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Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Old 07-23-2008, 02:19 AM
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Mike James
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Default Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Hi everybody,

(This is a 3D modeling project, not an RC "build", but some of you jet guys might enjoy it.)

I live in Anchorage, Alaska, where we've had an operational squadron of F-22's since 2007. After seeing the flight demo of the Raptor at this summer's air show, I was inspired to finally do this one in 3D/CAD. It will probably be a 6-month project, but will be more accurate than other 3D models of the F-22 that I've seen.

It's an impressive aircraft in real life, (!) and a hugely-challenging 3D project. Since this is a 3D modeling project, rather than an RC project, it's on my imaging-related site at http://www.mikejamesmedia.com.

If you'd like to follow along, the article is at http://www.mikejamesmedia.com/f_22_01_intro.html.

Enjoy!
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:23 AM
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MadMax11
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

I work on the F22 myself and would love to see the finish product. Can't wait.
Old 07-23-2008, 06:58 AM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Woo Hoo! Can't wait to see your project Mike, been too long going without you in here showing us how to create!
Old 07-23-2008, 09:19 AM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Thanks a lot, Sean!

(You haven't exactly been sitting still, yourself.)
Old 07-23-2008, 05:51 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Mike, glad to see that you are back in the saddle!!!

Chris
Old 07-27-2008, 12:15 AM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

The shape of the F-22 wing...

Usually, I can figure these things out in a few minutes, with some drawings and a little CAD work. In this case, I haven't solved the issue yet, which is...

Looking at the Lockheed-Martin front view of the F-22, there appears to be some odd combination of anhedral, twist (washout) and curvature. Having tried many combinations in my 3D software, none of which produced an image like the drawing, I'm wondering if some of you (perhaps a Lockheed-Martin employee) might know why this is. (And, assuming that it's not proprietary, I hope you'll clue me in!)

Thanks in advance for any who know the answer. The images and explanation are at http://www.mikejamesmedia.com/f_22_edits_04.html
Old 07-28-2008, 03:57 AM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

I've just solved the problem, using a very simple tool. A few years ago, I did an article on slicing up a plastic display model, for the purpose of obtaining cross sections for plans. At the time, I had no intention of building an F-22, but used it as the example. ( http://www.nextcraft.com/plastic_to_rc01.html ) I kept some (low-res) copies of the scans I produced from that model, and have used them several times in my F-22 project. They obviously used Lockheed-Martin drawings, as well as photos, etc., and it's remarkable how well those scans fit.

Anyway, in 3D, I created some "spars" from those scans, and also created a test wing. (My test wing had 1 degree positive AOA at the root, twisting to -4 degrees at the tip. (for a net total of 3 degrees twist) and 3 degrees of anhedral. It wasn't quite right. But, when I did a boolean operation, where those spars and my test wing were combined, the differences stick right out. (images attached) I can definitely make an accurate wing out of that result.

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Old 07-28-2008, 07:37 AM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Boolean........ Oh boy, another fine example of Mike taking it to another level of precision.... [X(]
Old 08-04-2008, 03:35 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Hi everybody,

Progress on the model is going well, and today, I posted an update, including an animation with all the control surfaces moving. It's at http://www.mikejamesmedia.com/f_22_edits_07.html

Enjoy! (I am.)
Old 08-14-2008, 10:25 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Hi everybody,

The overall shape of the aircraft is getting close now, aside from the wing/fuselage joint, which is ongoing. So, I'm starting to add "boolean cutters", which will be used to create many of the doors and vents that are visible on the exterior.

Latest updates are at http://www.mikejamesmedia.com/f_22_edits_10.html and it's looking better all the time.

Take care!
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:45 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Hi Mike,

Great project, I just happened to read up through 9 tonight.

Do you have any good links for 3d models of aircraft?

Thanks in advance,
Old 08-14-2008, 10:55 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Here are some links to published 3D models.

One word of caution... Some of these models are great, and some are lousy, disguised by texture maps ( "paint" ) to look a lot better than the actual polygonal structure. That alone is the major dividing line between quality and "not". So be careful when you see something that looks like a "bargain".

http://www.digimation.com/home/?Cont...ctCode=VP31552 (highly recommended, because I've been through their submission process myself, and know that they care about quality)

http://www.fallingpixel.com

http://www.turbosquid.com

http://modelsbank.3dm3.com/

Enjoy shopping!
Old 08-15-2008, 12:32 AM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Thanks for the links.

I am P.O.d that Wilcox lost the model of the F-18 he bought. it was pretty good and cost 3K IIRC. They used it to make a full scale F-18 for "Independance Day" I think.

Regards,

Old 08-22-2008, 09:50 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Hi everybody,

With the exterior shape very close to final. I've made a large number of boolean cuts, which create many of the doors and vents that are visible on the exterior. (Images here were made just after the cuts... Later, the doors will be appropriately colored, textured, and animated.)

Latest updates are at http://www.mikejamesmedia.com/f_22_edits_12.html and i'm happy with the results so far.

Take care!
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:04 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

You make it look so Easy Mike! Too bad it is so difficult to go from design to plug to mold. That airplane would be a winner for sure! Have a great weekend dude!
Old 08-22-2008, 10:28 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Thanks, Sean!
Old 08-25-2008, 11:04 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Latest updates are at http://www.mikejamesmedia.com/f_22_edits_13.html which include animation of the landing gear working. (with doors, now)

Here's an image of the model compared to an actual F-22, as of today.
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:52 AM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Mike, when you pick a hinge point in your drawing, are you just picking an edge of the piece to move? Or is it some other location?
Old 08-26-2008, 11:51 AM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Hi Sean,

I do it just like we do it in RC. (or in actual aircraft)

For a model like this, I won't actually do a lot of "serious math" and "testing", but I shape the leading edges of all the parts, and place the movement axis where it should be, according to what I know about the real airplane.

When I do gear doors, I pick an imaginary hinge point, usually outside the aircraft (simulating an offset hinge, like BVM makes), and then later, build the 3D hardware to fit the already-defined hinge point. I tweak these things, as I see that they don't look right.

In most 3D software, you can do this another way, which is to build the offset hinges first, and use the physics properties of the software, and make the object to rotate, based on actual mechanical restrictions. I do that sometimes, but most often, I'll simply eyeball the hinges and be done with it.
Old 09-25-2008, 04:07 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Hi everybody,

Now that the model has ben improved a bit in "modo", Have a look at how clean all the panels are coming out. I'm really pleased with this software. (Latest updates to the article are at http://www.mikejamesmedia.com/f_22_edits_14.html )

Working on the cockpit, and some of the detailing around all those panels and doors now.

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Old 09-25-2008, 05:23 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Hi Michael,
excellent project. is the output of your software a surface model. Is there anyway to make solid model of this? IGS or STEP or STL file? If you can, then it could be imported into Pro E or Solidworks to create part and assembly files. Any plans to do an F-4, F15, MIG29, F16, F18?
thanks
Jason
Old 09-25-2008, 05:39 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Hi Jason,

My software doesn't directly output that kind of file, but for a client, I recently did a test using a DXF file export, and he was able to convert it to his machining format (don't know if it was STEP or STL) and he said there were no problems. This client makes cavity molds/investment castings.

My plan was to do the F-35B next. But I'd consider any of the aircraft you mentioned, if it can produce some income. I love doing these things, so I work hard to get them right.

Thanks for having a look.
Old 09-25-2008, 05:50 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

T-38 Mr. James! I need 1/6th scale, if you can get me the formers in cad, I will produce the wood, foam and follow your method on that sport plane you made a few years ago!

Send me a PM for price!
Old 09-25-2008, 06:45 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

great bird you start Mr.James![sm=thumbup.gif]
thank you alot for taking the time and show the building steps..
cose its double the work to make somethink and at the same time make presentation[&o]


..i have mail you again for some resin info/help

my best regards
George from Greece

Old 10-05-2008, 08:43 PM
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Default RE: Building an F-22 Raptor in 3D/CAD

Hi everybody,

Thanks to my new tools, this model is improving.

I've separated all the landing gear doors and weapons bay doors, so they can be animated later. The cockpit detail is coming along slowly. To add some realism, I took a stock "full male figure", bent it around enough to fit it in the cockpit, and added a simple sub-d'd helmet. You don't want to see that up close, just yet... The figure was simply colored a "flight suit green" color, but has no clothes. I'm new to character modeling, so I'll come back to that later.

A few more simple textures have been added, such as the "screen" effect on some of the vents, and some chrome on the landing gear oleo struts. For those of you who are familiar with the aircraft, you might notice that I've started to model some of the exterior bumps and depressions, like those around the gun door.

The direct link to the latest in the F-22 article is at http://www.mikejamesmedia.com/f_22_edits_15.html
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