• 3D CAD Techniques For Making Aeroplane Canopies

    3D CAD Techniques For Making Aeroplane Canopies

    By Ray Hill

    ViaCAD Pro was used for this short tutorial, but many other vendors offer similar products with the same capabilities.

    If you are interested in trying out this package, there is 14 day trial available. It is fully functional, so you won't be missing any of the features:

    https://www.punchcad.com/viacad-v11-free-trial

    https://www.punchcad.com/blog/post/getting-started-with-viacad-training-videos

    As well as ViaCAD above, there is also SketchUp and Blender, and you can find links to both of these well known and highly respected programs here:

    https://www.sketchup.com/

    https://www.blender.org/

    To begin with, we start by drawing our lines for our x,y,z dimensions from the axis origin. We then join these with construction hypotenuse (not necessary, but I do it as it helps with visuals doing the curves).

    For each curve, position the work plane to the view, then create a curve on each work plane as per below.

    CAD Techniques for Making Aeroplane Canopies

    Next, duplicate the front and bottom lines as you may wish to use these later on to create a matching windscreen and mounting/sliding frame.

    CAD Techniques for Making Aeroplane Canopies

    Using the cover surface tool, click on the three curves so as to get a face, and then use the solid thicken tool which gets you to this:

    CAD Techniques for Making Aeroplane Canopies

    When done, duplicate the above and create a cutout solid.

    CAD Techniques for Making Aeroplane Canopies

    After subtracting the solid, you should get a frame as follows. Duplicate this, and move it over the copied solid.

    CAD Techniques for Making Aeroplane Canopies

    Subtracting the frame solid will leave you with the glass needed.

    CAD Techniques for Making Aeroplane Canopies

    Finally, mirroring and joining each solid provides you with the two final objects, one to be textured as a metal frame, and the other to be textured as plexiglass. The remaining frame templates can be used to get a windscreen.

    CAD Techniques for Making Aeroplane Canopies

    After export, these objects may be animated so as to slide. It is very important that (before export), they share identical axis origins, and are positioned to point in the required orientation. A similar technique allowed me to get to this on the Wellington I created with Dom Henry.

    CAD Techniques for Making Aeroplane Canopies

    You can find the Wellington here:

    vickers_wellington0309.zip

    I hope you enjoyed this short tutorial. The next article will look at creating wheel wells and matching doors.

    Ray Hill
    www.rayhillwrites.com

    Tags: 3d cad, cad, canopy, viacad

    3 Comments
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Thanks Ray...looking forward to the next instalment.

      On a side note, how would you say ViaCAD compares to SketchUp?

      Dom
    1. RayH's Avatar
      RayH -
      Both products have different strengths and weaknesses, for scenery SU is better because of it's architectural heritage. ViaCAD is probably much better at visualizing solids, quite easy to learn, importantly everything is in the box, whereas with SU you need to download add-ons (Rubies), often free, to get similar functionality. ViaCAD lacks import/export to OBJ8 format SU does both (via an addon). So my skill set requires that I model in ViaCAD and use SU plus OBJ8 plugin for transport to final format, BTW the glass needs to be rendered with texture opacity <15%.
    1. gunslinger2071's Avatar
      gunslinger2071 -
      I love these unique airplanes. Check out the book called "Pastoral" and the movie called "The Target for Tonight," both featuring the Wellington.
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