Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Copper Tape Project – David He

Motivation and Initial Designs

Making the Paper Template

Let me first preface this by stating that the build is not 100% complete. And yes, my overambition was absolutely to blame. I wanted to make a paper model of one of my favorite aircraft – the ADF-01 Falken from the Ace Combat game series (shown below)

I first went about this by going into Inkscape and performing a bitmap image trace, allowing me to use the Silhouette Cutter to make precise cuts. I then traced out several cross-sections that I could use to add stucture to the paper model.

The .Inkscape template used for the Silhouette Cutter

By this point I should have realized that 1 – the effort alone was already taking me far longer than expected, and 2 – the complexity meant that I would have to prototype at least 2 iterations for a comprehensive aircraft – a process I simply did not have time for. Nonetheless, I made the silhouette cuts and was ready to start wiring:

Build Process and Modification:

All cut out!

First things first – the Silhouette cuts were not perfect. It appeared the blade had been dulled from overuse so some parts were still attached to the excess. After some moderate difficulty removing the parts via X-Acto knife, I then started making the circuit on gray baseplate for the aircraft.

The first (failed) circuit design

The first iteration of the circuit ran into some issues – Due to space constraints I decided to run the engine lights through a series circuit while the cockpit light was parallel to it. I ran into an issue where the engines had significantly higher resistance than the cockpit light, thus not activating when the switch was activated. After some calculations I realized I would need a second battery to run all lights effectively, something I simply did not have the space for. It was then back to the drawing board.

The second iteration went better. To save on space I integrated the battery into the switch itself, freeing up space for me to run a full 3-way parallel circuit. However, the setup was still relatively unstable, as the switch became heavier and bloated

Nonetheless, I decided it was sufficient enough for the time constraints and then moved on to defining the structure:

As of this moment, I’d say I’m about 80% complete. I’m not completely satisfied with this outcome and wish I had more time. Improvements I would add would be modifications to the template design to allow for smoother interlocking as well as a more robust circuit design backed by solid calculations.

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