How to make foam wings using DevWing Foam 2 – CNC foam cutter

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Dev Wing Foam 2

When you start out using a CNC Foam Cutter you’ll soon find out that designing a wing can be a bit of a challenge. DevWing Foam 2 may be just the software you are looking for. It’s incredibly capable but like any software, you need to put in the time to learn it.

Hopefully this post and video tutorial linked at the end will make it a bit easier. I cover all the options and show how I go from idea to a flying RC model.

DevWing Foam 2 was released in Dec 2019 adding some nice new features to its capable predecessor DevWing Foam

I mainly use a CNC foam cutter to create my designs but also have a CNC router to make some parts and a 3d printer which is becoming my goto tool for those parts you can’t make in foam.

You will need a CNC foam cutter and if you’ve been thinking of getting one I have all details on this website and video series with plans and a free ebook on how to build your own for around $200/£160/180 Euros. https://www.rckeith.co.uk/how-to-build-a-usb-cnc-hot-wire-foam-cutter/

USB CNC Foam Cutter
New USB Foam Cutter

So why would you use DevWing Foam when there are free options?

For basic wings Jedicut and CNC Wire cutter Wings in Gcode are fine. Jedicut has a few more options over David’s software.

DevWing Foam has it all covered including making complex wings, dihedral, washout, Leading Edge, Trailing Edge, spars, flaps, ailerons, lightening holes, wing ribs and tips.  And you can make several wings in one cutting job. It also has a very good simulation so you can check how the wing will be cut.

It is possible to do spars in Jedicut but anything else takes quite a bit more work.  I’m a big fan of Jedicut and Davids software for free programs they work well. Check my video

But as you start doing more with your designs you’ll find DevWing Foam 2 is the best tool in my opinion.

I get quite a few requests from fellow enthusiasts who are struggling or a little overwhelmed with DevWing Foam. It’s a very comprehensive program with some great features

I’ve been using DevCAD software, who make DevWing Foam 2, for several years to make foam wings and fuselages. So I hope this will help you if you use DevWing Foam or thinking of buying it.

You can download and run DevWing Foam 2 for free in demo mode which will allow you to do almost everything apart from generating the actual g-code until you purchase a license 

DevWing Foam Cost

Before we go much further let’s discuss the price of DevWing Foam. As you may be aware this is paid software and currently in 2020 is $140/£105/125 Euros

Personally, I think the cost is justified when you consider how many wings you can make and you’ll soon have people asking can you make me one. Which can help to recover the cost?
If you want to make a model that isn’t readily available or not the size you want then this is where making your own really pays for itself.

If you compare that to the cost of some models, for example, FreeWing T45 Goshawk which by the way is a great model you’ll be spending upwards of $250 for the small kit.  I built one for a lot less and really enjoyed building it.

T45 Goshawk built using DevWing and DevFus Foam

I’ve had good support from DevCad with questions and when I had a hard drive failure I needed a new license key and they responded very quickly.

If you enjoy building then I highly recommend DevWing Foam.

DevWing Foam 2 Installation

DevWing Foam is a Windows-only program and I run mine runs on Windows 10 Home. It will run on older versions of Windows as well.  You can switch between Metric and Inches on the Settings menu and change the language as well. The system requirements are very modest http://www.devcad.com/eng/requirements.asp

You can also create g-code for a CNC router to make wing ribs and wingtips for our foam wing. You only need a foam cutter the CNC router just adds some nice extra features if you have one. 

If you don’t have a CNC foam cutter check out my video series and website showing you how you can build one relatively cheap using 3d printer electronics and materials from your local DIY store.

So what shall we build?  

A flying wing is a good starter project because it’s a quick build and a chance to try out your new creation without having to build a fuselage.  I have a flying wing tutorial using the older software Profili Pro so not wanting to repeat myself too much I decided on something a little different. If you don’t want to build a flying wing then everything I cover still applies for a conventional aeroplane wing. 
A few years ago I built a wing for FPV but it didn’t fly very well and I crashed it on the 3rd flight.

Flying Wing FPV
FPV Wing

The design wasn’t quite right and it needed a lot of weight to get the centre of gravity correct. So I decided to try again and will add an iNav Flight controller in it as well.

Wing Dimensions

So before we fire up DevWing Foam we’ll need some dimensions and the aerofoil we’ll be using for this new wing.

Flying wings usually need some reflex built into the wing to prevent it from wanting to nose dive. On a conventional aircraft, the elevator is used to counterbalance the wing. So on a flying wing, we use an aerofoil that has reflex in the profile. I’ve had great success with the MH(Dr Martin Hepperle) aerofoils on my flying wings using the MH45. For this new wing, I will use the MH60.

MH60

As you can see from the design there is a middle section and for this, I’m going to use a Clark-Y which is a bit thicker so I can use the space to add lightening hole for the batteries and the electronics.

Clark-y Aerofoil
Clark-Y

So here are the dimensions I’m going to use.

FPV Wing Plan

Using an image to get the wing dimensions

You can use an image with DevWing Foam to get the required dimensions. There are options to straighten the image and calibrate it to your desired size. Works really well if you are trying to model a scale aircraft. All explained in the video

As you will see there are a lot of options included in DevWing Foam which can look a bit overwhelming to start with. I don’t cover everyone but the most commonly used. Even the program describes some as rarely used. The help is very good so you can look up up these less common options there.

One feature that is very handy with DevWing Foam is the drawing export. I wanted to model the design in 3d so I could check if there were any issues. So using Fusion 360 I was able to model each part and check for any issues. I did try using a different airfoil for the centre section but realised it was too small near the rear and didn’t match.

DevWing Foam is the replacement for Profili2 Pro which had an option to create g-code.  It was a capable program and I’ve created many wings with it.

The help files are good but more of a reference so I hope this video series will help if you have already purchased a DevWing Foam license. Or maybe help you decide if it’s the right tool for you.

  • Part 1 Design is linked below
  • Part 2 Generating the g-code
  • Part 3 Cutting the foam parts on the CNC machine
  • Part 4 Maiden Flight – out soon

Assembling the wing

Here are some pictures of the wing being assembled, not yet complete. I’ll be adding more as the build progresses

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