|The original drawing. This form was
altered significantly as I began to create a mock-up. The above
image is hand drawn and shaded by computer.
The Ornifly -
conceived, designed, drafted, sculpted, and fabricated every element of
this model on my own. It was a learning experience and an endless source
of sanding. Here are the results...
Design Project Premise:
Nature has shown
us that flying insects have a remarkable ability to lift off, maneuver,
and land on any surface; these abilities far out-weigh anything
man-kind has devised in terms of transportation. I propose to design
an ornithopter capable of transporting one to two persons. This
aircraft will attempt to mimic these attributes by modeling a mechanical
aircraft from a biological marvel, the dragonfly. The vehicle's
primary purpose is research and proof of concept. However, the craft
will be designed with rescue missions in mind; the idea being, go
where helicopters can't: vertical surfaces and access from below
a target. This design will be taken to the point of a scale model.
The model will not only depict the exterior shell, but also the
visible inner-workings such as cock-pit and mechanics.
|Grey automotive primer was spot coated
on to the form to reveal imperfections. These areas would be highlighted
and then filled in.
of the organic form, almost every piece had to be hand crafted out
of fiberglass, metal and plastic. This process entailed a clay sculpture,
plaster mould, fiberglass cast, and then various levels of smoothing
and fillers. Some of the smaller details were create from found
parts. Note the pilot "controller" is made of hot rolled
|Each leg was formed out of two fiberglass
shells. Sandwhiched between them was a steel armature. The unit was
then completely filled with resin. This is the heaviest component-
in part to help with balance.
|Because this model was formed out of
many small parts that had to fit together in the end, I created these
1:1 mockups to size my pieces to. It helped visualize the end result
while sculpting a tiny piece.
|The glass bubble was first created
out of fiberglass. Here it is being perfected with Bondo filler
to create a super-slick surface. This would, in turn, be vacuum
formed using a PET-G plastic. Oh what fun it is to sand.
|Each wing is removable and formed
around a squared-off steel rod. The picture above is the node that
was welded into the body; accepting the rods. This was necessary
to counter the weight of the wings and insure semetry.
|The legs follow the contours of the
head and body and needed to be sculpted against the other pieces.
For this, I built a special rig to suspend the fiberglass pieces
from the tail end. The picture shows the clay legs being held up
only by a thin wire.
|Whenever possible, I like to sculpt
on rigid components. The wooden joint above would eventually be
moulded and casted into 3 components.