FreeCAD: How to create an airfoil?

FreeCAD 0.19

In this example, we create 3D airfoil from cross-sectional shape of airfoil. For example, shape as shown in following figures can be created.


Creating a basic shape

  1. In this example, we import a cross-sectional airfoil shape of NACA0012(Download) into FreeCAD and create a 3D shape from it. Drag&Drop the file "NACA0012.dat" into FreeCAD window. In the dialog shown in the following figure, select "Common airfoil data(importAirfoilDAT)" to import the data.

    Select module dialog
    Imports cross-sectional shape of airfoil
  2. Switch workbench to Draft workbench.

  3. Select "Wire" in the model tree and apply CloneDraft_Clone to clone the wire. Then select the cloned shape in the model tree and enter 2.0 into [Placement]-[Position]-[z] in Data tab.

    Properties of Clone operation
  4. Switch workbench to Part workbench and create a solid from two wires with LoftPart_Loft. Specify the two wires as profiles, check "Create solid" and click OK to create the wings.

    Loft dialog
  5. Now 3D airfoil has been created. It is bit difficult to check shapes in default display mode. So select the "Loft" in the model tree and set [Display Mode] to [Shaded] in View tab.


Twisting the airfoil

In model tree, select [Wire (2D)] under the [Loft] and set following parameters at [Wire (2D)]'s properties to twist airfoil with 45 degrees around the Z-axis passing through the origin.

  • Angle: 45.00
  • Axis: [0.00 0.00 1.00]

Changing the width of airfoil

In model tree, select [Wire (2D)] under the [Loft] and set following parameters at [Wire (2D)]'s properties to change the size of cross-section shape to 1/2 at the airfoil tip.

  • Scale: [0.50 0.50 1.00]

Note: It is possible to create more complex shape of airfoil by using three or more cross-section shapes in a similar way.