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3D Printed FPV Quadcopter The Crossfire

by MikeyB, published

3D Printed FPV Quadcopter The Crossfire by MikeyB Oct 12, 2012

Description

***The Crossfire has now been updated, check it out here for the new and improved version thingiverse.com/thing:234867***
This is my version of a 3D printed quadcopter. I designed it from the ground up for FPV, but it will work equally well as an aerobatic quad. This quad had been under development and testing over the last few months. Thanks to a lot of input from the members of this site I have decided to publish it as a finished thing. That being said I will continue to develop and add components/ modules for this quadcopter in order to make it more customizable. I am also in the process of designing a tricopter and a hexacopter. Many of the components will be interchangeable across my line. Print, fly and enjoy. As always input is always appreciated. Thanks everyone for all the support.

Video Link:
vimeo.com/79370836
vimeo.com/71358538

I sourced Most of this stuff from Hobbyking, but try getfpv.com for your electronics. They are a great one stop shop for multirotors and FPV.

Electronics List:
Motors - RCTimer 750 Kv

ESCs - Turnigy Plush 30A

Battery - Turnigy Nanotech 3S or 4S 4000mah

Flight Controller - KK 2.0

Update 11/14/13: Just uploaded a video I shot of some BASE jumping. Check it out if you are wondering about a gimbal.

Update 8/14/13: If anyone if looking to use a CCD camera instead of a GoPro check out this thing thingiverse.com/thing:133200

Update 7/30/13: I've edited together a video of the print and some flight with my quadcopter. It's long overdue but hopefully it will inspire some people to give it a shot.

Update 6/30/13: I have deleted the links to HobbyKing.com because their links always seem to change. A quick search for any of the components on HobbyKing or google should return good results. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Update 5/20/13: I have uploaded the .SKP files for the quad. Have fun modding and tweaking!

Update 3/18/13: Added the Bottom Plate for use with the Tube spacers. The only change was a new set of holes on the Bottom plate.

Recent Comments

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When printing the arms diagonally you only need a print bed of 8" x 6". If you want to stick with an even smaller print bed (like I did with my printrbot which has 6" x 6") you can look at my smaller version of this copter: http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... -- It has smaller arms and also the main plates are optimized for small print beds resulting in a requirement of 6" x 6" print bed size.

There are so many good printers on the market now, have been printing with an original Replicator with great results. There are a few clones of that one that people are really happy with. You need a print bed of at least 9"x6" to print all the parts. The arms are the longest and its best to print at least two at a time but some have got away with smaller beds by printing the arms diagonally.

Hey guys I'm new to the world of 3D printing and was wondering what a cheap and reliable 3D printer would be? Also whats the sizeof printer bed i would need to make this kind of print?

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Instructions

1.) Print the main body parts top plate and the leg, pad and GoPro case at 20% infill.
2.) Print the Arms at 50% infill. Depending on material used you may be able to get away with less infil. Using ABS and 50% will give a good starting point for a very strong, light arm.
3.) The arm, leg and pad can just be press fit together. They should fit snugly, some sanding or shaving may be required to get desired fit. Super glue can also be used if parts do not fit snugly. I have printed mine on a replicator and tolerances work well.
4.) Assemble frame and arms using 8-32 nylon machine screws or like.
5.) The bottom plate is designed to accept a 9g servo for articulating the GoPro tilt mount. Us a push rod to connect the servo arm to the hinge arm on the GoPro case.
6.) Using ear plugs or other vibration dampening material in between the GoPro case and the hinge. This will dampen out any vibrations that get to the GoPro and reduce or eliminate the rolling shutter problems that GoPros have with multi-rotors.
7.) Add electronics.
8.) Dynamically balance props on the motors. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR A STABLE FLYING PLATFORM AND TO ELIMINATE VIBRATIONS.
9.) Fly!

Comments

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TAYLORYOUNG96 on Apr 1, 2014 said:

Hey guys I'm new to the world of 3D printing and was wondering what a cheap and reliable 3D printer would be? Also whats the sizeof printer bed i would need to make this kind of print?

leemes on Apr 6, 2014 said:

When printing the arms diagonally you only need a print bed of 8" x 6". If you want to stick with an even smaller print bed (like I did with my printrbot which has 6" x 6") you can look at my smaller version of this copter: http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... -- It has smaller arms and also the main plates are optimized for small print beds resulting in a requirement of 6" x 6" print bed size.

MikeyB on Apr 3, 2014 said:

There are so many good printers on the market now, have been printing with an original Replicator with great results. There are a few clones of that one that people are really happy with. You need a print bed of at least 9"x6" to print all the parts. The arms are the longest and its best to print at least two at a time but some have got away with smaller beds by printing the arms diagonally.

MikeyB on Feb 8, 2014 said:

Hey everybody. As this thing nears 100,000 views and almost 50,000 downloads (WOW!) I was wondering if those of you who have printed and are flying one could do me a favor. I was hoping you guys could send me a PM with your setup (electronics, escs, motors, battery, flight controller, fpv gear and any customizations you are flying with). I am compiling a list of known, working setups that I will post in the instructions along with a link to your make. I think this will help out a lot of people who are just getting started and are not sure what to use. I will be doing a similar list for the C2 thread. Thanks again for all the help.

BlackBanshee on Jan 17, 2014 said:

MikeyB, thanks for all your great work on this quad design! So I've built one myself (first quad) and have a very dumb question. The KK board in this design is mounted such that the sides of the board are mounted parallel and perpendicular to the quad arms. Most other quad designs I've seen mount the board such that it is aligned 45 degrees from the arms. Does this influence if you pick a "+" or "x" motor configuration? I ask because when I first tried to fly this, I picked an "X" configuration, and it just wouldn't fly. It would wobble and crash no matter what I did (played with all settings, and repeatedly calibrated my ESCs). So I switched to "+" configuration and now it flies. But if it's in the "+" configuration, how do you keep the camera facing forward? Looks like you are definitely flying this in an "X" configuration.

Apologies again for a noob question... THANKS

leemes on Jan 17, 2014 said:

For X configuration and KK2 (which is orthogonal), you need a different mounting plate. It's here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

ReplikaPrinting on Jan 13, 2014 said:

Your thing has just been featured on 3D Idea Forum's Thing of the Day! Check it out here:
http://www.3dideaforum.com/for...

DQTheBinary on Jan 2, 2014 said:

Hey Mikey, what size is this frame? 450? Thanks.

MikeyB on Jan 10, 2014 said:

Roughly yes, comes out to about 430. Had to design it around the constraints of the replicator platform.

mathewpriest on Dec 5, 2013 said:

I'm working on a PLA print of this awesome quad. I fractured a motor mount for my DJI Phantom, so I'm going to move all of the parts over to the crossfire and give it a try instead of buying a new Phantom shell. I printed the arms at 30%, and the silver PLA I'm using is solid as a rock. I'll be sure to share details of my build once I get it put together. Thanks for the refit! This is the perfect size for the Phantom!

MartinSA on Jan 2, 2014 said:

How did it turn out? Is it strong enough for flying or should ABS be used?

tekcruzer on Dec 15, 2013 said:

Looking forward to see how this works out.

Andrico on Nov 18, 2013 said:

How much would this cost to build?

sailorbob134280 on Dec 4, 2013 said:

I priced it out at about $150-$180 (USD) not including radio or battery charger since I already have them. Hobbyking is a great place to get parts, as they're incredibly inexpensive and their products are generally good quality.

cgschaefer on Oct 31, 2013 said:

Mike , can you comment on the specific lengths of the nylon standoffs and where you got them? Is there an assembly drawing as part of the .skp file? If so, I can download that and take a look.

MikeyB on Nov 15, 2013 said:

Sorry no assembly skp. I also got the nylon standoffs at HobbyKing. The only dimension that really matters is between the top and bottom plate, which is 1". The top cover can use any size, or combination of sizes to offset above your chosen flight controller. I used the M3 Nylon spacers.

Geoffro on Oct 26, 2013 said:

Thanks for this, I just have to add though, I found it really not necessary to use 50 percent infill. At 25 percent infill, they are still very rigid, have decent weight and can withstand just the same impact as 50 percent infill, if not more as they are slightly more flexible. Don't mean to rain on your parade, you have produced a wonderful quad to print - I am both lazy and also want a lighter quad, and at 25 percent infill it cuts the printing time down to 2 hous for Arm2.5.
I also fixed it in netfabb as replicator was reporting dangling edges, but netfabb fixed that up and there was i think 4 holes in the arm piece.

MikeyB on Nov 15, 2013 said:

Thanks for the reply. I haven't ever got the dangling edges before but I did do a small modification on those arms so maybe I left some internal geometry. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. As far as the infill 50% was what gave me the lest amout of flex, as you don't want much or any flex in the arm. Early tests showed some completely uncontrollable crafts with flexable arms as they were counteracting the flight controller. Are you printing in PLA or ABS? PLA being more rigid might be able to get away with 25% but I've never tested PLA arms. I'm ver interested to know what you find. Thanks.

davidtuerk649 on Oct 26, 2013 said:

Does anyone have a build log for this project? And how much should all of the electrical parts cost?

agumpert2 on Oct 26, 2013 said:

the build is fairly strait forward. and what ive speced out from hobbyking it should be around 175$ in electronics

agumpert2 on Oct 21, 2013 said:

first off amazing job! I had a quick question, what radio and receiver are you using with the copter?

MikeyB on Nov 15, 2013 said:

I'm using a Futaba, but Spectrum and other radios work fine as well.

thegcon on Oct 20, 2013 said:

Can anyone provide screw sizes and length?

MikeyB on Nov 15, 2013 said:

On the old top and bottom plate I used 1/8 and 6/32 machine screws for the arms and M3 standoffs. With the new top and bottom plate everything is assembled with M3 hardware.

Bellumgessi on Oct 19, 2013 said:

Mike 2 quick questions:
The video showed carbon fiber motor mounts but didn't see carbon fiber arms? Did I miss something or is that a different build? Second, What's your thoughts on using MultiWii for this design? I have a DJI Phantom and I love the stability of gps lock for filming. Is there something better or equivalent to get those kinds of features?

MikeyB on Oct 20, 2013 said:

Yes, the one in the video was mostly flown with the printed arms, however it has been flown with the carbon arms as well with great success. I have never flown with a multiwii but i have heard great things about them and there is no reason that you couldn't use any flight controller with this quad. If you do end up using it please let me know how it works out!

cgschaefer on Oct 19, 2013 said:

MikeyB, just downloaded the files and began printing the top cover today. I'm using the infill percentages you recommend for the parts but I'm using Makerware to create the XG3 print files. I'm curious whether it matters whether I print in High resolution or Standard resolution? The parts come out great if using high resolution but it takes twice as long to print when compared to standard resolution. Any issues with part strength if I print in standard resolution? Also, I assume most people print using rafts and pull the part off the raft when the print is finished?

MikeyB on Oct 20, 2013 said:

High or standard print resolution should make no difference on the strength of the object, just the overall finished look of the object. I don't know about mist people but I am guessing that most print with standard resolution with no raft or support for any of the parts on this page. The thin objects like the airframe plates have very little problem with warping, the arms on the other hand can be a bit of an issue. Good luck with the print and be sure to let us know how it works out.

kjamimate on Oct 6, 2013 said:

Loved your video so much I had to start building one right away. Cheers

MikeyB on Oct 20, 2013 said:

Sorry for the late reply but please let us know how everything turns out when you get her done!

thegcon on Oct 4, 2013 said:

Can anyone provide screw sizes and length?

MikeyB on Sep 17, 2013 said:

Hey Guys. The Mounting holes are at the wrong angle for the Hobby King KK 2.0, I used a KK Blackboard when I designed this. Sorry for the confusion. Rest assured there are many updates in the future. Arms, gear, body, mounting for KK2.0, Blackboard and APM. Also an extended body with better camera view between the arms. I think you guys will be really happy with what is coming. I just have to make it through the next week and my summer season will be over, then I can get everything posted. Three months and 400 hours of flying, I'll be glad to get some days off :)

leemes on Sep 23, 2013 said:

I think I'm speaking for all your fans if I say many thanks to you. It's very cool to have an open source project which is even modular extensible and printable at home. Your work is very valuable to the community and yes we are really happy already! ;) Regarding the 45 degree rotation, I created this workaround thing http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... people can use to mount their KK2.0 on this version of the Crossfire.

jkrassman on Sep 16, 2013 said:

Mickey, is the prepared place for the KK board at the right angle? I would like to move it 45 degrees so that it points in the correct flight direction?

leemes on Sep 16, 2013 said:

I ran into the same problem. Since I already modified this design slightly to fit on 15x15 print beds I only have a further modified version of the plate. But I can go ahead and also modify the original plate for KK2.0, which might be useful not only for you since mikey suggests KK2.0 which requires an orthogonal orientation, not diagonal like his plate.

Derrick on Sep 16, 2013 said:

I like your adapter: http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

But this is already aligned correctly for the flight controller I have, which is this one: http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking...

jkrassman on Aug 31, 2013 said:

MikeyB! Can you list all the parts you are using for the FPV setup? even what goggles you are using! I want to add that as well to my quad ;)

Joakim

synthnl on Aug 29, 2013 said:

Can you also give hint for the propellers?

MikeyB on Aug 29, 2013 said:

It all depends on the weight but with a standard FPV setup I would go with either the Graupner 10x5 or the AWC 10x4.7. With a quadcopter without a FPV setup or a cam the Graupner 9x5 or the AWC 9x4.7 or 8x4.7 would work fine.

leemes on Aug 23, 2013 said:

How amazing! This is my first copter, so I have a few questions before I can assemble everything. I want to install these motors: http://bit.ly/16DoCBy They suggest 30A ESCs, but I already bought 25A ESCs which I bought because I previously wanted to install motors with a lower max current but they are wrong and I have to return them. Will the ESCs be a problem? According to ecalc I can drive the motors at about 13A max. Here is my ecalc config, but please change the props to 9x5, these values don't seem to be encoded in the URL: http://bit.ly/16DoQZq Which part exactly determines the maximum current which goes in the motors? (With this I don't mean the max current which doesn't harm any part but with what current will the motors be driven if I trigger the throttle controller to the maximum) Do you have any further suggestions regarding my config? By the way I won't install a cam to this copter.

MikeyB on Aug 29, 2013 said:

leemes, those motors should work fine with a 25A ESC. I am no electrical engineer and I done have much knowledge of how all the variables work into the equation. The one thing I do know is that lower Kv ratings for a given thrust with a given propeller will be more efficient than a higher kv motor.

Meyk on Aug 9, 2013 said:

Hey
I just printed this Copter but it doensn't work: (PLA)

If I start the motors the copter is jumping up and down by itself. Like a wobble..
Seems that the arms are not stiff enough.

I used MultiWii and this setup worked for a other copter frame.

Did you guys know what I have to do?

cgschaefer on Jan 21, 2014 said:

I've been trying to get my Crossfire off the ground with the MultiWii, too. I'm having a similar problem to the one you describe. I think, but have not confirmed, that a frame flexible mode is coupling back into the rate gyros on the MW board. What I discovered, so far, (and the jury is still out on this), is that smaller props help. I was using those "bendy" 10 x 4.5 electric flight props for initial testing but discovered that the shorter 8 x 4.5 electric flight props are a bit better. Doesn't help endurance much but I think it helps quiet things down a bit. I suspect moving to large, carbon props will chase this problem away. But, I haven't finished all of my initial flight testing yet. Will update this as I go.

MikeyB on Aug 10, 2013 said:

What % Infill did you use on the parts? Do you have any pictures? Is the quad assembled like in the picture above with the top plate on as well. It sounds like the arms have been printed to light and they are flexing. I had this problem in the beginning as well but 50% infill should be more than enough especially in PLA.

konraditurbe on Aug 6, 2013 said:

Hey there.
First, I am new in RC stuff and 3D printing.
Let me tell my story before the questions:
I am 16 years old, I have a HERO3 black and a HERO2, and I want a DJI Phantom. But it costs 500$ more or less, completely out of my range, so I go DIY! I found this proyect, and I want to print the quadcopter, I downloaded the zip containing all the files, but I dont know how I need to print the skp file (containing all pieces) or copy one by one, printing individually.
2 question: I calculated that all the electronics are 150$, which is great compared to the DJI Phantom!
The skp file ONLY contains a frame for the HERO2, which its sticks into a plate, can I use the HERO2 or HERO3 black WITH the housing attached to the quadcopter via stick flat mount?
3 question: How hich can fly this thing (with gopro on board)?
This quadcopter is stable? I mean, I need to buy a gimbal or apply a stabilitation effect to the video? or is stable by its own?
Many thanks!

Chernowii

MikeyB on Aug 9, 2013 said:

Hey Chernowii,
Let me try to answer all your questions.

First off the .skp file is the sketchup document. It is the cad drawing of all the components so if you wanted to edit or modify anything you would do that with sketchup

Second, the printed case only fits the Hero1 and 2. I am working on a Hero 3 case but it is on the back burner for the moment. You could however stick the Hero 3's waterproof case directly to that flat plate for the time being. It will be a little heavier but better protected from a crash.

Third, that is a touch question to answer. It all depends on your controller, how well you balance the cg and the props and motors and how well you fly it. The quad can be made to fly very stable with just a KK board but it takes a fair bit more hand flying than say a NAZA or a APM. The KK is a good inexpensive place to start though. It can fly as high as you can see or even higher if you have a fpv system on it. I have flown my quad about a mile and a half away with a UHF system on it.

Hope that helps, if you have any more questions feel free to ask.

MiguelAlvarez on Aug 1, 2013 said:

Do you just screw through the plastic or did you use nuts? Thanks

MikeyB on Aug 1, 2013 said:

I used nuts and bolts, you can use nylon or metal hardware. Lock nuts are always a good idea or a dab of locktight as no matter how well you balance the quad will always have some vibration.

whyvas on Jul 31, 2013 said:

Mikey, many thanks for the awesome quad, I have it printed and am awaiting parts from HK. Quick question, how do you attach the gopro frame to the hinge? a screw through the earplugs? Sorry if this is listed somewhere, I can't seem to find it.

Cheers.

MikeyB on Aug 1, 2013 said:

Just a dab of super glue on each side of the ear plug. I used 5, one on each corner and one ear plug in the middle. Please post some pictures when you get her flying!

Bellumgessi on Jul 22, 2013 said:

I was hoping to ask those that built this a few questions as I'm looking at a DJI Phantom vs DIY Quad (w/ Ultimaker printed body).

1) What is the flying weight? How much can it carry?

2) Anyone using GPS type of hold position or recovery?

3) looking to add a 120g Gimbal + 250g camera (RX100) could this build handle it?

4) Anyone have a specific recipe of electronics and motors you'd recommend?
5) I want to eventually do FPV and longer flights via GPS way points.. Is this a good platform for this??

mattogodoy on Jul 24, 2013 said:

Same questions here!

rflick04 on Jul 9, 2013 said:

How big is the quadcopter when fully built?

MikeyB on Jul 15, 2013 said:

Hey, are you wondering what the weight would be or the total size of the quadcopter? The total weight of the quad, depending on the electronics is roughly 1400 grams.

jkrassman on Jul 1, 2013 said:

Hi, I cant seem to find the motors for this quad. Can you help me or are there any others that fit your design?

MikeyB on Jul 15, 2013 said:

Hey, sorry for the late reply. Any motors with the 16 x 19mm mounts (pretty much the standard motor mount dimensions) will work. A good place to start is GetFPV.com or RCTimer.com.

MikeyB on Jun 30, 2013 said:

So how many of these things are out in the wild and flying? I would love to see what people are doing with them.

Lucky7Chess on Jun 25, 2013 said:

How long is the flying time on this quadcopter? Could I use the APM 2.5 below as the electronics?
https://code.google.com/p/ardu...

MikeyB on Jun 30, 2013 said:

I am getting about 20 minutes out of this with a 4000mah 4 cell battery and full fpv gear. I would like to put my OSD on soon so I can get a detailed readout of voltage and amp draw while I'm flying. I don't see any reason why you couldn't use an APM on this. There is no mounting holes (yet) for the APM but it should fit no problem.

NolanGerald on Jun 7, 2013 said:

I'm not a designer otherwise I would take it on myself but a future suggestion to would be to make a DJI S800 style arm. The wires are actually integrated into the arm to make a super clean finish. So maybe an arm with a hollow cavity to feed the wiring.

LiquidBeef on Jun 10, 2013 said:

Makes sense!

MattFL on May 29, 2013 said:

Great job! Approximately what does it cost in material (ABS?) to print one of these? I'm new to 3D printers, been flying RC toys for a while and thinking about getting one of these 3D printers to make custom parts like you did. Thanks for sharing!

Fastrack on May 31, 2013 said:

In my estimates... I did 50% infill. My cost is based on $40/kg ABS.
Arm - $1.77/each x 4
Bottom plate -$1.56
Top plate - $1.23
Top - $.56
Go Pro mount - $.85

Total: $11.28

Not sure if 50% infill is required for the arms though? Top & Bottom plates probably should be solid (100%)

This includes power usage in the estimate, but does not include "machine cots", ie maintenance etc.. I'm a home user not a business so I just leave the "machine costs" out of the calculation.

Ben

sammo on May 27, 2013 said:

compliments! great job! maybe in the next version you could try putting a smaller cam, like a sony action cam or a chinese one.

MikeyB on May 27, 2013 said:

I do not own a sony action cam, but the sketchup files are posted. Feel free to design one to fit on the hinge. Thats what this project is all about. Other people modding this to their own needs :) Although I have been thinking about adding a mount in between the top cover and the top plate for a small FPV cam if people didn't want to use the GoPro for their primary flight cam.

occamsrzr on May 17, 2013 said:

Hey Mikey! Any way to get the SketchUp files? I'm wanting to build this but can't find a place that carries that motor model.

MikeyB on May 17, 2013 said:

Yes I can post the sketchup file. The 16x19mm are pretty much the standard motor mount configuration. The only other one I've seen is the triangle configuration. Let me clean it up a bit and I'll post it up here.

Meyk on May 16, 2013 said:

Anybody printed this copter with PLA?
Is it stiff enough? Maybe with a video?

Thanks..

Tobi

MikeyB on May 16, 2013 said:

I believe JoeMattie has printed a few in PLA.

vetsflyquads on May 4, 2013 said:

Great build. I really like your receiver slot and camera mount. very unique looking design

MikeyB on May 4, 2013 said:

Thank you!

Fastrack on May 2, 2013 said:

Hey Mike,

I have done a TON of research and I've read everything I can find on building this.. Since it's my first Quad.

I've created a post over at RCGroups. I may design my own, but I'll print yours first.. and go from there :)
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums...

It appears the best combination is a 3S (4000-6000mah). 11x4.7" APC prop and NTM 910's. Which gives hover at 53% and with a 10" prop hover at 68%. I've listed all the parts I'm going to go with...

The 3S vs 4S is where I stand right now.. I can't decide!

Ben

Fastrack on Apr 30, 2013 said:

What is your finished weight?

MikeyB on Apr 30, 2013 said:

A fully finished fpv build will be around 1300 to 1700 grams depending on your hardware and components. The frame I just printed using carbon arms and the motor mounts and spacers I published is about 100 grams lighter than this frame even!

ariuskooo on Apr 26, 2013 said:

Did you try to put on 12" props? I thing i would go nicely with those 750kV motors. Well at least i am planing to do so if i manage to fix reprap and finish printing legs.

MikeyB on Apr 30, 2013 said:

I have not tried 12 inch props. Have you done any efficiency calculations? I haven't but am interested in finding the right combination.

Fastrack on Apr 24, 2013 said:

I'm very interested in printing this! However I've never owned a quadcopter. I have a series of eflight helis and a vintage Nexus 30 (nitro) heli. I saw your basic list of electronics. However what other parts are required?

I'm going to go with a Spectrum dx6i.. As it'll work with my blade helis.

Rotor blades? What size/pitch? I've seen a few printed blades on thingiverse, have you tried any of them?

Anything else? A charger for the battery I guess. I have a really good charger but it's only for nimh and nicad R/C packs.

Oh I have a replicator one as well :)

MikeyB on Apr 25, 2013 said:

Hey. Go for it, you should have no trouble flying it if you can keep a nitro heli in the air :) Your dx6i will work just fine.

I would stay away from printed props. They just aren't tested. They seem ver interesting and I would love to play around with them when I have some time. I have used the apc props, the 10x4.7 work great. But I've been using graupner props now and they work even better. the 9x5 or 10x5 should do you fine depending on your weight. Just be sure to dynamically ballance the prop to the motor.

As far as chargers go there are a number that will do good. I have a Thunderpower. Just check hobbyking, anything that will charge and balance 3 or 4 cell Lipo batteries will be fine.

Hope that helps, if you have any other questions feel free to ask. And be sure to post pictures when you get it printed!

henrik991 on Apr 16, 2013 said:

Do I have to print with supports for the arm with the leg pointing in the air up from the build-plate?

MikeyB on Apr 17, 2013 said:

No you shouldn't have any problems printing any parts of the frame, including the arms, without support. Be sure to let me know how everything works out!

henrik991 on Apr 16, 2013 said:

Do I have to print with supports for the arm with the leg pointing in the air up from the build-plate?

MikeyB on Apr 17, 2013 said:

No you shouldn't have any problems printing any parts of the frame, including the arms, without support. Be sure to let me know how everything works out!

Epicman on Apr 15, 2013 said:

What fpv system did you use

MikeyB on Apr 16, 2013 said:

I'm using a 900mhz .5w tx with a 2.4g rx. But I think I might switch this one out to 5.8 and go with 2.4 on my tricopter which I use an ezUHF with.

Chuckdou9 on Mar 31, 2013 said:

Nice work ) What is the approximate total cost of this build?
Happy Easter!

MikeyB on Apr 8, 2013 said:

Roughly about $200 if you already have a radio and GoPro/FPV gear.

thereal on Mar 20, 2013 said:

Printed your design at 65% scale as the frame for my ardupilot uav quadcopter. came out very well in pla, 3 solid layers with infill at 30% on all parts. Came out very sturdy but flexible enough I wont have to worry about the pla cracking from harsh landing.

MikeyB on Mar 24, 2013 said:

Hey, looks great! What are your plans for the quad? Just wondering why you printed at 65%. I would like to print it out at 50% or 35% and make a mini quad. Let me know how it flies!

skobalczyk on Mar 20, 2013 said:

Hi Mike, I really like your design. Could you also share the BOM of electronics that you use on your model? Thanks!

MikeyB on Mar 24, 2013 said:

Hey sorry for the delay. I've updated the description to contain a basic list of electric components to get people started. If there is interest in the FPV specific gear I can add that in as well.

lundrichter on Mar 12, 2013 said:

Hi MikeyB - excellent design. 1) I'm curious if you have done anything to avoid warping? I'm using a Ultimaker with PLA and on my first print the arm went banana-style. 2) Is the design viable with PLA? Alternatively maybe i'd use alu- or carbontubes like lobster.

MikeyB on Mar 13, 2013 said:

The design works for both ABS and PLA. I have not printed with PLA but others here have had good success with it. Also I thought that PLA had less of a tendency to warp. All I can say is that bed leveling is paramount to getting a good print. If the first layer isn't bonded well to the bed it can start to warp. I will restart my print if I don't like the first layer. Better to lose a few minutes then to have the warm warp 2 hours into the print. Using something like this http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... doest wonders for leveling the bed. As far as carbon tubes go, I haven't built a quadcopter with them yet but I have used my mounts and spacers in a tricopter build and they work great. I will post it soon.

Greasetattoo on Mar 1, 2013 said:

Curious on how you fed your servo through that hole? I can't, with the screw tabs on the servo!

MikeyB on Mar 2, 2013 said:

Thanks!

lobster2b on Feb 21, 2013 said:

Could you design one that use 8mm carbontubes instead of the printed arms?
I am thinking about it making some motor mounts, but i cant get it just right..

MikeyB on Feb 21, 2013 said:

Hey lobster. I am designing motor mounts and arm attachments for both a 9/16 OD carbon tube and an 11mm OD carbon tube as we speak. Are you sure that 8mm would be strong enough? The 11mm seems kinda small to me. I should have these up and printed in the next couple days, should be pretty easy to make them fit any size arm you like.

keithcl on Feb 20, 2013 said:

thanks for all that info. i'm going to print it soon. what kind of remote control would you recommend?

MikeyB on Feb 20, 2013 said:

I use a Futaba 7C. It's 2.4 ghz so if you're planning on setting it up for fpv you want to choose a different freq. for the video. 5.8/1.3/900 etc. The Spectrum radios are also very popular. A little less expensive than the Futaba and with one less channel but still very good. I would go with the DX6i. Either way you can't go wrong. One of the cool things with Spectrums is that there are a lot of bind and fly models out there that will bind to the radio right out of the box.

dullfig on Feb 13, 2013 said:

Thanks for the help! the frame came out really nice on my printer, I've got a uPrint that I picked up cheap on ebay. the fit of the pieces is good.

MikeyB on Feb 13, 2013 said:

Awesome! Do you have any pictures? I'd like to see them as there are only a few of these out in the wild :)

MikeyB on Feb 11, 2013 said:

Hey have you found any other geometry problems with any of my other files? I think I found all of them and re-uplaoded good files. Most of them didn't cause any problems printing but when I re-desiged the arm for some reason that error did. I have heard of netfab but haven't used them yet, maybe I should give it a try.

I printed my arms out at 50% with ABS and they feel very rigid but maybe a little heavy. I have slapped it into the concrete in the hangar a few times and haven't broken them, but no crashes yet... I'm going to try a few more sets at lower infils to see if I can find a happy medium between strength and weight.

I'm glad to hear that yours is flying well, so is mine. I'm back flying the scheduled flights and will be up in FAI mon/wed/fri if you want to meet up. I also have an old pair of video goggles I can sell you cheap if you're interested. We gotta get you into FPV :)

JoeMattie on Feb 18, 2013 said:

Totally! I sent you an email with my phone number and the address of my shop. Did you get it?

JoeMattie on Feb 12, 2013 said:

I've had really good luck printing the arms solid with 25% infill (see new new derivative I posted), and the added bonus is that they take less time to print due to having fewer perimeters.

dullfig on Feb 10, 2013 said:

Hi:

I'm printing this thing out as we speak, it's going to be my first quad, I was wondering if you can post what size motors you used and that sort of thing. thanks.

MikeyB on Feb 10, 2013 said:

Yeah, 10,000 views. Thanks for the support everyone!

MikeyB on Jan 30, 2013 said:

The one with the gear integrated into the arm? I had wondered about that. I've only printed in ABS, I hear PLA is a little bit brittle? Also did you have any problems printing the arm? I had a weird error printing one with some runnoff lines. I found some internal geometry and deleted it. Going to try it again tomorrow. Now that I am back in AK I can concentrate on finishing this project. Thanks as always for beta testing :)

JoeMattie on Jan 30, 2013 said:

Got around to printing V3, this time out of PLA. Works perfectly, I have to say, although the landing gears break off after the first hard crash.

mkc2 on Jan 21, 2013 said:

Link was good for me!! Yes a bit wobbly coming back down.
The GoPro needs some sort of dampening to stop the jello effect.

MikeyB on Jan 25, 2013 said:

Been working on that problem. I believe that I have come up with a simple fix. I will post it soon.

lobster2b on Jan 19, 2013 said:

I got it in the AIR today!!!!

its quite stable in hover, it wobbles alot when decending (probably due to bad tuning).
It flyes very nice.
The problems i had, i chalk down to "i want to fly NOW!!"
I redoed the tutorials calm and rested. it flyes good.
i got a clip going up to youtube unedited. its should be up in 2 hours or so. (http://youtu.be/_-ytf8BMtsk)

MikeyB on Jan 22, 2013 said:

The Link looks good now. It does look like it is flying very well indeed. The props need to be balanced a little but otherwise it seems pretty well tuned. The wobbly descent happens when the quad gets into its own downwash. Pretty common on all rotorcraft and can result in "settling with power" as it known with helicopters. The is where no matter how much power you add the craft continues to sink through the turbulent air it is creating. Try descending with forward speed to keep the turbulent air behind you.

SheX on Jan 22, 2013 said:
MikeyB on Jan 21, 2013 said:

Hey, it seems that your link is broken. I would love to see that thing in the air :)

MikeyB on Jan 21, 2013 said:

Hey the link looks wrong and doesn't seem to work. I'd love to see it flying :)

JoeMattie on Jan 19, 2013 said:

Hi Mike,

Got the quad wired up and am happy to report that it works perfectly with my fix. Haven't tried printing your updated parts yet though.

MikeyB on Jan 19, 2013 said:

Hey Joe,
Thats great news. Hopefully mine will work as well. Got any pictures of the fix you can upload? I would like to see how you set it all up.

mkc2 on Jan 14, 2013 said:

I did notice that the GoPro mount was a bit sloppy so I added a couple of washers to fill the gap.
Would like some small lugs for the GoPro mount to sit in as you can tighten up the bolt and it still
Seems to move, Had this problem before with tricopter when you bump the ground a little hard the
GoPro would tilt down.

MikeyB on Jan 14, 2013 said:

Yeah, I've noticed that too. Have to get the tolerances and the shrinkage down. The first set i printed was way too tight. But I figured I'd come back to that once the rest of the quad was sorted out. Also I need to add a hole for the servo arm to attach to the gopro mount. Ultimately I would like to have the option of a roll mount, a tilt mount and a roll and tilt mount, but thats a ways off.

mkc2 on Jan 13, 2013 said:

Just waiting for some servo leads and mine will be ready for test flight, printed in PLA and seems ok.

JoeMattie on Jan 12, 2013 said:

Hey Mike,

I fixed the wobbly arm problem: http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

:)

MikeyB on Jan 13, 2013 said:

Joe,
Awesome! Simple and elegant fix. Have you printed and or flown with it yet? Also do mind if I run with this idea as when I do the Arms V3.0? I really appreciate all the time you have spent on this project. I'm in Colorado now but heading back to Tok in a week. Where is your shop in FAI? Hear it has been pretty damn warm up there recently :)

lobster2b on Jan 1, 2013 said:

Just got mine printed, and the mounting for the gopro on the bottom did not print at all, its due to my printer being angry..

And i have a slight curling of the prints so the quad looks sad.

Im going to mount the electronics and test it.
Printed with 30% infill overall. Using a CC3D fc, and cheap china motors and esc.

lobster2b on Jan 1, 2013 said:

I tryed to fly it, but i encountered either error in the FC or quite the resonance during take off.
I could not get it up at all, it wants to flip over.
So im guessing i got somthing wrong with the hw.
Im off to work tomorrow, and wont be able to test for another 2 weeks

MikeyB on Nov 30, 2012 said:

Hey Joe, you were right.  The arms are too flexible.  I got everything put together on mine and when I went to fly it I just could not get it to fly right.  What is happening is that as the arms flex upward they are in a sense creating dihedral.  When a motor adds power to counteract a dipping arm that arms flexes up even more.  As the dihedral increases that prop becomes less efficient and loses lift.  This flexing, or "coning" is almost completely counteracting the thrust from a motor as it tries to stabilize the platform.  Thanks for being the first to point out this problem.  I will try more infill on the arms, say 25-50 percent and see how that goes.  If that doesn't work I will try adding additional bracing to make them more rigid.  Hope you are staying warm out in Fairbanks.  This morning in Tok we were down to 47 below :(

JoeMattie on Dec 17, 2012 said:

That makes sense.  We've got it a bit better, it was -41 at my house this morning.  

lobster2b on Nov 29, 2012 said:

Could you provide a seperate stl file for just the legs, and remove them from the arm.stl

I am looking for a nice fpv frame, and i think il give this a try.

MikeyB on Nov 30, 2012 said:

Sure I'll post a .stl for just the arm and the leg separately. 

lobster2b on Nov 30, 2012 said:

Btw, i print with PLA on a Ultimaker

MikeyB on Nov 25, 2012 said:

Joe, just out curiosity were you testing this frame outside?  I know that my tricopter is nearly un-flyable in temperatures below -10 F.  I have to let the flight controller sit outside and coldsoak and then reset the throttle endpoints at temperature.  I don't know if this is an issue with Wii boards but I would guess so because gyros have a monster drift when they are cooled.  After I reset my flight controllers my coldest flight was 50 below zero.  Also did you print at 10% infill?  I would expect that printing with a higher infill, even in ABS would result in a more rigid arm?  I don't have any experience printing in PLA.  I also wonder how either plastic will stand up to the extreme temps that we have in our area :)

JoeMattie on Dec 16, 2012 said:

Heh, no I was testing it indoors.  I ended up rolling my own towel-rack based version which I've taken outside down to -40 so far.  Problem with those temps is that I keep breaking props and zipties with my rough landings.

JoeMattie on Nov 25, 2012 said:

Too much flex in the arms, exactly.  The airframe  is plenty strong enough otherwise.  I tried it with the following electronics: arduino mega + WMP/NK sensors running aeroquad firmware, then with multiwii firmware, then with baronPilot firmware.  Then I tried it with a teensy++ 2.0 running multiWii, same IMU.  Then tried with a KK2 LCD flight controller from hobbyking.  While I did manage to get the copter in the air a few times, it proved impossible to get the PID control tuned to the point where it was able to keep it stable.

I'm pretty certain that it would have been fine if I had printed it from PLA...

MikeyB on Nov 25, 2012 said:

Hey Joe.  What was the nature of the problems?  To much flex in the arms?  Airframe failure?  What kind of flight controller are you using?  

JoeMattie on Nov 24, 2012 said:

Hey Mikey, having printed one of these and failed to get it to fly correctly, I would advise printing it out of PLA instead of ABS. I used ABS and I believe the airframe is not rigid enough with that material.

MikeyB on Oct 15, 2012 said:

Havn't made and decisions yet on electronics.  Probably KK board or APM.  As for ESCs I'd like to get my hands on some Turnigy Plush's But haven't really thought about the motors yet.  Any suggestions?

Keukpa on Nov 8, 2012 said:

Awesome design, I've just printed one. Quick question, what do you use to hold it all together?

Keukpa

jamesglanville on Oct 15, 2012 said:

I went for "Turnigy 2217 20turn 860kv 22A Outrunner" because they were cheap and seriously powerful. I know I struggled with what to buy, so I just went for the same setup I saw on someone's blog.

truehybridx on Oct 12, 2012 said:

Have you made any decisions for electronics yet?

jamesglanville on Oct 12, 2012 said:

That's really cool, I do wonder if the arms should be stronger in the vertical direction than horizontally - there's not much force sideways. I 've got a CF + reprapped quadcopter (http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... and I've crashed it a few times and snapped the CF rods where they meet the body, so if I were you I'd thicken the arms there and where they attach. Alternatively it may even be worth printing a weak coupler to join the arms to the body, that sacrificially breaks on impact, so you can have a load of spares printed without using too much plastic. As it is, i'd be a little worried about the point of failure being the top panel bending/snapping, which could break any electronics mounted to it. For my build, I used small m3 nylon bolts to secure the electronics, in the hope they'd fail before the pcb. Just some thoughts, I look forward to this progressing :)

truehybridx on Oct 13, 2012 said:

You link is a little messed up lol i ran into Thingiverse's awesome 404 page, there was a ')' at the end of the link

http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

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