36" Northern Pike RC Airplane (It Flies!)

by localfiend Aug 8, 2018
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I printed this in PLA and have yet to fly it. It's ready to go, just would like some temps above freezing! I was not super pleased with the internal supports, and I fought and fought and fought with Cura to make it work. I found the profile on one of the forums and that seemed to work with Sunlu PLA+ enough to get it printed anyway. I wanted to print a PETG version, and it was going TERRIBLY. I thought maybe my material had absorbed moisture, so I put it in the oven at 165F. The spool mostly melted, so I probably won't try that again. My wife is pretty sure I'll never do it again.

I was printing wing section 6 because it is small and great test. 2 nozzle jams later I tore my Ender 3 hotend apart to check everything. It is a stock hot end, but I did luke's hotend fix. I put on a new nozzle, calibrated steps in free air, and took out luke's hotend fix, so the capricorn tube works like stock. It is printing beautifully now. Going for clear on the wing leading edges, with yellow for the verticals, mid-wing bits, and hatch cover.

So the moral of the story is, if you are using luke's hot end fix, consider printing without it to get better results.

Im trying to print this model, but i think my printer is downsizing the model, for the helper_disk what are its proper dimensions?

I am printing one in transparent PETG....I am not done printing but this thing looks amazing. I have a lot of FPV planes and I was thinking about spending mucho bucks on a Drak but this is much better. I am gluing with E6000 to give my self more time. Seems to work perfectly. Many thanks to localfiend!!

Do you put the esc in before you glue it together

I'm using a trendy 3x to try to print this run cura. I've tried with the cura settings the top set was with my already opened pla and the bottom set is with a brand new sealed roll if pla. The prints seem super fragile, Is this normal?

Where is the CG marked

The underside of the wings on both sides.

I'm in the process of trying to print the airframe on an Ender 3, ran into an issue with the stock PLA gcode for the wings part 2? My octoprint server said that it was out of bounds for the print volume, something about one axis starting at -3? I tried printing anyway and the part layer-shifted on the second layer, so clearly something got scrambled on that file or I downloaded a bad version of it. Just thought I'd give you a heads up about the issue.

That's probably the prime strip. Your printer can handle it, octoprint probably just has a box checked to disallow anything out of your specified bounds.

Yep, it was the prime strip, parts worked just fine and I've now got all the printed bits of the airframe done :) I was wondering though what type of motor and servos it's built around, I'm new to the r/c aircraft world and don't have a clue on where to get the electronics.

I am trying to tip you but it dosnt work love your work you are the man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks man! Yeah, I think thingiverse was just having a bad day. As far as I can tell the tip function should be working.

before starting, someone want share the Cura profile (indicating the Cura versions)? I have an Anet 8 3d printer. very appreciated!

ok, welp seems the scaling of the firewall 200% and using a Dualsky XM6360EA-12 the holes are off for the motor mount. Any possibilities to get an edited firewall so the holes line up ? my hole centers are at 30 and 44 at 4M4 screw diameter.

Sorry, didn't see this until now. I imagine you've got it figured by now?

Nope, Firewall is whats holding me up finishing this beast :) can you sort it out ?

I've been getting an undesired string effect and the frame itself is just really bad quality. Anyone know a fix what's pictured in the linked image?
I'm using cure with retraction on, but I don't know what other settings may be of use.

I'd need to know more about your temp settings and what type of filament, but if that is PETG it's likely full of moisture.

Hi Dale, first off epic model thanks for this, I downloaded and used your cura profile for PETG, clear plastic. I am getting bubbles in the layers? more one side than the other but to many me thinks please see the attached? am thinking its iether too hot at 240c and boiling the plastic also have lots of travel stings or theres water in my new petg. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated, I using am .4mm nozzle for the 36 inch version. lastly should the pieces be so bendy... it doesn't feel very rigid? printed fuselage 2.

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would it work on a 120 by 120 mm printer

The 27" version will work on a 150x150" printer. I don't think any version will be able to fit all parts on a 120x120.

Im working on a remix that will have gear.... and an EDF :) stay tuned.

I’m printing the 27inch with a .3mm nozzle, but this should all be relevant.
Using Newest Cura slicer
•In the “experimental” category there is a slicing tolerance setting, I had to set mine to exclusive to get it to include the interior pieces of the .stl files.
•from there you need to slow down your speeds until you begin to get droop from the hot filament, then bump the speed back up just a touch.
I then cooled my print temps to 220 Instead of adding speed. I’m still getting great layer adhesion at 220.

I’m on an ender 3 with the th3d ezboard. I don’t think bowden machines enjoy printing this way. Slower speeds = nicer prints.

If I wasn’t straight I could kiss you lol thanks so much man. That was driving me crazy

Thanks ! This solve one main problem not seing the internal wall after slicing with one perimeter and no top/bottom.What is your speed ?

25mm/sec walls inner and outer. 75mm/sec travel.

Thanks for your asnwer. I am not very satisfied with inside printing : can you share your cura profile, here is mine also.

@milcent did you still need to the profile? i'm just getting bakc to this project since late Sept. I'll have to dig out the profile but I can if you still need.

If you can do this for me it would be usefull @irishnick86 since i am not totally satisfied with mine and would like to improve.
I have some extra lines printed on the surface and don't how to get rid off them.
Thanks if you can dig for it ...

Hi, I tried everything without result to get the inner walls printed and then I tried your profile, don't know why and how but it works. Thanks !!! Printing now ;-)

If you have a Creality CR-10, abandon all hope for this project. The provided Cura profile does not work, and I've spent over four hours trying to make it work... it's completely impossible and I'm bummed out.

Simplify3d is recommended cause it just works. However, quite a few people with CR-10's have printed this using cura. The profile was setup for the older 3.6 version of cura. I haven't tried it out on the new version.

I don't blame you, Cura keeps getting worse with every update.
Guess it's time to start using a different slicer.

Simplify3D does a lot of things better, but it's not free sadly. You can still download the 3.6 version of Cura on the main Cura website. If I get some free time I might try the new one to see what's up with it.

Went back to 3.6
We're off and printing! Thanks my dude!

Current version of Cura says the profile is an unsupported file type or is corrupted and can't be loaded.

The error I got in regards to the print profile says it doesn't work with the specific machine you have selected. I had this same issue. To fix this add a new printer (I used the Prusa MK3) and open 2 instances of Cura, one of them set to your printers profile. Now just side by side copy over the settings. Do all of your thin-wall print calibration on fuselage_2 (shortest part-least waste if not correct).

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Gave it a like. Peter Sripol sent me here. Now if only Flite Test would try it.
Heck, I may need to dust off the printrbot and print something once again.

Peter Sripol pointed me in this direction. At least these planes are still in one piece!


I have a problem when I put the wings into the Cura software the things inside of the wings don't render and there for won't be printed could someone help me and where can I find the already made g.code for the Cura software.

Answer from Irishnick86 : it does work for me.

4 days ago
I’m printing the 27inch with a .3mm nozzle, but this should all be relevant.
Using Newest Cura slicer
•In the “experimental” category there is a slicing tolerance setting, I had to set mine to exclusive to get it to include the interior pieces of the .stl files.

Ok I turned that on but now I have this happening

I can't see what is the problem, just lines but what is wrong ?

Instead of doing the inner part like an infill first it combines the inner layer and outside layers go there are small gaps in the wing

Instead of doing the inner part like an infill first it combines the inner layer and outside layers go there are small gaps in the wing

any idea what the price for all the parts and radio and battery would be and a good place online to buy them all?

I have not built the plane but I'm working on it it and I would recommend buying things from horizon hobby they are a great company and I have bought many things from them

Does anyone have a Slicer profile for Cura or Simplify? The one that is included doesn't work :(

The PLA profile provided for Cura worked perfectly for me. I just started this project last week.

with my ender 3 unfortunately not :(

Finntrollet, Im having the same issues. Did you find an answer to why cura is not slicing this correctly?

UPDATE: Just found out if you use the provided Cura profile, it slices fine.

Nice airplane. :)
I´m going to print it, tested one ail with S3D worked good, and then I thought that I´ll give Cura a try, but I can´t seem to get the internals of the ail to get printed.
Thin Walls is activated, but still no go, using Cura 4.2.1. Any ideas? :)

0.4mm nozzle on my printer.


I really like this plane and printed it once. Would you be so kind and send me the step or part file for the whole plane as one piece? I would really like it because i want to cut the plane in bigger parts.

Thanks in advance

super plane pas encore fine

This an awesome flyer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPk2NSDiBLk
For this entire flight only used 900maH
Check out next linked video for 4cell performance

Printing this on my Balco Touch 3D with the provided gcode files. printing almost flawlessly!! I will share a make when I get it all assembled.

"keep in mind that I will be posting a smaller version of this designed around a .3mm nozzle once it's tested."

Has this happend yet? Thank you!!!

yes it was posted as a remix, found here for those interested. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3694993

27" Northern Pike RC Airplane

Hello! I have started to print the model, I would like to know if you have tried it with some engine of less kv with a bigger helix, to try to increase the flight time and try to use it for long range.
Greetings and great work!

I've started printing one of these. Fuselage in Red, Wings in White, and the tips and tailfins in Blue. I have painted the first wing section from the tailfin out white to make a nice separation line. I'm liking the way it looks. If it flies, This will be a super fun addition to my fleet.

Hey @localfiend, great work on this design! I'm finishing my build up this weekend, but decided against the 3d printed firewall - I've seen too many of those fail in flight on quads to trust them. I created a remix of your motor mount to accommodate a wooden firewall. Still untested until I get a chance to maiden, but I'm going to give it a shot. I'm hoping it doesn't add too much weight https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3574710

Northern Pike 36" Wood Firewall
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?Hello m8 which scaling shall i use for a .5 mm nozzle?


I noticed the fuse gcodes don't have brims or helper circles. Unfortunately they're very thin and have come of the build plate several times. I'll be editing the s3d file. But I'm curious if you could add a brim for these files. Or circles. Ty!

Started printing the other night. S3D Factory files work perfectly just tweaked for bed size and retraction settings on my Ender 3. Excited to add this to the fleet!

Can you tell me how you tweaked the files or maybe share the custom ones for the ender3? Thanks so much.

so you are saying that i cant use the prusa slic3r??

What adhesive are you using for the PETG? I have not had good success with CA glue.

BSI brand CA glue for me. Has worked great for every brand of PETG I've printed plane parts with so far. Medium is what I usually use, but am experimenting with thin stuff. Thin can be a lot cleaner if you are very careful about not applying too much.

Cant wait ti try it out.

Got mine airborne today. This is a very good flier! Thanks a lot for sharing.

Anyone set this up fpv?

Looks like the make by Waur is all setup for FPV:

36" Northern Pike RC Airplane (It Flies!)
by Waur

Another question please. How is the battery holder positioned and fixed? Is it glued to the battery compartment floor?

Yeah, just glue the two pieces down in a spot that'l center up with your battery after you get an idea where it needs to be to balance. I just use one set and a single strap, but if you wanted, you could do two.

Thanks for replies. All is now clear!

Regarding fuselage sections and the popsickle trick. Would it be possible to actually attach thin tabs (0.5 mm thick) of PETG to one section and use them to locate AND reinforce the joint? I am concerned the edge-to-edge joining of very thin sections may be difficult.

You could add some bits of plastic to it yourself, but it's not actually that big a deal. I have made 6 fuselages now, and if you just take a bit of time with the sticks, it's quite easy. If you're really that concerned, use a slower drying glue like epoxy, or foam tac. I'm not going to add printable tabs. They're too brittle, often don't print perfect enough, and can actually make assembly harder to get perfect. Plus, if they're big enough to be strong enough to take any trimming (of blobs if one happens), then they get heavy and ugly. One thing I may do, is make it so you can slot those sections together with toothpicks, wire, or carbon rod. Just need to find the time.

OK. I can do that with Slic3r but I guess I will have to print duplicates when I print the Fuselage Section 1 piece?

Fuselage section 1 is also a non thin walled part, that's why it was grouped with the other two. Slic3r will handle it just fine. Just turn on supports for it.

Printing from you gcode and its working fine on my Prusa Mk3. I would like to print the Firewall and Motor Mount in ABS, but gcode for them includes Fuselage section. Any chance of a gcode for just the firewall and motor mount?

No need, you can slice those parts yourself. The firewall and motor mount are not thin wall parts, so any slicer will work with them.

I have a Prusa I3 MK3. Are your GCodes okay for this printer ? I ask as I have Slic3r PE and that will not give the correct GCodes.In fact I have already faced that problem in another print.

Yes, the posted G-Codes were made and tested on a Prusa I3 MK2s. A MK3 is essentially identical in this context. Slic3r will not work, it's spelled out in the printing instructions. You either need to use Simplify3D, or download and use the Cura profile in the thing files.

Thanks.... I have already started with your Gcodes..... I like your idea of helper discs. Will complete the black wing tips etc. in few hours....

cool design!

what are the limitations the prevent slic3r from being used?

Slicer will only slice the outer skin, it doesn't see the internal structure at all, and I don't believe there are any settings that can change that.

so cool, do your have some video teaching us how to make a hollow fame like yours?

I don't currently have a tutorialvideos, but the build threads have a lot of good information about the design process.,

i love it & looking forward for more designs from you

Why do I read that almost all component are supposed to be printed with 1 perimeter, and when I load the factory files in simplify3d for PLA I see 2 perimeters?

Look closer, there are multiple processes. The factory files have 2 perimeters for the first 3mm only, the rest is 1 perimeter. The 3mm doubled section helps with bed adhesion, and part strength once it's glued together. It's not strictly neccessary, but it's nicer when set up that way.

Section 3 of the wing stl files (left and right) has extra structure where the stabilizers are supposed to go.
EDIT: nevermind, figured it out :) Built in support that is supposed to be torn away. Probably make note of that someone in the directions ;)

Yeah, it's hard to get all instructions on thingiverse when it's only text. The linked build thread goes into detail with pictures on how to remove the supports. I'll be working on getting all that stuff put into an instructions PDF that can be posted here. Just got to find the time.

I really like your design. I plan to try printing one for powered flight, but I'd also like to try a slope glider version. Any chance you would make the CAD files available so I could make a 'remix' for un-powered flight?

I may at some point, right now the CAD is a mess. I split the file up to make it easier to edit without CPU bottlenecks, but that created two large files that Fusion360 has to maintain on the cloud. With my terrible internet, I've built up a huge backlog. Trying to get everything synced up, but for some reason Fusion likes to stop on me. Possibly because my internet occasionally stops. May just need to move my computer to work for a day so it can update and clean itself up.

When I slice the stl files I am getting only shells. Are you using infill.

No infill. You need to use either Simplify3d or cura. Simplify3d will work natively, while cura needs a few things turned on in order to slice the internal structure. There is a cura profile in the download that will work, just load it and tweak the settings to suit your machine.

Thanks I used your gcodes slightly modified. Have been using Repetier host. It has a version of Cura and Sli3r built in. Neither would work. Have built several thin wall structures but this stumped them.What is weird is that the inner is two layers thick and shell but one. I have been thinking that some of the printing issues that I have been having were slicer related.

I have white ABS in my machine so I decided to print with it. Printed the leading edge wing roots. Made a good, no better or great wing. Maybe a little thin on the skin where the structure transitioned from the fuselage to the the wing. But still nice. The idea of a thick wing should give a lot of lift at low speed.

My own designs, some published here on thingaverse. I have used a printed body and foam board wings. Most are planks. I too use Fusion 360 but have not quite grasped the creation of the inner structure that you used. I understand how to cut it out using the inner surface but not the actual block of reinforcement. I have used 3% infill as a substitute.


Thanks for the gcodes! I will print this after my current project!

No problem man. These kinds of things can be challenging to print, I'm doing all I can to try and make it easier.

What CAD software did you use to create the plane?

Looks Awesome I have to trie it.
Am I the only one who has to change the slicing toleranze in Curo to exclusive just to get the internal Rips printed ?

Probably not. Cura takes some additional setup, and I'm not that familiar with it. I've been trying to download the latest version so I can create a profile for it. You can search around, I believe 3dlabprint have some stuff, don't know if it's up to date to the latest version though. Will be nice when slicers or cad figure out a standard way to handle custom infill, which is essentially what the ribs and internal structure are. I'll work on getting working profiles to use as a baseline for cura in both PLA and PETG. This is why I recommend simplify3D, it just works and I can make factory files for it easily.

I totaly agree with you.
Sadly my printer (ender 3) costs less than the simplify license... I have to be hornest I rather buy a seccond printer than a license.
I looked at the 3dlabs settings and as far Ive seen you have to enable thin wall printing and on some versions of cura the toleranze for it to even recognice the ribs.
Thanks for your work
I hope we see more stuff from you in the future.
If I find out more about the Cura settings I let you know.

Cool, sounds good. And I hear you on the multiple printers thing. I've got 3 now.... Much nicer especially for largish projects like this. I have g-codes posted for PETG that should run on the Ender. They've got all the nice fixes that simplify3d offers. If the tune works for your machine and filament that could be the easiest option. Will hopefully soon also have g-codes for PLA posted as well.

Cura Profiles are up now. Seems to be working well, though I do still prefer simplify3d. Multiple processes like more perimeters at the bottom, and changing layer heights to better suit wingtips is king.

THANKS! Gcodes from S3D are king when it comes to printing these complex prints.
I've printed about half of this off in PLA using Cura and it has turned out well, but having rough landed a few other PLAnes, when I saw your PET build I stopped and switched gears.

Note for anyone who's looking for really good Cura profiles for 3D planes, get the ones provided with the Shark.Aero (also available for free on this site and is an outstanding flyer!) and make sure to set Cura's mesh fix Merged Meshes Overlap to 0, that fixes the missing rib structures.

Thanks for the input. I don't have a lot of cura experience so this is quite helpful.

LOL, looks like I'll be slicing in Cura after all, the retract before starting a new layer is too much (or not enough priming) for my Titan extruder :) Otherwise the prints come out gorgeous and you may have convinced me to finally get S3D! Many thanks for all the work you've put into this!

Darn. Yeah, certainly too much retraction for the titan. It must require a lot less than an e3dv6, I don't think you can fix that big of a hole with priming. Simplify3D is totally worth it. You can get so much better and faster prints with the ability to use multiple processes anywhere you want.

look great !!!
nice work

Is the design based on something? I could have sworn I've seen it somewhere before. Fantastic work regardless!

I believe the CUDA was probably the most well know, but there are several other forward swept wing planes out there. This one is closest to the Dart RMRC sells. There's also the Strix Goblin.

I took out my hat... Impressive work!

Outstanding work! It was awesome of you to post the files out there for free but I still sent sent you a tip and I hope others will do the same. There is a lot of work you put into this.

Thanks for the support man! Thanks to everyone who has chipped in so far. It will help keep me in filament and working on new planes!

Oh man...next stop GI Joe X-30!

Haha. I suppose it could use some underwing hardpoints :D

Fantastic Job!! The Slot design is genius.

I saw your thread on the forum and really want to print this but I figured I would make sure the electronics I have are enough. I have a full flight test f pack and some 550mah lipos from my mini drone. I figured I would need bigger batterys but I'm not sure if the servos are the right size. I have a 3mm nossel so I could do the 27inch version you talked about. Awesome job with this design!

F pack motor might work on the 36", especially if it's the newer 2205 red bottom version. It will definitely work on the small one. Loads of excess power there. You will need bigger batteries, or build yourself a parallel connector to use more than one. The 27" version will need print testing before I post it up here. If you're interested in printing one before then and testing, contact me on the FT forum.

Thanks for the quick response! I am mainly concerned about servos now as I fear they might be to small for this size plane. This would be my second RC plane (my f mini mustang never got past me cutting the allerons and destroying the wing lol) and I want to keep fustration to a minimum. I don't mind creating a little holder if they work but don't fit the holes. Thanks

I've sized the holes on the mini to fit standard hxt500 5 gram servos. Most 5g servos seem to fit in that size slot. So have you flown an RC plane before? This is probably a bad one to learn on. It's fast, and that doesn't give new guys much time to react.

No not really but I have been dedicating a good portion of my time to practicing on a Sim for rc planes. My favorite ironically is the ultrafast EDF jet they have. It goes 150 ish and I can control that. I also have spent time leaning how to fly real planes too. I have even taken the controls of a real cessna 175 before and the pilot said I did really good and I thought I did good (I only turned a bit and flew in a straight line for like 15min) I also fly fpv drones. I will start looking for batteries and servos for the beta print 27inch. Any suggestions. You can reply in the form as I now have an account. Thankks so much