How to build a flight sim
with styrofoam
Styrofoam Flight Simulator Part 2
Click here for Part 1

In part 1 of this video we showed you how you can use Styrofoam for flight simulator body
panels.

You can also use Expanded Polystyrene.  EPS is more flexible and can be shaped for a
smoother appearance.

The first thing to know about EPS is that it's not Styrofoam.  EPS is a common packing
material.

EPS is also shaped into foam cups or coolers.

This is common EPS insulation.  It's cheap and available at home improvement stores like
Lowes and Home Depot.

A closeup shows the familiar closed-cell foam beads inside.

EPS insulation is often covered with a layer of protective plastic.  Without the plastic, it breaks
easily.

You can easily cut EPS with a common box knife.  Use a new, sharp blade and don't try to cut
all the way though on your first pass.  Make several smaller cuts.

Again we are using a frame of plastic PVC pipe.  The EPS body panels fit snug inside this
frame...

and we glue them in place.  Easy!

In this example we are going to bend the EPS around a corner.  EPS foam will bend, XPS
from video 1 will not.

The secret is to bend the EPS a little at a time.  Don't bend it too much, it will break.  
Remember EPS is brittle beneath the plastic coating.

Keep bending it until it holds a curved shape.  Then fit it into place.  This EPS, the expanded
polystyrene is not as sturdy as XPS or Styrofoam, so the plastic frame is very important.

You can also shape a sheet of EPS around the outside of a frame.  This gives a nice smooth
appearance.

We need to hold the EPS in place.  We're using these self-drilling screws with fender
washers.

Don't tighten them down too much, we only need to hold the EPS in place for the glue.

Once the EPS sheet is secure, we can glue the crease all the way around.

And don't forget the paint.

Remember, a lot of the things you need for a great flight simulator are at your local hardware
store.




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