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How to 3D Print an Aeroplane - Day 13 - Housekeeping or Threat and Error Managment

We are nearly there. It's almost time to start printing our aeroplane. One of the reasons I enjoy modelling, be it with a 3D printer and CAD software or just foam board and hot glue, is the feeling of taking something from inside your head and seeing it take shape as a physical object. Its a real buzz and its probably also the reason I often start printing a bit too soon, before the final little bits have been tidied up. That is why this post is titled Housekeeping or Threat and Error Management.

My day job as an airline Captain can be boiled down to threat and error management, looking for things that will trip you up later and avoiding, mitigating, or trapping them. that's what we are doing here. Have we cut out the control runs? Can the servo wires get out of the wing? Hinges been cut on all pieces? Do we need to model some marks on a part so we can line things up properly? Have you cut out holes for motor mount screws or space for the axle and wiring?

This is the time to have a look at all these things. One of the ways to do it is 'assemble' the aircraft in Fusion 360, take the piece you plan to start with and then add pieces in order, checking them over as you go. You don't need to use any clever Fusion 360 functions for this.

This stage is boring, but will save you having to drill or reprint endlessly as you go forward.

In the screencast you can see that I have moved a thin bit of the fuselage at the wing join and combined it to the wing, I think it would have broken otherwise. I have trimmed a small part of the elevator that might have scraped the fin. I have re-shaped the bottom of the fin as it just didn't look right to me. I also noticed that I hadn't cut out a section in the middle of the wings so that the servo wire could exit the channel.

The other thing I did was to etch out a groove in the wing to help line up the tail booms. Its is perhaps not strictly necessary but I was interested to see how it would come out.

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