Peon230 - Quadcopter

by Tech2C, published

Peon230 - Quadcopter by Tech2C Jan 10, 2015

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Designed for strength, function and light weight, build yourself this 230 size Quadcopter frame.


Suggested Setup:
-Motor: myrcmart.com - 1804 2400kv
-ESC: 10A with SimonK
-Prop: myrcmart.com - 5x3
-Flight Controller: NanoWii, CC3D, Flip, Naze, etc
-Battery: Hobbyking.com - Zippy Compact 3S 1000mah 35c, Multistar 3S 1400mah

HDcam mounting strap slots compatible with Mobius and GoPro.

Base and Top v1.1 - rear mounting spacers moved further back for better rear arm support.


All parts printed at 0.2mm layer height and 3 perimeters.

-Top and Bottom frames, HDcam and FPVcam @ 30% infill x 1 of each
-Arms @ 100% infill x 4
-ArmSupport @ 100% infill x 2

Non-printed parts required:
-12 x M3x10mm countersunk screws for Top/Bottom frame
-6 x M3x40mm Nylon Spacers for Top/Bottom frame
-8 x M3x12mm countersunk screws for Arms
-8 x M3 Nyloc nuts for Arms
-3 x Vibration Ball Dampeners for HDcam

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do you think it is okay to use the frame with 2204 2300kv motors ?

Those work great.

Thank you! Great job.

What did you use to create this? I ask because I'm currently working on building one and would love to be able to make my own customizations in the future. I use solidworks and importing stls is messy.

I really, really like this frame and am about to print it out. The only thing I think it is lacking is a way to tilt back the FPV cam. I am kind of surprised that no one has made a remix for that yet. Perhaps I'll work on a way when I build this. Anyway, thanks for sharing your design!

The next Peon frame will mount the FPV cam via a clip rather than a plate. It'll allow mounting at different angles.

Just wanted to say a big thank you, your youtube videos convinced me to finally get a 3d printer :D I have upgraded it and can finally print consistent parts and I just placed the order for everything I need to build this, can't wait! I'll post a make once I get all my parts.

Fantastic! Thanks for the kind feedback. Cheers!

Apr 25, 2016 - Modified Apr 25, 2016
wobski - in reply to bambua

Tech2c inspired my prusa i3 build as well. I'm printing this Peon frame tonight. Cheers.

Thank you very much! Good luck with your Peon build :)

Should I build this one for aerial video? Or is there a better one suited for that? I need something strong enough to carry a run cam hd and I want to have the video jello free if possible :)

Hello, noob question here but is there a reason the bottom and top plates print 3 solid layers before it starts the main print with perimeters and holes? I seem to have wasted an hrs print and a lot of abs material (I stopped the print) the first layer was perfect but to me it seemed pointless if it's not part of the actual frame. Thanks in advance

Hang about I think I know what's up lol error on my end :-/ my raft settings I think.

Ah yes, the old raft trick... :)

Hi! In the description it states 1804 2400KV motors. Will 1806 motors fit the frame? What are the difference?

Yes 1806 will fit perfectly. The difference is the height of the motor.

is there a place where i can order the Non-printed parts required? screws and nuts etc as a package? thanks

They don't have a package specifically for this, but I bought most of the electronics, pops, etc. from HobbyKing.com.

I printed the frame, ordered the hardware and about 90% of the electronics. I will use a Naze32 Rev6 FC. What transmitter, receiver, and OSD do you recommend? This is my first time doing this, but it will not be the last one I build.

I have the Turnigy 9X transmitter with FrSky TX module. For the receiver to match you can use the FrSky D4FR-2 with PPM out. Basically any receiver than can output PPM is perfect for these mini-quads to reduce cable clutter.
For an OSD grab the E-OSD. Cheap, light and just works.

Thank you!

Hi, it seems you've change the infill for the arms and arms support,
Did you have any feedback with the old 50% infill parameters ? I've already printed them at 50% with PLA, i'm worried about solidity now that you've changed the parameters !

That was fast, I just updated it! In my latest YouTube video I compared 50% and solid infill for the arms. Needless to say printing the arms solid provides much higher 'crash' resistance. Not a big issue if you've already printed them at 50%, just replace them if they break with solid arms.

Feb 22, 2016 - Modified Feb 22, 2016

Hi ! Thanks for the videos Tech2C, really helpfull. Your design is excellent, clean, and I think Peon230 is a great design for beginners like myself to better understand quadcopters, so thank you !
Also, It could be great to see more setup suggestions (thank you Dave855).
For now, I've printed the arms with PETG, 45% infill, 3 shells and it seems rock solid with some flexibility.
I also tried HIPS, and the interesting point is that its super lightweight (but i don't know if HIPS properties get along with drones...).

This comment has been deleted.

Hi, I've ordered the parts for a quad and I am considering which frame I will print. This one seems a good option, thank you for the design. I have a question, if you mind.

Because the main force supported by the arms is a vertical thrust, perhaps a thinner and taller arm design could function well, what are your thoughts?

Thank you in advance. Congratulations for the great videos.

ABS @ 50% infill, it is very ridged. No worries.

Hi. The vertical thrust from each motor is about 400g using the recommended setup. The plastic arms have no problem maintaining their shape during thrust pumps. Where problems do occur is during an uncontrolled landing... :)

Of course, thanks.

I'm a newbie for the quadcopter hobby, I have plenty of other RC's. I'd really like to build this one but do you have more of a BOM for a recommended setup? I noticed the motors you're using are out of stock at the moment.


Hi, you mention printing @ 0.2mm layer height with 3 perimeters, what would be the result if printed with 0.3mm layer height & same perimeters? Would the parts still all go together?

i have printed a set in 0.2 but would like to try 0.3 or if anyone has tried as of yet?


Yep 0.3mm should be fine. At 0.3mm the z layer height isn't divisible evenly with these parts, so your slicing program will either add or subtract 1 z layer.
Not a problem with this frame :)

Are 250 arms possible on this frame, or would the body need to be extended then? Guess longer arms must be thicker to avoid flex/vibration.

I could lengthen the arms to accommodate a 250 wheelbase, however I don't think 6inch props would fit, you'd still be stuck with 5inch props.
Most likely I'd have to tilt the rear arms back a touch, plus slightly longer arms all round would suffice for 6inch props. The front arms would have to stay the same angle to ensure the props aren't visible to FPV cameras.

Thanks for the quick reply. I guess the other option is to trim the props to "bullnose" them. I've seen a prop trimmer 3D model on here too I wanted to try. I'll give that a go :-)

Any plans to release a 250mm version? Or maybe upload the CAD for the arms so we can make it a 250? This is a great design and I'd like to enter one in the local 250 racing class.

Just import the .stl into Autodesk Fusion 360 (free for makers) and resize them there :)

Awesome ! Videos are well made and easy to understand. Are you in WA by any chance mate? Cheers

Cheers! It just so happens that I do reside in the Wild West ;)

Awesome....good to have talented locals !

I printed this copter with the parts suggested... its really hard to calibrate, I got it in the air for a maximum of 10 seconds and then it always crashed somewhere XD
Does anyone have an Idea how to pretect the propellers? Is there sth like a frame for this quadcopter?

Beautiful design. It pushed me over the edge on buying a 3D printer. In purchasing a 3D printer, what size printer bed is needed? Will it fit on one of the 200x200x170 printers? What should I avoid? Thanks!


Hi Max, glad to hear you've jumped on the 3D printing wagon :)

Yeah that bed size is more than enough for this quadcopter frame. You can print each piece separately anyhow to save space further. As it's your first printer, maybe print this frame from PLA plastic initially, as ABS can be a little tricky with warping if the bed isn't hot enough.

Good luck!

Fantastic results! After putting together the Prusa-type 3D printer (a challenge in itself), I calibrated and made a few doodads just to get the settings right, then printed off all the Peon230 parts. As you suggested, I used PLA and it worked like a charm. I had pretty much all the hardware sitting around from other multi-rotor projects, so it was a snap to assemble the frame. I haven't installed the motors, ESCs, APM, etc yet, but will get to that soon. I have a standard APM 2.6 controller (my favorite), which is a bit large for this frame. I will probably pick up a mini APM to use instead. My only modification was to add four 20mm nylon spacers to the bottom to act as landing skids. Excellent job designing this. Tolerances are perfect, it fits together like a glove. Many thanks!


That's great news Max!
You've gone from ordering a 3D printer kit to a fully assembled Peon230 frame - that is an achievement in itself.

Let me know how it fly's :)

Thanks for the feedback. A Prusa i3 is on it's way. I ordered an ABS spool with it, but will order some PLA as well for my first try. I'll post photos when I'm done. I think I have enough bits and pieces sitting around to assemble a full quad when I'm done printing. Thanks again.


There are screw holes on the arms. Are you planning something for those? Are there legs that you know of that would mount on those screws holes?

Thank you for making this. I'm very excited to fly it.

Hi Jeffeb3,

The screw holes are optional for you to attach feet if you wish. The simplest feet would be M3 Nylon spacers of say 10mm in length, attached with M3x6mm countersunk screws to the arm.

Good luck with your build! :)


Very good job. I have tried to print these differents parts but i have some troubles.

On my printer, a Prusa i3 with hot bed, i print with ABS, 230° C for hotend and 110° c for bed and i have some wrapping on the parts. How did you avoid this wrapping?

Thanks a lot.


I had difficulties also with warping. The best thing to avoid warping is aceton ABS glue. It works 100%! Try it.

I tried ABS glue that works but with the arms there is loads of cleanup, now i use "3d lac" (non scented hairspray) that works better since there is no cleanup, depending on the shape i add 1 layer round spots on the part to help it stick.

Jul 16, 2015 - Modified Jul 16, 2015
Tech2C - in reply to Freddrob

Thanks Freddrob.

ABS can be tricky to print these parts as they are wide and flat. Bed temperature is important, and I found using an aluminium heatbed evenly distributes the heat throughout the entire surface of the bed. Previously I was using a PCB heatbed with a glass top, and the temperature variation from the centre of the bed to the edge was 20c colder!

I also use 3M branded Blue Painters Tape as the print surface. Make sure the first layer is smooshed down to better adhere to the surface. Also make sure you don't have a draft blowing over the ABS part as it prints.

Hopefully this helps.

I am having some trouble printing the top. It is printing as to be expected initially, then halfway through the print it offsets then entire model down and to the right by 5mm (down 5mm and right 5mm). Anyone else having this problem? I am printing on a newly built printrbot metal simple with heated bed and using 1.75mm PLA and Cura. Any ideas on how to correct this? Thanks!

Check your belt tension, given that it's happening halfway though, check your stepper drivers and make sure they are not skipping steps. possibly slow down your printers travel speed to avoid it/increase current to driver

Thanks for the response. I will do some investigating. I think it might be the PLA spool getting knotted and no allowing the Y-axis to travel appropriately. Thanks again. I can't wait to finish the build!

how long would it take to print all this on a makerbot 2 with all the settings you said? i need to know because i do not own a a 3d printers and need to go somewhere else

Hours. Probably 6.

Great design, i really like it!
Did you do that in Cubify Design?
Would you release the source files too?

This comment has been deleted.

Hey, awesome quadcopter! We are trying to build it but are having some troubles (beginners)...

Are there any good guides on how to connect the speed controllers and reciever to flight controller? We have the following set-up:


Here's a Google Drive folder with pictures. I would be so happy if someone could just guide us in the right direction or point out what we are doing wrong!


Howdy. I had a look at your photos, nice work so far!

Regarding the NanoWii user guides, the Hobbyking link for the NanoWii has the guides within the "Files" tab. Check them out!
With your receiver you'll have to connect at least 5 channels plus power to the NanoWii, but first you'll have to solder pins to the inputs of the NanoWii (only the outputs have pins soldered).

I attached some pictures of the documents from both the receiver user guide and nanoWii user guide. I am beginning to understand how they are supposed to be connected to the receiver but where is the Aileron, Elevator, Rudder, Gear and Flap wires supposed to match on the NanoWii? Is that an obvious, stupid question?

Not a stupid question, you are very close. The NanoWii.png image shows the wiring perfectly. I'd say the names are a little confusing.

Aileron=Roll, Elevator=Pitch, Rudder=Yaw, Gear=Aux1(or2), Flaps=Aux2(or 1), and of course there's Throttle. It's best to solder pins to the receiver inputs of the NanoWii (empty holes currently) so you can easily connect between your receiver and nanowii.

Great job man!
I have some questions, can you explain me which BECs are you using, and how did you make the fpv power filter?
thank you!

Tech2C - in reply to Sanx

Hey Thx! The ESC's are 10A with inbuilt 1A BEC's plus SimonK firmware loaded.
The FPV power filter is just an L-C circuit. I wrap the positive wire through a toroid a dozen loops, plus a 1000uF capacitor in parallel with the positive and negative wires. Here's a useful link http://www.fpvuk.org/how-tos/lc-filters/

Apr 15, 2015 - Modified Apr 15, 2015

Nice design I really like the attention to detail, and how the arms lock into place is pretty neat - the skeleton frame on the bottom plate is a great idea too!

Any chance on getting the source files (whatever they may be) ? I would like to modify a few things like motor mounting holes and I wanted to try and add extra motor protection built into the arms. I use Autodesk Inventor but can import from a few different formats..

It is already very sturdy as is though! printing the last two arms now.


Hi, just to say that I have almost completed the print!! Thank you very much for sharing this design with us all in the Multicopter community!! This is my very first Mini Quad frame print as I have only recently joined the 3D side of our hobby and I am still tuning my BQ prusa i3 after fitting a heated bed. Keep up the good work and those much anticipated youtube videos which were instrumental in me going for a Prusa and not an XYZ Da Vinci or Wanho printer. regards Jules

Thanks for the kind words Jules. The journey was a long one and I'm sharing my experiences with youtube which may help others too.
When your printer is good to go please share your printed Peon230 frame pictures with us ;)

Just printed one goes together nice but the tabs on the fpv plate are too thick and wide for the holes (or it is the bottom plate holes) could it just be a setting that i did wrong?

It boils down to each printers tolerances. With tight fitting parts there's bound be noticeable differences. It's better that it's a tight fit than loose, because you can simply sand/slice a little bit away until it fits snuggly ;)

I am realy liking this frame so far. I will be modding my blade 200 qx into one and later making one with naze 32 and 4x 12a afro esc. Motors still undecided. I still have arms printing but this fits my needs and budget. Thank you.

Should I use CCW or CW motors? this is my first Quadcopter and I'm really lost.

Thank you,

You need 2 of each. Depending on the flight controller, you install the CW motors on front left and back right arms, CCW motors front right and back left arms.

I'm looking at this setup please let me know if this would be ok.

--> 10AMP
--> BEC: 5V/3A
--> SimonK firmware

2X Motor
--> RCX 1804 2400kv (CCW)

2X motor
--> RCX 1804 2400kvr (CW)

1X Controller
--> OpenPilot CC3D Flight Controller STM32

1X Battery
--> LiPo Battery Pack 1550mAh 2S 7.4v 20C

2X Prop
5x3 (CW)

2X Prop
5x3 (CCW)

--> No idea

--> No idea

I find forums give little information on complete DIY, I've found some useful info but most of what I'm finding is kit based and modifying purchased kits. I finished printing the frame last night and really excited about giving this a go. So thank you in advance for the help! When all is said and done I will like my photos!

Thank you,

Hey I thought I would just share what I put in mine: (All from my RC Mart)

http://www.myrcmart.com/flip32-v23rev6-flight-controller-p-8049.html Flip32+
http://www.myrcmart.com/rcx-h18066-2400kv-micro-outrunner-brushless-motor-motor-16-5030-p-8045.html RCX1806 Motors
http://www.myrcmart.com/product_info.php?products_id=8055{11}69 Counter Rotating prop hubs (Just needed two)
http://www.myrcmart.com/rcx-12a-sky-simonk-brushless-esc-for-multicopter-23s-p-8051.html 12Amp SimonK ESC

http://www.myrcmart.com/rcx-rc732dvr-inch-58ghz-32ch-lcd-diversity-receiver-fpv-monitor-p-8509.html FPV Monitor
http://www.myrcmart.com/rcx-ts832-58ghz-32ch-fpv-video-transmitter-600mw-12v-output-for-camera-p-8519.html VTX
http://www.myrcmart.com/product_info.php?products_id=8435{25}159 Sony 800TVL
http://www.myrcmart.com/minim-osd-kv-team-mod-v10-p-8100.html MinimOSD

The batteries I am using are ThinderPower 2250 3S 30C which are providing between 10-13 Minutes of flight time.

Over all the power system is quite well matched the motors and ESCs only slightly warm to the touch after a flight even with the heavier 2250 battery.

Happy flying!

Thanks for this, already started building, will share the progress. Using a MultiWii MiniWii, had to edit the base a bit to match mounting holes.

What do you mean 3 perimeters? Like shell thickness?

PLA is much rigid, but weaker...

Whatever you like. I've used ABS.

Hey question for you. I am a noob and was wondering how do you peal off the base once the print is done. Do you do it when it finishes right away or wait? sorry for the dumb question

Definitely wait until the part has cooled down close to room temperature.
I print on blue painters tape, therefore I use a cheap box knife with the disposable blade extended all the way to pry off the part from one side to the other - like a spatula.

Would you mind sharing the original CAD files? Trying to get .STL into SolidWorks is a real chore!


Nice frame.but why it looks not a real square ..

What size of flight controllers will this support? I want to use a HKPilot Mega 2.7 but the dimensions are 44x70x15mm . I know most frames I've seen so far usually do 45x45 max.

Awesome design btw! I hope I can use it with the HKPilot Mega 2.7

Because the APM board is 70mm long, the width of 44mm is too wide to fit between the nylon spacers. The micro version of the APM board will fit perfectly though, albeit more expensive.

Great job!
It well be my second fpv racer.
Greetings from sunny Gran Canaria :-)

Cool. Please keep us updated on its performance.
Lol, I had to Google Maps search your location - Wow what a great place!

Jan 17, 2015 - Modified Jan 17, 2015

Thank you for the new video, that helps immensely. My naze32 board fits the mounting holes perfectly with (now) 5mm polycarbonate spacers. I'll try to save some weight, but I think I will end up at 450g without HD cam, but with apx. 400g of thrust per motor with 5x4 props.
I'm still waiting on those ESCs and battery from hobbyking, and the FPV cam from seccam2000. More pics and maybe a video are coming once i get it airborne :-)
Thank you again for this brilliant design!

This comment has been deleted.
Jan 12, 2015 - Modified Jan 12, 2015

Printed one and it came together nicely. I will use it with Multistar Elite 2300KV motors and 12A Mystery/Blue/Afro ESCs with SimonK, a Naze32 FC and a 1.4Ah 3S battery. Still waiting on some parts (12mm countersunk screws a just a tiny bit short of gripping the nut on my print) but I will post my final built here.
Still not sure about FPV gear yet. I will probably try out one of those 600TVL Sony cams.

Have you thougt about designing longer arms for 6" props?

Great to hear you had a successful print! That power system will be awesome. I can easily get 10mins flight time with my setup, including FPV gear, Mobius and 1550mah 3S battery - all up weight of 438grams.

The CCD camera I have is the 600TVL Sony PZ0420 from securtiycamera2000 website.

This frame is designed to be small, so 6 inch props won't fit. In fact 5 inch props are mere millimeters apart from each other as it is...

You are right with the 5" props, I had hoped I could use them on a 2S battery with my motors and so could use a 1500-2000 mAh Pack, but I think it will be just fine.
The meassurements for the screws are actually spot on, I didn't try to screw the arms on with 12mm but with 10mm screws. So 12mm will fit exactly.

Any chance you could make a version with a 45° rotated mounting pattern for the motors? As of now, the motor wires dont run directly on the arm.

How did you mount the ESCs and did the power distribution? Do you habe any pictures on the finished quad?

Kind regards and thank you for this great build!

The chosen angle of the arms is to ensure the props aren't visible in the view of the FPV camera and HD camera. This angle was a compromise I had to make to keep the chassis as small as possible.

ESC's are mounted on the arms. Power is distributed direct to all ESC's via wires. I'll be uploading another YouTube video in my channel in the next few days showing my setup.


Nice job, added to my things to make. Thanks for sharing.

This'll just barely fit in my 6x6 printer; I'm very tempted. Would I be able to put a PilotHD V2 camera in your frame? Thanks in advance for any info/help!

Yeah that camera would mount on the FPVcam part within the main body. No need to use the HDcam mount then.
You'd have to use velcro or double sided foam tape to affix it though, unless there's screw mounting holes on your camera.

Awesome! It ll be my next fpv racer!!

Cool! Let us know your results :)