Delcam software turns a passion for planes into a new business
Delcam’s Power Solution CADCAM software, together with technical support from the local reseller Multicam, has enabled Gustavo Campana to turn his passion for model planes into a successful business. Mr. Campana, one of the ten leading international racers of the three-metre long planes, had previously built his planes with imported kits, mainly from the United States, France or Germany. Now, he has used his knowledge of the planes and his popularity within the sport to establish his own company, JetGus, and begun manufacturing models in his native Argentina.
The planes, which are operated by remote control, can reach speeds of some 400 km/hr in competition. They are also high quality replicas, full of very fine details that make them look real. For his first project, Mr. Campana created a model of a Katana plane, which is used for acrobatic flights, for the USA firm Planesplus Inc., one of the most important companies in the replica business.
With help from Multicam, Mr. Campana created a model of the whole plane in the PowerSHAPE hybrid modelling software from cross sections of the fuselage and wings. This initial design was then refined, following airflow analysis and discussions with the customer over both technical and aesthetic aspects.
Once the final design has been approved, the model was split with PowerSHAPE into the various pieces to be supplied in the kit. Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM system was then used to machine a foam copy of each component. These were assembled with the engine into a fully functional prototype, which flew successfully at the first attempt.
With the design proven, moulds for the various components were designed in PowerSHAPE and machined with PowerMILL. The flexibility of the software ensured that even very fine details could be defined and machined accurately. Once the moulds were finished and the first parts produced, Delcam’s PowerINSPECT software was used to inspect them, both to ensure that the overall design had been captured faithfully and also to guarantee that the various pieces would fit together easily.
"With the help of Delcam’s Power Solution the whole process was done in a fifth of the time that would normally needed,” Mr. Campana estimated. "In addition, we have produced a higher quality model, which is just as important to our customers.”
His estimate of the time savings was supported by Don Kank, a Director of Planesplus. "Traditionally, this kind of project by our established suppliers would have taken three to four months,” he claimed. "JetGus went from receiving the contract to delivering the initial model in less than a month.”