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!