Topic - MODO to real-world aircraft - UPDATED 05-13-2015

Hi everybody,

Here are some cool updates on an interesting real-world aircraft I did some work on earlier this year. I created the fuselage shape in MODO, which was refined and retopologized from the customer’s STL file. Then the separate fuselage and canopy MODO files (Psubs) were exported via the “Power SubD - NURBS” plug-in, to Solidworks format. From there, the customer did the CFD testing of the shape, (which was good) and then used it for CNC fabrication. I couldn’t be happier with how this is all going… from MODO to a real aircraft!

Here’s the X-Plane flight simulation of the aircraft:


And here’s a time-lapse movie, showing the fabrication:


There’s more detail on this project in my tutorial set “Modeling with MODO, Volume Six”. ( http://www.mikejamesmedia.com/mwm_06.html )

Here’s the final fuselage part in MODO, the exported file in Solidworks, a render of the CFD test, a photo of the designer sitting in the partially-built aircraft, and a photo of their booth preparation for 2014 “Airventure”.









MODO, and the modo community ROCKS!
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Message edited by Mike James modo on 5/13/2015 - 9:35 PM

wow.... very cool !

thanks for showing !
Cool! If I remember correctly I've been wondering what's this when you posted a part in powersubd section. Awesome to see the whole real model!

Message edited by Przemas on 10/31/2014 - 4:30 AM

I'm completely pleased with the advances they're making with this. Often, these ideas get shelved before they can be completed, so it's really gratifying to see this kind of serious progress.

MODO, and the modo community ROCKS!
Visit www.mikejamesmedia.com

Congratulations James! This is really something!!
Thank you! I have to admit that it's really exciting to see the project developing.

One thing leads to another...
In the past 120 days, there have been some striking developments with some of the work I've done, which have resulted in some very nice PR. That, in turn has caused some new customers to contact me for some higher-end work, and that in turn has made it important for me to upgrade my hardware.

So, for MODO users only...
I'm having a sale through November 15th, 2014, with the goal being to raise some money for that upgrade.

Through that time, my MODO-related training is on sale at a discounted price, ( http://www.mikejamesmedia.com/products.html and all of the models in my 3D Catalog are available (in MODO ".lxo format only) at a huge 50% off. ( http://www.mikejamesmedia.com/3d_catalog.html Again, this model sale only applies to models in lxo format.

Thanks again to everyone for their support. Hoping for a great 2015 for all of us!

MODO, and the modo community ROCKS!
Visit www.mikejamesmedia.com

Very cool Mike! And what an interesting modern take of the biplane. :)

Message edited by chikega on 11/1/2014 - 8:48 PM

Quote from Mike James modo :
Hi everybody,

Here’s the final fuselage part in MODO, the exported file in Solidworks, a render of the CFD test, a photo of the designer sitting in the partially-built aircraft, and a photo of their booth preparation for 2014 “Airventure”.












I have one question Mike,

why does the nose on the MODO model looks long with a sharp tip, the SolidWorks models looks like a much shorter nose with a rounded tip and the final real aircraft looks again with a long nose but also rounded tip? :-)

Best regards
Stefan
The original STL file and 2D drawings I used as references had the sharp nose. This change to a more-rounded shape was a decision made by the designer, mostly for cosmetic reasons. (The MODO file shown in my screenshot is the earlier version.) There's no appreciable difference in the fuselage length. (only about 3 or 4 inches, at the nose, due to the rounding) It just looks different because of the various software and photographic perspectives, (Solidworks' view is more isometric.) and the lack of a canopy right now on the actual aircraft.

MODO, and the modo community ROCKS!
Visit www.mikejamesmedia.com

Message edited by Mike James modo on 11/2/2014 - 10:14 PM

Thanks for the info, much appreciated!

Regards
Stefan
great stuff.
Hi everybody,

I thought you might enjoy these updates from an open house presentation of this aircraft’s progress. (I created the fuselage and formers in MODO, and exported to Solidworks via the “Power SubD - NURBS” plug-in, which worked great.) This aircraft will make it’s maiden flights soon, and I’m thrilled to have been part of the process.









MODO, and the modo community ROCKS!
Visit www.mikejamesmedia.com

Hi everybody,

My friends at Elytron just got back from the HAI HELI-EXPO, where they displayed the proof-of-concept model, along with some renders of the new concept “4S” (4-seater) model I just created for them. (See their site at http://elytron.aero/splash.html ) This is one in a series of aircraft that can take off and land vertically, cruise at high speed, and do both of those things for a lower cost than the equivalent helicopter configurations.

This is a great team to work with, and the process has gone quite well, using a very smooth and practical workflow.

I began with the technical parts of the design that had already been worked out, such as the wing/rotor configuration. Then, over a period of about 6 weeks, I shared my MODO workspace with them on live Skype calls, where we made adjustments. Since this was modeled in Psubs, it was simple to change the shape and move things around while on the call. After each call, I’d then refine those and produce renders. The rotor wing was rigged so it could rotate to the takeoff/landing position, as well as the cruise position. A cockpit, cabin interior with lighting and functioning cabin door, and landing gear were added during the process, as well as some general placement for the parts of the propulsion system and fuel. Finally, graphics and logos were added for the renders.

The fuselage shape was exported via the “Power SubD - NURBS” plug-in, and was successfully used for CFD (Computational Flow Dynamics) simulations within Solidworks, which revealed that the shape is not only efficient, but also a lifting body. We’ll be working on the “7S” (larger version in several configurations) next. All modeling, rigging, and rendering was done in MODO.

Here are a few of the new “4S” renders.





MODO, and the modo community ROCKS!
Visit www.mikejamesmedia.com

Message edited by Mike James modo on 3/6/2015 - 3:33 PM

Hi Mike,
Just a suggestion: I would go with a different lens. Now the plane looks far too short.
As long as the difference between the backgroundpicture and the virtual camera is not too big, you can get away with it.
Great work as usual :)

Rob
Hi Rob,

Thanks for your comment.

That's not lens distortion. This aircraft is very short, compared to a conventional design. (26 feet long) It's designed to land vertically on offshore oil platforms, on the helicopter pad. (different proportions than the single-seat prototype shown at the top) The wing design for this model eliminates the need for an additional fuselage length with the usual horizontal stabilizer "pushing down".

MODO, and the modo community ROCKS!
Visit www.mikejamesmedia.com

Message edited by Mike James modo on 5/24/2015 - 6:18 AM

Naturally, we spend a lot of time discussing rendering attributes in MODO, and I think about this quite a bit too. But sometimes, a customer simply needs something to show a concept, and it doesn't need to be super-fancy.

So...
This customer recently needed some animations for internal presentations, and for use on their web site, and there was a time crunch. While sharing my screen over Skype, they decided that the Advanced GL viewport had enough quality to work for what they needed, thus saving a ton of rendering time, and keeping the cost down. These animations were about showing functionality, not about being photorealistic.

For this first one, I rendered the same scene twice from OpenGL, once with the external view, and once with the cockpit view. Then it was a simple matter of assembling the two animations into a "picture in picture" format, and adding the descriptive text.


The second one was even simpler, just a brief view of the control surface actuators in action.

MODO, and the modo community ROCKS!
Visit www.mikejamesmedia.com

So, now that 901 has been shown, I think you can see my reason for posting the previous video. If THAT was good enough, imagine what MODO's new "Advanced Viewport" will be like. There will be times when we can save customers a ton of time and money using these methods.

MODO, and the modo community ROCKS!
Visit www.mikejamesmedia.com

Really cool project Mike, innovative design. I like the 4S cruising above the clouds image.

_____________________________________
http://www.kenfinlayson-art.com

http://www.kenfinlayson-art.com/blog/

Thank you, Kenneth!

The genius behind this design is a man named Oliver Garrow. ( http://elytron.aero/#page-company ) He's also the main "hands-on" guy, fabricating parts and assembling the prototype.

Over the years, I've done a variety of concept work for companies like this. But importantly, most of them (especially the UAV designs) were far too complex, and in the end, this has made them impractical. Of course, some new airfoil designs have created incremental improvements in efficiency, but overall, one fact remains, which is that air molecules haven't changed over time. This team has done something that solves a complex problem (helicopters) in a remarkably-simple and elegant way, and I think they're on the right track.

It's been my pleasure to collaborate on with Gregory Bruell and Oliver, and they're both really fun to work with. I've had a small amount of input on this project, especially during the concept stage. But, I want to be clear that I'm not taking any credit for the most serious aspects of the design. As with any aircraft, the most important part is the flying surfaces, (wings and tail parts) and in this case, Oliver has done all the serious CFD work, and simply sent me the wing models, ready to add to the concept-stage fuselage. We made most of the major design decisions about the fuselage shape and landing gear with me sharing my MODO workspace via Skype, and then SAT files of the shape were sent to Oliver for CFD. So far, I'm pleased to report that using the "Power SubD - NURBS" plug-in, these files have been smoothly transferred back to Oliver for use in Solidworks, and in both the single-seat and 4-seat versions, the CFD results were good.

I remain enthusiastic about this one!

MODO, and the modo community ROCKS!
Visit www.mikejamesmedia.com