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Technic-style UT-60D U-Wing
About this creation
Hullo there again everyone,

I initially posted a WIP about this project and it is now done. Goals of the build were fairly simple: I wanted to build a U-Wing with working, retractable S-foils, not operated by hand but mechanized, Technic-style. When in their forwards or backwards position, I wanted a tight lock in their position without needing ball joints, pins, etc. like the official Lego set or MOCs others have built. There have been many MOCs of the U-Wing in System bricks, but to my knowledge this is the first one built primarily out of Technic bricks.

Meat and potatoes first (video and pics) and details for those interested to follow.

























Really, there are only two functions in this build, the foils and an opening cargo door. However, the retracting wings (S-foils going forward) poised several technical problems, much beyond the mechanical system needed to drive it and may be of interest to some. Solving the problems of how to add a retracting S-foils were multiple. I will explain below:

1- Foil integrity – The S-foils could not bend, or at least their bending had to be minimal. Because the foils of the U-Wing are long and slender, this would be a problem in Lego bricks. The bending could not be extreme because when attempting to move them in their forwards or backwards position, if the foil were too low (because of bending) they would simply hit the side of the ship, and no amount of power would propel them to their correct position. Therefore, the foils had to be extremely straight. This was not difficult. The foils themselves are extremely straight and rigid. However, their mounting point to the 40t gears that meshed with the driver gears was not.



The picture above is an early design and not the final version. I thought I was going to have to use a wide S-foil instead of a more accurate shape because I was concerned of rigidity. But, when I finished a prototype, the rigidity was not a problem. However, the foil-to-gears connection point allowed for a bit of sagging. Although the function of the foils moving back and forth worked, I did not like the sagging. That is when I found this solution.





Really, this was the first time I had really used the 3L pin where the orientation of the pin mattered (for reasons other than the obvious – i.e. ease of pulling pin out)!

Without this solution, well….. You can see the obvious difference between a foil connected to the ship with the correct (right) and incorrect (left) orientation. This makes all the difference in the world. When the foils are driven in their forwards position, without this discovery they would butt against the side of the ship instead of easily sliding into position.



2- Although the solution above worked terrifically, it is somewhat unrealistic to expect absolutely zero tolerance for bending when working with ABS. Therefore, the bottom of the ship had to be a little beveled so the foils would hit a slope rather than a flush straight sidewall to easily slide into position. The Technic curved panel worked great for this.

Although there are probably better piece choices for beneath the ship, esthetically speaking, even in Technic, this one was really the only one that achieved both looks and function, and I think it did the job splendidly.

3 – Because I did not want the wings to connect to the outside of the ship (via pin, ball joint or connector, like the official Lego Set 75155), but rather wanted the wings to just slide into their position, lock and stay there without any other intervention, I had to leave at least a portion of ship’s insides free and clear. This was to allow that S-foils to both rotate outside the ship but also be somewhat inside the ship when locked in the forwards or backwards position. This is substantially different than other renditions of the U-Wing out there, in that the rigidity and mounting of the foils are able to manually retract/move because they exist, at least in part, INSIDE the ship. Therefore, the chassis had to be incredibly rigid and strong in the inside because in the outside no connections could be made (they would interfere with the rotation of the S-foils). Little more difficult than it appeared to be when I initially thought of it. However, after working at it, it now works fine.

4- The mechanism moving the S-foils was actually the easiest part of the project. Simple, yet effective. Using a worm gear allowed the foils to lock into position in that the worm gears can drive other gears but are not driven by them. Worm gears are typically very inefficient, bur in this case they got the job done nicely.



5- Design of the engines is different, but it is one that stood out to me. I liked the look. Yes, they have large gaps, but overall, I think they work. Most MOCs of the ship, and the Official Lego set itself uses whole bricks or elements for different stages of the engine. I wanted to avoid this. Part of the goal was to use many pieces and a lot of greebling for the engines. This I accomplished. Give or take, because the greebling for every engine is different, but each engine is 250-300 pieces. That means that there are around 1000 pieces invested in the engines alone!

Anyways, it is now all done. This project was tons of fun. Hope you enjoy!





Comments

 I like it 
  June 10, 2017
The greebles look even cooler in contrast with the technic, great work :)
 I like it 
  May 7, 2017
Brilliant model and exceptional engineering. Well done!
 I like it 
  April 18, 2017
I'm not a fan of technic, however this is amazing, well done, I took a long look
 I made it 
  April 18, 2017
Everyone else..... thank you for the kind comments. Honestly, one of my favorite projects thus far....
 I made it 
  April 18, 2017
Gabor.... your comment is spot on! I kept thinking as I was building this..... there must be some special metal discovered in the future for SW to exist. Because a ship like this, traveling at the speed it does, even the toughest metals would be ripped apart with wings that long and thin.... not to mention in a forward orientation.
Quoting Gabor Pauler You discovered the difference between movie props and make things really working pretty well. I miss so much this type of thinking from todays MOC's. Most of the people just flatly belive "Hollywood science" and never ask any questions, eg.: Why does a spaccraft need wings at all in the deep vacuum of space?
 I made it 
  April 18, 2017
Busted!! Okay..... I am putting the ship down now :)
Quoting Jeremy McCreary Beautifully done, NFP! I can see you swooshing this all over the house when your wife's not home. Not that a grown man should be embarrassed about such things, of course. Just that you wouldn't want to poke an eye out coming around a corner. Safety first, you know! Really like those engines. Stiffening extended structures made of ABS without excessive mass or bulk while preserving the intended form and function can be a project-killing challenge in LEGO structural engineering. This is very impressive for that reason alone. Will have to watch my 3L pin orientations from now on.
 I like it 
  April 18, 2017
Excellent!
 I like it 
  April 18, 2017
Wow. This is beautiful.
 I like it 
  April 18, 2017
The force is with you, Nirds...! ;)
 I like it 
  April 18, 2017
Amazing build, I really love the engine design, but obviously am most impressed by your efficient and capable use of technic to accomplish the functions!
 I like it 
  April 18, 2017
Awesome!
  April 18, 2017
Beautifully done, NFP! I can see you swooshing this all over the house when your wife's not home. Not that a grown man should be embarrassed about such things, of course. Just that you wouldn't want to poke an eye out coming around a corner. Safety first, you know! Really like those engines. Stiffening extended structures made of ABS without excessive mass or bulk while preserving the intended form and function can be a project-killing challenge in LEGO structural engineering. This is very impressive for that reason alone. Will have to watch my 3L pin orientations from now on.
 I like it 
  April 18, 2017
That's awesome! I love the sturdy-looking cockpit. =)
 I like it 
  April 18, 2017
You discovered the difference between movie props and make things really working pretty well. I miss so much this type of thinking from todays MOC's. Most of the people just flatly belive "Hollywood science" and never ask any questions, eg.: Why does a spaccraft need wings at all in the deep vacuum of space?
 I like it 
  April 18, 2017
Looks great, Technic makes it better!
 
By Nirds forprez
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