I was approached by my friend, Pete Lynn, to build one of his "Ring Wings". It's a novel design that looks like a multi-rotor on the ground, but fly's something like a wing when pitched forward, I was excited to try and put my spin on it. After building it the same way that Pete had originally done pervious version, with a laser cut foam section covered with packing tape, I decided to try and 3D print the airfoil sections.

Ring Wing Design

3D printing planes, on the face of it, seems like a bad idea. They should be too heavy, too fragile and too hard to print. Then 3D LabPrint proved us all wrong and made some amazing planes. Following their lead I took the airfoil Pete had designed and imported into Fusion 360. I started by extruding a revolved solid, and just let Simplify 3D do the infill. While this worked okay, the resulting wing wasn't really stiff enough. After shelling the part, and working out how to add box sections along the span I had something that I was happy with. I'm used to printing in PETG, but for this project that was a little too much weight so I switched out to PLA.

Ring Wing Printing

The final airframe was sixteen span-wise sections glued together, with one section being specific to mounting the flight controller. It flew well, although it was a lot heavier than the original. Unfortunately the frame that the PLA was glued to was now the weak point and a heavy "landing" made for a spectacular failure of that component. A rebuild using a carbon frame is planned.

Ring Wing Assembly