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Old 14th April 2021, 09:18 AM   #1
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Default X plane helicopter introduction

Greetings to the forum team,

I am a completely new user of the AC3D software but quite into 3d modelling using Siemens NX and Solidworks. A recent project of mine is the making of a model helicopter that could be usuable in the x-plane sim.
After a little bit of research I found out the following.
It is feassible to export a model from the solidworks environment as VRL1 data file and import it ijnto the AC3D in order to make all reevant animations and then export it as a .obj type that the sim "accepts".
To start with I have imported only the swash plate of the heli. In solidworks this file was an assebly file, made up of different parts (bearings, nuts, aluminum top and bottom structures). I did export ir as .wrl file and then import it into the AC3D in order to animate it (a simpe example that could show me how easy is to use the program). Note here that the actual heli model is a high fidelity model.
Despite all these I have seen many posts that describe that the actual sizing of the model did not remain the same after different imports/exports for a multitude of users. -- that means I am scepticle about the fissibility of what I am trying to achieve.--
Also please note here that in the Hierarchy tree all different parts of my model are presented as individual groups. At the start they were all grouped into a higher order group but after I ungrouped these they still end up at defferent groups. This can be seen below:


I want to group these individual parts together in different groups, but I want to appear as objects. I still have not found a way to achieve this. Later on I know how to import animations, but any 'hints' ar things that I should be cautious about would be much appreciated.
Many thanks in advance,
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Old 14th April 2021, 10:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: X plane helicopter introduction


What you want to do is certainly possible. There are many people using AC3D with X-Plane.

VRML is really a destination/final format, and not the best for transporting models between programs. It could be the VRML importer creating all those groups. I would suggest using another file format to get your files into AC3D. Perhaps Wavefront OBJ.

There are some good animation videos on youtube e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ono0hfjFF1s

Let us know how you get on.
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Old 29th May 2021, 06:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: X plane helicopter introduction

I have been using Solidworks for many years. I still make complicated parts in SW, and export them as VRML. Unfortunately, there is no control over the tesselation during this export, execpt for detail level. You can adjust this in Solidworks. Lower the resolution and use smoothing in AC3D to make the part look good.

The mesh from SW can be messy, and your left and right side might not be mirrored versions of each other. I found that a good practice for a tidy mesh is to make half of the part, and then mirror it in AC3D. Obviously It does not work for all type of objects. But if it can be revolved or mirrored around an axis, you will have a more consistent 3D object. After doing a revolving/mirroring you can join all vertices and clean up the model.

Note: I have tested a payware OBJ exporter from SW, but it did not work that well. But that was a few years ago.

A nice feature in AC3D, would be to make quads of your imported VRML object. Then you could clean it up faster, an then triangualate.

Yes, let us know how you are doing.
rotorhub is offline   Reply With Quote

.obj, animations, high fidelity, solidworks, x-plane

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