T5 Cockpit Panel Layout

08 Aug 2016 12:49 #30317 by ScottBouch
There are some great images here: www.xs420.com/diary.html

This Lightning has been a fantastic project, brought back from an empty hulk to a great display down at Farnborough.

I've promised to help them get a PTR-175 radio working (receive only) to add to the cockpit experience for guests!

Cheers, Scott.
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09 Aug 2016 08:36 - 10 Aug 2016 13:39 #30340 by ScottBouch
You'll like this!

Big thanks to Richard Hall who owns XS420 . he had a replica panel manufactured by measuring up an original T5 panel. This drawing can be scaled to some known dimensions, but I have contacted the engineering firm who produced the replica panel o see if they will give me the original CAD file!

This is Panel A1 .



Cheers, Scott
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09 Aug 2016 10:46 #30351 by Algernon
Yeah, big thanks indeed! I was just writing a post to Gary about how we should give a nice nod of thanks to everyone who helps preserve Lightnings and are willing to share stuff. I think we'll need liveries for XS458 and XS420 at least!
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09 Aug 2016 10:49 #30353 by ScottBouch

Algernon wrote: I think we'll need liveries for XS458 and XS420 at least!


Hey, I'm sure that would be very much appreciated!

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10 Aug 2016 10:27 - 10 Aug 2016 10:45 #30376 by ScottBouch
Well, after getting nowhere with the company who produced this replica panel, I'm now reverse-engineering the panel measurements from the drawing.

I'm using LibreCAD, have imported the image to Layer 0 and am placing circles and lines over it on Layer 1.

I have a couple of known dimensions, so can then scale the finished item accordingly.

Progressing quite quickly:




Cheers, Scott.
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10 Aug 2016 11:43 #30378 by Algernon
Well, it's a pity you couldn't get it ready made, but your progress is looking good!! :)

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10 Aug 2016 13:19 #30387 by ScottBouch
Yes quite... it would have saved some time and made a teeny weeny improvement to accuracy.

I've just seen that Blender can import SVG files, so I will endeavor to publish the finished DXF file, and also SVG too.

Cheers, Scott.
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11 Aug 2016 13:32 - 12 Aug 2016 14:51 #30451 by ScottBouch
Panel A1 as of today, DXF file designed in LibreCad:



Not pretty, but ok for taking rough measurements from. I'm going to play about wiht the radii and the polygon shapes at the sides, would like to make them into bezier curves... once I figure out how..

But if the attached is good enough to work from for your cockpit model, i'll not go to town with it. depends if you want to import it to Blender, or just use info from it.

There are a couple of items I've added that were missed off the drawing from XS420, as items that were blanked off, they saved money by not getting the engineering firm to machine them, but it looks more real to include them as blanked off holes.

File Attachment:

File Name: T5-Panel-A....dxf.zip
File Size:18 KB


Cheers, Scott.
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11 Aug 2016 20:56 - 11 Aug 2016 23:07 #30463 by ScottBouch
Been tidying up, Release 2:



Sorted all radii, still to tidy up gauge holes, in terms of standardising diameters and perfecting alignment (currently within a mm or so, as was traced free-hand, but we want it right!).

File Attachment:

File Name: T5-Panel-A....dxf.zip
File Size:19 KB


Please bear in mind I'm currently messing with the scaling to try and get it right! Release 3 should hopefully be my final.

Cheers, Scott.
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15 Aug 2016 14:50 #30601 by ScottBouch
Had a great breakthrough today, I called the engineering firm, and they send me their original CAD drawing!

No more scaling issues, this DXF is drawn to scale in mm!!

I'm just modifying it to include details I found had been missed the first time round.

Cheers, Scott.

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15 Aug 2016 14:53 #30602 by Algernon
Amazing news!!

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15 Aug 2016 16:08 - 15 Aug 2016 16:09 #30605 by ScottBouch
Ok, here it is!

My reworked version of the XS420 original CAD drawing!




DXF contained within this zip:

File Attachment:

File Name: T5-Panel-A....dxf.zip
File Size:21 KB


Awesome stuff. Please disregard all earlier revisions, treat this as the best we could have hoped to get our hands on!

Cheers, Scott.
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15 Aug 2016 16:55 #30609 by Algernon
Superb. Looking forward to having a play with this on my days off (the end is in sight!). Will put proper accreditation into the file, once we can integrate it into the aircraft. This may take some time, as it will require a texture, not to mention quite a few custom instruments, but what a fantastic start, not to mention a great piece of provenance.
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15 Aug 2016 17:27 #30610 by ScottBouch
It gets better too...

Today I received fairly accurate images and dimensions of panels A2, A3, A4 and A6! A5 will hopefully be coming soon.

I'll tidy them up a touch (skew etc...) then share.

Cheers, Scott

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16 Aug 2016 07:26 #30618 by Algernon
So, I had a brief investigatory look at this today. Managed to import it into Blender with no problems. However, with my limited knowledge of Blender, it looks like turning it into a 3D model for .ac export will not be a simple process of conversion. This is because, coming from a CAD drawing, it has a huge number of vertices - about 11,000 compared to the 8,000-odd of the T5 exterior model! :) It's not a problem to decrease/dissolve these vertices, and a good number of those vertices can actually be done away with (the holes for the pillar lights, for instance, would be an unnecessary frame-rate drain in the sim, so instead I'll use them as placemarkers for the pillar light meshes). I may have to be ingenious with dividing up the outline in order to fill it and make it into a full 3D mesh, and it's possible this won't work properly and I'll have to recreate it as a brand new 3D mesh native to Blender using the DXF as a scale template, but that's not a problem either - just another few Blender hours. Looking forward to getting my teeth into that next week!! :)

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16 Aug 2016 08:04 #30619 by ScottBouch
Hi, in order for me to place the different items onto different layers I had to "explode" the original cad drawing as it was all one item.

I tried re-making the outline and certain other shapes back into polylines, but haven't yet figured out how.

I'll send you the original as it may help, but you'll have to compare to mine for the few corrections I'd made.

I had assumed the indicator holes and pillar lamp holes would be used as coordinates for the 3d indicator faces and pillar lamps, no need for the cut-outs.


Cheers, Scott

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16 Aug 2016 08:58 #30621 by Algernon
Yeah, that's what I assumed too, so that's what we'll do :) Blender is having a weird time trying to fill in the faces because the odd irregular shape means it can't calculate where to put divisions. One way or another, it will end up looking fabulous! :)

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16 Aug 2016 09:13 - 16 Aug 2016 09:13 #30624 by ScottBouch
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16 Aug 2016 10:36 - 16 Aug 2016 10:39 #30628 by Warty
It opens ok in AC3D but is a series of lines rather than individual objects. Which is to be expected, as the .DXF was probably produced for CAM purposes (auto-router/plasma-cutter etc)



Total objects: 341 surfaces: 478 vertices: 14456

Mac 10.10.5 Yosemite, FG3.6RC
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16 Aug 2016 12:44 #30635 by ScottBouch
Thanks Warty, beware that original contains errors that I've corrected in my latest release... like an indicator hole in the bottom left corner, plus some pillar lamp locations that aren't quite right.

This I why I was dubious about releasing the original CAD file as it could lead to some inaccuracies in the finished model.

I see some radii have gone a bit oddball looking in that AC3D render. It was fine when I played with it in the 2D LibreCAD.

Cheers, Scott.

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