Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

FPV tricopter, foldable

by P4man, published

FPV tricopter, foldable by P4man Feb 8, 2014


Update V0.5

  • Integrated Omnimac vibration damper. Download the appropriate top plate for your controller (multiwii and KK boards should fit). If you need a top frame with a different controller layout, like APM or whatever, post in the comment section and I will upload one.
  • Vibration dampeners can be bought on hobbyking and the usual places, or you can to print them yourself in soft PLA. I added a printable design.
  • Added middle decks for both 12mm and 12.5mm booms.
  • Fixed many "manifold" issues causing issues with Slic3r.

Update V0.4

  • uploaded new camera house thats >50% lighter than Mochaboy's original, but it will not take a rear cover
  • Redesigned plates with smoother corners.

Update V0.3 b

  • Increased thickness of middle plates to strengthen it. You can print it with ~15-20% infill and at least 1mm top/bottom thickness to achieve a fair compromise between strength and weight.
  • Added some pads for easier printing with ABS
  • slightly changed supports to save some weight

Update V0.3

  • integrated Mochaboy's swivel camera housing
  • Changed middle deck support to ensure the arms can fold also when wired. Removed some support that wasnt needed.
  • increased spacing of lower deck
  • various smaller modifications.

This is work in progress. I wanted a printable tricopter frame that would be:

  • foldable
  • accommodate both FPV and gopro/mobius cams
  • mount ESCs internally rather than on the arms
  • have enough space for some extra stuff like OSD, GPS, ubec etc
  • light and stiff as possible

Three decks gives you more room but also helps making the frame stiffer without adding a lot of weight.

The camera mount is for a standard 38mm FPV cam.

The middle frame has some large holes cut so you can pass wires from the arms to the ESCs on the lower deck, without preventing you from folding the arms back.


To build this you need:

  • 12mm square booms, either wood or carbon fiber.
  • 6x M3 50 bolts and nuts
    for the yaw mechanism:
  • 3.8-4mm carbon rod
  • 2x 4mm thrust bearings
  • lock ring
    optional but recommended
  • 2x 4mm regular bearings
  • Courage, since this is completely untested.

I print my frame plates with 1mm top and bottom, and 15% infill.

For now, get your battery/gopro tray, vibration dampers and landing gear from some of the other tricopter designs. I will add those later. If you search here for "ycopter" you will find some useful components.

More from R/C Vehicles

view more

All Apps

Auto-magically prepare your 3D models for 3D printing. A cloud based 3D models Preparing and Healing solution for 3D Printing, MakePrintable provides features for model repairing, wall thickness...

App Info Launch App

Kiri:Moto is an integrated cloud-based slicer and tool-path generator for 3D Printing, CAM / CNC and Laser cutting. *** 3D printing mode provides model slicing and GCode output using built-in...

App Info Launch App
KiriMoto Thing App

With 3D Slash, you can edit 3d models like a stonecutter. A unique interface: as fun as a building game! The perfect tool for non-designers and children to create in 3D.

App Info Launch App

Quickly Scale, Mirror or Cut your 3D Models

App Info Launch App
Comments deleted.

Just touching base - is this project still in development? Is it completed enough to print and fly?

Have you flown the most recent version?

Nope sorry. Weather has been too good to do any building, Ive been flying fixed wing lately. I did print the frame in PET and test fitted the arms etc, and there is no reason I can see why it should not work well. Its stiff, light and feels quite strong. Only the landing gear is still "meh", and I havent finished the design of the battery/mobius tray for my setup yet (but I figure few others will fly this with 5AH and a mobius). Rain is predicted for next week, then I'll build her and fly her once it stops raining :).

It looks like your design is coming along well. Keep up the great work!

Well keep us posted! I currently fly the printed Y-copter, designed by HLMax. It works great, and it appears that you've borrowed (and improved upon) his design.

IM regularly updating and adding to this. I printed V0.3b and Im rather happy with it, its surprisingly stiff and light. One problem is that such long 3mm bolts that go through all 3 plates (40+mm) are not easily available here, so I'll switch to 4mm holes in the next version, which will also be curved instead of having all sharp angles and have a choice of top plate for large or small flight controllers (I have a large multiwii Pro, but realize that many more will have a KK board). Im also changing the mounting of the vibration dampers of the battery/gopro plate from zip ties to regular bolts, same bolts that hold the plates together. Ill post this new version this weekend normally.

A servo mount and ball bearing yaw mechanism was already added, a suitable long landing gear is upcoming soon. After that, I will make a new battery/gopro plate, and include one with the option to mount a gimbal. Since I have large batteries (4500-5000 mAH) Im going to have to be creative to make it fit on a standard build platform. Im looking in to basing it on 2 carbon rods with some "bridges". This is stiffer and much lighter than an all printed plate, and my design already requires you have a 4mm carbon rod for the tail anyway.

There is not much more in common with the ycopter BTW.

This looks great! Have you flown it yet?

Not only have I not flown it yet, when I published this, I hadnt even printed it, as mentioned in the description. Ive printed a test now, and based on that some significant changes are upcoming.