Build an RC foam plane scratch with Depron - Work in Progress
We started out designing the home built CNC foam cutter from the need to cut wings, over the years we improved the design but never really built any RC planes - almost everything we fly today is ARFs.
My son decided that he wants to build an electric RC plane from scratch, I think the best route is to build it out of Depron.
Here is some information about Depron (what is Depron)
Depron is a sheet of extruded polystyrene foam, no beads, with a smooth "skin"-like finish on both sides.
A material that comes close to depron is "blue foam", also known as "roofmate" or "floormate", but the available minimum thickness of blue foam is too much for what we want. If you slice blue foam down to a usable thickness, it still lacks some of the stiffness of depron, and also its smooth and strong surface layer
Very similar material to depron is used in the food industry - meat plates, and fast food packing
We searched the web for free plans but found almost nothing - everything costs money. That's why we decided to design
Our own foamie and put the plans out there form everyone to use. Like everything on this site - All the information is free to use, copy and manufacture - keep in mind that we don't warrantee, not we endorse any product nor do we provide support.
You are doing this at your own risk. Most important keep things simple and safe !!!
Now lets have some fun.
Here is a drawing of a simple fomie, you can download the drawing in 3 formats, DXF, DWG and PDF.
The programs we use are AutoCAD - but AutoCAD is a bit too expensive
The best program we found to date is Instant Engineer 14 which costs about $25. With this program you can import and export DXF files and DWG files (both are AutoCAD files).
We decided to go with 3mm Depron for our first model, price is $8 to $10 for a 30" x 40" x 3mm sheet. We got our Depron from a local RC store , but search the web and you will find lots of distributors.
Since we have a laser cutter / engraver at our shop we decided to cut the parts with the laser cutter. Other ways to cut Depron is with hot wire or a simple exacto knife.
Here is a short video with the laser cutter in action
Above is a picture of the 6mm Depron after we cut it with our laser cutter / engraver.
We have received many requests to do custom cutting, and decided to follow this path.
If you are interested in having your foam balsa or plywood cut by laser, send us a DXF or DWG file, and the material you want to cut and we will gladly quote you on the job.
We have an 80W CO2 laser.