Open CAE-CAD-CAM tool chain for airplane design

The last few days (with almost continuous rain outside), I was looking into open source software for airplane design again. It has been a while since I designed my last flying wing with XFoil and AVL, and WOW how things moved forward! With XFLR5 there is now a comfortable environment which integrates most of the functionality XFoil and AVL offer. It also includes really nice post-processing and visualisation.

As I want to try the CNC router at the FIX Maker Space for cutting foam cores of wings, I needed a way to interface XFLR5 with CAD/CAM. Sadly it does not support direct export to any common file format. But I sat down yesterday night and wrote a translator from XFLR5 wing format to ASCII STL files: XFLR5-STL@github
Now I can import the generated STL file in MeshLabFreeCAD, PyCAM, or OpenSCAM for the next steps towards CNC routed foam cores 🙂

Let’s see how that works out!

2 Replies to “Open CAE-CAD-CAM tool chain for airplane design”

  1. If you can have a video teaching how to operation done will be more helpful. cause I am not familiar with linux.

  2. Hi,
    your article is still top in google when searching for xflr5 and export. Looking for methods for generating CNC data for foam core milling I found that xflr5 now (since 04.2016) has some export methods including stl. I could import them into openscad, blender, freecad. Did you make any progress in milling any airfoils or even generate the CNC data ? I found some xflr5 wpa files for f3k wings on rcgroups but when I export to stl the panel resolution exspecially in the nodes section seems not high enough for milling.

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