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Design of the Week: Airplane Toy

 3D printed and animated flappy wing aircraft model [Source: Prusa Printers]
3D printed and animated flappy wing aircraft model [Source: Prusa Printers]

This week’s selection is the flappy winged Airplane Toy by Prusa Printers contributor Jhuttula.

Portland-based Jhuttula developed a 3D printable design for an ingenious airplane 3D model, which appears to be similar to the American WWII Grumman Avenger torpedo bomber. This aircraft helped sink Japanese warships in the Pacific war.

 Instructions for the 3D printed flappy wing aircraft model [Source: Prusa Printers]
Instructions for the 3D printed flappy wing aircraft model [Source: Prusa Printers]

This is not simply another airplane 3D model; no, it includes a couple of interesting animated features. The propeller rotates when the button (in this case, the canopy) is pressed through a hidden mechanical system inside the fuselage.

The wings are also flexible by means of a series of joints. The wings actually flap when the button is pressed too! Check out this video:

Flappy wing airplane with spinning prop from r/3Dprinting

What I find most interesting about this 3D model is the ingenious nature of how Jhuttula managed to squeeze in a lot of mechanical functionality in only a very few 3D printable pieces. Here you can see the “Bottom” of the fuselage, but really it’s also the wings and internal mechanisms, too.


 View of bottom fuselage portion of the 3D printed flappy wing aircraft model [Source: Prusa Printers]
View of bottom fuselage portion of the 3D printed flappy wing aircraft model [Source: Prusa Printers]

Really, there are only two complex parts to this print: the Top and Bottom pieces. The other parts are only the propeller, a ball joint and a shaft. All the other complexity is stuffed into the Top and Bottom parts, which can each be 3D printed without support material and include a series of interlocking moving parts. Ingenious!

This is a great example of how to leverage 3D printing technology to produce a simplified assembly, and it’s done in a way that’s also fun to do.

Also, this week’s selection happens to be the very first from the new PrusaPrinters online 3D model repository, which opened earlier this year, and which we believe could give Thingiverse a run for their money.

If this is the first selection from PrusaPrinters, it certainly won’t be the last.

Via Prusa Printers and Reddit

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