1/21/17

RQ-4B Global Hawk 3d Print - Free STL!

 In 2017, I've going to try to put out one model per week, on Thingiverse. This is an attempt to make better use of my 3d printer, hone my CAD skills, and hopefully make some useful stuff! At this moment, I have 11 items on Thingiverse.
This week's model is the Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk. I'm a huge dork for drones big and small, and ever since I saw James Bridle's "UAV Identification kit" I wanted to print some of the bigger ones. Unfortunately, James didn't release his STLs (at least, I couldn't find them). So, I opened up AC3D and took a stab at it.
AC3D works somewhat similarly to 3D Studio Max, but at a much, much lower price point. I'm no expert by any means, but the model is adequate. There are some inaccuracies, however...
I haven't used any 3d modeling software in years, except Solidworks. The organic curves of the Global Hawk didn't really lend themselves to Solidworks (or at least, my skill level in Solidworks), so I dusted off my old software. After about an hour, I was pretty pleased with the results! The model is a little low poly, but at the scale my printer can handle it won't matter. 
 After running the model through a repair process to fix any holes, it's ready to print! On my Duplicator i3 I can print this guy out at about 11" wide, when printed diagonally.
Printing diagonally had a neat little effect: The infill lines up perfectly with the part, and looks like ribbing! Printed in translucent filament, it would be pretty neat!
Overall, I'm happy with the print. Next time I print one off, I'll drop the layer height to .1mm, though.
This would look pretty sweet with a layer of spray filler/primer, and done up in a NASA paintjob. 
To all my readers, I wish you blue skies, and happy printing.