Blue Thunder – RC Helicopter Fuselage – 3D Print

This Job was a little challenging from the beginning. It was the first time I have to make a model for RC. For one side, the Blue Thunder helicopter has some complex shapes and elements attached to it, turning into a mess from the 3d print perspective and the other side, I had to take measures of a 450 T-Rex frame to know where can be the junctions of each external piece. All of them without intersecting the frame or its components, such like motors, movable pieces, gears, and so on.
Anyway and as always, it was enjoyable to make it and here is the result.

Blue Thunder Movie
Blue Thunder – The movie 1983

This was the starting point. Since I never heard of this helicopter before (If you ask me, Airwolf is the only one and the best), I had to search a little to get as many images as I could. This helps me to fully understand how the surfaces flow along the body and how to translate them into surface layout.
Also it was good to find the original model, which  served as canvas for the fiction machine. The Gazelle 341G – 1981 have all the details in pictures available on the web, for those parts which doesn’t appear in the Blue Thunder model.

Gazelle 341G
Gazelle 341G 1981

Then I searched for similar projects and found some model kits and other 3d printed models which helps a lot.

Several references 

Also, thanks to the customer, he send me some OBJ files from the web as reference. Unfortunately, they were too simple and not so much useful due to its low poly count.
Then, starting from scratch with the blueprints became the best option.

Bt Blueprints
BT Blueprints – Base mesh – Low poly

Modeling Blue Thunder

The modeling itself is not so hard, except for the tail surfaces which tooks me more time than I thought at first glance. Everything else are plane and uniform curvature surfaces.

The tricky thing is actually, compare the 3d model with the internal frame and search for unwanted intersections. Other important aspect is that is have to leave some space margin for the thickness of the 3d printed pieces and, if needed, space for aditional componens not included at first stage.

overal dimensions and intersection analysis

The 3D model of the inner frame is from Grabcad, Is pretty well made and can be found here. 

After a few adjustments, start with the partition process taking count the printable volumen and the orientation of each piece. To  inprove its strengh and support areas. 

Blue Thunder – Print pieces
Assembled model
All Pieces and Frame
Printing texture
Exploded view

Now the file and its components are in hand of the customer who after a few test will sell the file, contact info.

INK 3D LAB Label 

There are some pictures of the printing stage in their fb page, take a look.