jeffie8696 wrote:If I read this correctly you can make a mould then fill it with an expanding foam to any shape you desire. So the cost of making a foamie plane could be a lot lower than through a retailer perhaps? You could sell as a kit and offer replacement pieces .
Exactly right. The problem is I have no experience with moulding anything, let alone an advanced type of foam.
I did a bit more research and a search on RCGroups, every post either has no answer or scares them away by saying they need machinery that costs quarter of a million. This is true.... IF we were thinking of mass production. This is NOT mass production, our mould contains one piece! By trade I work in plant design and when you think of a alumina refinery as a whole it looks like a huge big complicated mystery. If you break down each stage of the process it is very simple and can be replicated small scale in a laboratory with simple equipment. If all those really expensive machines do is heat up and inject into the mould then a DIY rig could be made up to do a single cavity mould, in my opinion.
To not be limited by the prices of simple foam blocks (that you cut a lot of it away!) and the shapes you can only achieve by hot wire cutting you could easily clone your Easy Star or make experimental modifications to the shape of it, or create a whole new plane design that would look like it came from a manufacturer (in theory, maybe I am dreaming)!
"So the cost of making a foamie plane could be a lot lower than through a retailer perhaps?" Well... take into account economies of scale. Making 100 Foamies in one go is going to be far cheaper than 100 in a singular homebuilt rig. It would, how ever, be crazy
cheap for small quantity runs (5 or so).
"You could sell as a kit and offer replacement pieces" <-- I think you have discovered my dream (at this current point in time).
Big surprise, the company ARPRO never bothered to get back to me.