A kite messenger is a device that caries a load and uses a sail to travel along the line of a kite. When it reaches a certain point on the kiteline, it drops the load and the sail looses tension, so the messenger will glide down, so it can be loaded again. As a load you can use a bear with a parachute or aa bag with sweets. It's a great way to entertain kids.
Years ago I've build a kite messenger of brass components and fiber tubes. Instead of pulleys, I've used hooks to glide along the line. By changing this to pulleys I hope to reduce friction, so I need less wind for the kite messenger to travel. Time to design one that can be printed too.
This project is still under construction, because I've not yet tested the messenger. Weak point could be the 4mm trigger. I hope I can test fly this thing very soon.
I'v studied several other kite messengers and was inspired by "Kite Messenger 1.2" from erwinha (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:999536), but I had problems finding a pulley to fit his design. So I created my own version with the option to add your pulley of choice. Another thing that I changed was that the front pulley is connecto to the trigger rod, so it can't miss the stopper block in the line (I use a Champagn cork as stopper block).
I've tested the messenger at 4bft and it performed very well.
You can find some footage of this test at: https://youtu.be/0drmgC097VA
I've used 3 loops to strengthen the components. I prefer extra loops to extra infill.
Since I don't have a heated bed, I used PLA.
I've played a bit with Google Sketchup, but never managed to create something decent with it. About two weeks ago I discovered Fusion 360 and love it that you can edit all kinds of parameters any time in the design process. By watching several tutorials I designed this kite messenger as my first serious project.
You can use the following link to download the Fusion 360 file (an probably also some other formats): https://a360.co/2L5czaf
Parts needed for the messenger
- 5 printable parts (triggerblock.stl, rear.stl, 'sail carrier.stl', 'sail T-connector.stl' and front.stl)
- 90 cm x 8mm fiber tube
- 100 cm x 4mm carbon tube
- 2 x pulley with one mounting hole
- 2 bolts that can replace the axel of the pulleys
- 2 winged nuts that fit the above bolts
- 8cm brass tube (ID 8mm, OD 10mm)
- 6 cm brass tube (ID, 6mm, OD 7mm)
- super glue and baking soda
- rubber band
Parts needed for the sail
- 2x 90 cm x 6mm fiber rod (leading edge)
- 1x 100 cm x 6mm fiber rod (spine)
- 50 cm elastic cord
- 20 cm velcro
- 200 cm x 5cm dacron for the leading edge
- 3x 6mm caps
- 100x100cm kite fabric
- 150 cm 1mm kite string
- key ring
Links to my kite website
Some parts need to be glued, others need to be able to slide. Some parts can be used as is, others need to be cut to the right size. This section describes the assembly process.
This instruction are very brief, I'll be back to bring in more details.
- Remove the axel of your pulleys and replace it with a bolt and a winged nut.
- Place the 8mm fiber tube in the rear (At first I thought that this didn't need any glue, but it DOES NEED GLUE.)
- Screw the pulley on top (4mm bolt)
- Glue to the trigger rod (90 cm x 4mm carbon tube)
- Glue to the release rod (about 7 cm x 4 mm carbon tube)
- Insert the trigger and the release rod into the rear part.
- Change the length of the relase rod (when the trigger rod and the release rod are fully insert, the release rod should not extend the front of the rear part.
- Insert the 8mm fiber tube into the sail carrier (don't glue this yet)
- Place the T-connector in between the wings of the sail carrier and insert the 6 cm x 6 mm brass tube
- Insert the 8cm brass tube into the front part (In my case I didn't need any glue)
- Insert the 8mm fiber tube into the front part, make sure the 4mm trigger rod extend the front part
-Screw the pulley on top (4mm bolt)
Things to do (details will follow)
- Glueing the sail carrier to the right position in the right angle on the 8mm fiber tube
- Glueing the trigger rod ath the right length to the front part (this needs to be done very precise).
- Make a sail and place it on the sail carrier.