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FreeCAD: How to create an airfoil?

Update:February 20, 2017
FreeCAD 0.17

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

ScrewedAirfoil
ScaledAirfoil

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.

    Import_dat Select module dialog
    NACA0012_Profile Imports cross-sectional shape of airfoil
  2. Switch workbench to Draft workbench. Select "DWire" in the model tree and apply DowngradeDraft_Downgrade twice to convert it to a wire.

  3. Select "Wire" in the parts tree and apply CloneDraft_Clone to copy the wire. After coping, select "Colone of wire" in the parts tree and enter 2.0 into [Placement]-[Position]-[z] at Property Data tab.

    ComboView_Clone Properties of Clone operation
  4. Switch workbench to Part workbench and create a solid from two wires with Loft toolPart_Loft.

    ComboView_Loft 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 parts tree and set [Display Mode] in [View] tab of the property.to [Shaded] mode.

    ComboView_Shaded
    NACA0012_Solid

Twisting the airfoil

In model tree, select [Clone Of Wire] under the [Loft] and set following parameters at [Clone Of Wire]'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]
ComboView_Screw
ScrewedAirfoil

Changing the width of airfoil

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

  • Scale: [0.50 0.50 1.00]
ComboView_Scale
ScaledAirfoil

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

References