New Fin Guide Generator (and other tools)


4 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I've started the long-overdue task of updating the "Online Rocketry Tools" from PayloadBay.com.  The tools are popular and useful, but are open to improvement.

I've started with the Fin Guide Generator.

finguide_example.thumb.jpg.9d7720ec38e97

The Fin Guide Tool creates a template for positioning fins around a body tube. The template can be printed actual size. You can print the guide on heavy paper (or glue the printout to a sheet of foamboard) and cut out the hole for the body tube and the slits for the fins. This allows the guide to be used as a jig for holding fins in place until the glue dries.

You can see the new version of the tool at:

Like the original tool at PayloadBay.com, it creates a PDF file based on the information you enter into a form.  The improvements so far are:

  • A multi-page PDF is created if the guide is too large to fit on a single page
  • The unit (inches, millimeters, or centimeters) is selected for the diameter and lengths
  • The desired paper size is selectable
  • A one-inch or 30 centimeter distance scale, based on the selected units, is added to the center page
  • The form downloads the guide without reloading the page

The tool is still in development.  Some things that I plan to add are:

  • A brief description of the guide on the central page
  • Force the PDF to default to printing without scaling (Actual Size) (Done)
  • Add metadata to the guides and allow sharing guides
  • Ability to scale the template
  • Select a standard body tube as an alternative to entering the diameter
  • Detailed help

When a guide requires multiple pages, the pages are ordered in the PDF from left to right then top to bottom.  There are always an odd number of pages in each row and column so that the center of the guide will always be centered on one page.

Each page of a multi-page sheet has "plus" symbols in each corner.  Overlap and align the symbols when joining pages into a larger sheet.  All but the center page has a relationship guide in the upper-left corner indicating the page's position within the sheet.

In some cases, you may find that you only need to print the center page to use the guide even when multiple pages are generated.

Please use this forum to discuss the tool including bug reports and suggestions. Once I am happy with the Fin Guide, I'll work on converting the other tools from PayloadBay.com as well as adding new ones.

 

Edited by Roger

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Posted (edited)

I made some minor changes to the Fin Guide Template Generator.  It now sets preferences in the generated PDF so the default print size should be "Actual Size" and the default view should show an entire page.

miterguide.thumb.jpg.568d88294af0ff21efe

I also added a new tool, the Miter Cut Guide Template Generator.  It generates a template that you can wrap around a body tube to show where to cut it so that the tube will be cut at the specified angle.

-- Roger

 

Edited by Roger

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Posted

I tried to use the miter guide.  I was looking to cut a BT101 tube at a 7.5 degree angle

A BT101 tube is 3.938 in diameter, which I entered and had selected inches.

The guide printed out with less than a 4" circumference.  The 1" mark does measure 1", so it printed full size

 

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Posted (edited)

I tried to use the miter guide.  I was looking to cut a BT101 tube at a 7.5 degree angle

A BT101 tube is 3.938 in diameter, which I entered and had selected inches.

The guide printed out with less than a 4" circumference.  The 1" mark does measure 1", so it printed full size

 

​Thanks for the report.

Somehow, I accidentally removed the line that multiplied the diameter by pi to get the circumference. I've restored it, but haven't had the chance to test it by actually printing and using the template yet.

-- Roger

 

Edited by Roger

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