Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mountain Lion Mark II – Laser-cut Planes

Teaching a summer projects building class at local university (College for Kids) for many years I have tried a wide variety of science related projects; originally it was all model airplanes. In the later years it has been a wide variety of projects such as model solar cars, water rockets, simple electric motor, mousetrap cars, syringe hydraulic arm, and model airplanes.  Often the projects were construction article on my Ideas-Inspire.com website and this was a way to test out how the projects worked out when students constructed them. The down side to using what was on my website was I created my own kits which took so much time, it did save money however. If a shop environment were available with more tools, students could do more of the work.

Mountain Lion Mk II

For this years’ class I decided I was going to purchase most of the kits using some of the money made from advertising on my website. What I learn should be helpful for teachers that would not have the time to create kits for even larger groups of students. The vendors I used were smaller companies that I like to support. 

This year I wanted to add a balsa and tissue covered airplane to the list of projects and was looking for a design where no sharp blades were needed. Doing an online search I came across Laser-cut Planes and the Mountain Lion Mark II which fit the requirements and was a reasonable price when purchased in bulk. A rather unique feature in the construction was that most pieces were temporarily held together with stickers, building boards or pins were not needed.

Other than glue, everything is included to build the airplanes including tissue for covering and rubber strip for motors.  For my sample plane I used Sigment model cement and CA for final assembly, tissue was adhered with glue stick.  Included are pattern sheets to assemble wing and stabilizer over but one set of complete instructions for the teacher.

I pressed the parts out of the laser cut sheets without using a knife at all, and I did no sanding. When placing the stickers over the joints I used one hand to push the joints together as tight as possible and put the sticker on with the other hand.  Out on the tips of the wing and stabilizer because of the direction of the grain it is rather fragile.

Note: 6-21-2017

For each wingtip there is a balsa doubler included to reinforce the weak spot because of the grain direction.

Bill Kuhl

Related Links

http://www.lasercutplanes.com/  - Mountain Lion Mk II and other kits

http://www.docfizzix.com - using mousetrap car kits from Doc Fizzix

http://www.everythinghobby.com - purchased rubber powered helicopters from local hobby shop

1 comment:

  1. Amazing and wonderful information about Laser engraving and cutting machines. Nice machine information. I have really enjoyed and gathered more info about this machine .Thanks for your post.