. I tried to learn it many years ago but gave up due to not having time to devote to it.

    My goal one day is to design a single place of my own to build.

    Marc

  13. #13
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    Re: CAD Program for Aircraft Design

    Quote Originally Posted by loopy View Post
    G'Day all,

    I'm looking for a decent CAD program that I can use to model a few designs I have on paper. Ideally, the sort of program I'd like would be:

    a) Easy to use
    b) Cheap!
    c) Have the facility to accurately model airfoil sections
    d) Able to integrate with a CFD program to calculate lift, pressure and drag coefficients for a design
    e) Able to perform "aeronautical" calculations on a design, such as calculating wing area, wetted area, etc
    f) Able to save in a format compaitble with a CNC mill or lathe

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,


    Brad
    ================================================== =========================
    Alibre 3D, Inventor, Solidworks. If you look real hard on the net, Piratebay, E-mule, Google, etc, you can even find free 3D CAD programs. You may want to look at Free 3D Models and Free CAD Models - SolidWorks AutoCAD Inventor - GrabCAD lot's of free, 3D models.
    Rich

  14. #14
    Registered User Jay Kempf's Avatar
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    Re: CAD Program for Aircraft Design

    If you are looking for real cheap and pretty easy to use there is the DesignCAD series of software. I used to swear by this program until I got into the higher dollar stuff. You can pick up the last rev on Amazon with free shipping for like $50. It has a nice 3D engine and a great little 2D package.
    Jay K.

    VT USA

  15. #15
    Registered User cavelamb's Avatar
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    Re: CAD Program for Aircraft Design

    Design CAD 3D Max An excellent all round cad system. I've used DC for nearly 40 years now. Check your local Half Price Books store. I've seen it there for less than $30.

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