Tubular Crossfire 2 quadcopter

by Brendan22, published

Tubular Crossfire 2 quadcopter by Brendan22 Mar 2, 2014


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This is a mashup of MikeyB's very popular Crossfire 2 and my own T4 Quadcopter's tubular arms which are a bit more rigid than the originals (see video here).
Please refer to MikeyB's quadcopter for excellent instructions and the other parts required.
Note: I'd recommend using a 4-in-1 ESC if you want to build this quadcopter. MikeyB's design uses separate ESCs strapped to each arm which is not possible with the tubular arms. A 4-in-1 ESC combines the ESCs with the power distribution board and can be mounted in the center of the frame - very tidy!
Oh, and the Sketchup file is included so you can make changes to suit yourself.

Check out the whole "T" copter family:

I've added a post on the forums over at DIY Drones for discussing and improving these designs.

Revision History

28 March 2014

  • added the short "springy" leg STL from my T6 design. Here's a quick video that shows a longer version of the springy leg design (2nd half).

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Good morning, before print this frame I have a question!!! When the motor roteate at high speed, the frame flex or it is compact? Thanks so much!

I have never built this one myself but you should have no problem - the arms are very rigid. The body is a quick print and, if you did have a problem, you could always print one of my full-body T4 design which I know works great.

Before watching this type of frame I saw the full-body T4 but there are not any place for esc, distribution grid and the flight control made up with GY80 and arduino. So this type of frame is more wide than the full-body.

Ah. In the T4 the ESCs and power distribution all go in the bottom tray (out of sight) - and the flight controller goes on top.

awesome design. Thanks for the idea. I'm working on one write now using some of your designs. Thanks again for the help..

Thanks for your comments. It's rewarding to see so many folks enjoying building these things.

What's the typical weight of the design using PLA?

Not sure all up. The arms are about 40 grams each.

Do you happen to have one you can weigh?

I've never printed this design sorry.

what is the measure of the drone diagonally?

About 480mm between motor centers (diagonally).

You should try out a triangular profile tube.
I found it to be far more rigid and impact resistant than a hexagonal tube...

If you have the ESCs in the tube, won't they overheat?

I'm using a online web service (3dhubs.com) to print because I don't own a 3d printer and the site requires that I enter deminision type (mm,cm,in) along with the files I need to know what type this file uses?

Thanks in advance

Pretty sure it will be mm.

Thanks I realized they give deminision soft th final product during pricing so if it's not I may be able to tell

is it necessary to do a socket test on this one?

Only if you want too. It's just a way to tune your printer without printing the whole plate - but no use beyond that.

What percent infill do you recommend for these parts? I'm printing a test arm at 20%. I was thinking 40% or 50% for final.
Great design!! I modified the top and bottom plates so there is more mounting options. I just cloned the half that had the extra part.

This copter fly's great! It is easy to print the body and arms. Thanks for this design.

If i've printed arms from the T4 quad, would I just need to print this body (upper/lower)?

Yep the arms are the same. You make want to print some other bits from MikeyB's Crossfire - see the link to his design under Info.

Grrr... Tried to print out an Arm last night, even w/ a Brim from Cura and early in the print using some ABS glue to tack the corners down it still pulled up some on the ends. Then it started to split about along the length about midway point vertically. Cura's brim was weak w/ gaps and allowed it to pull apart from the brim. I've pulled it into Tinkercad and put in my own brim and added a support vertically on the end that will be cut off later. Hope to try this tonight.

Yep ABS is a real challenge. This probably doesn't help but I've been printing these kind of things with PLA and have never had a problem. PLA will crack if it gets a big hit - but then ABS will bend and stretch (with less force) and once it's stretched it is usually throw-away too. I've been flying on 30+degC (86degF) days and never had any issue with heat softening parts. All up I'm a PLA fan - especially for bigger parts.

Typo - PLA will crack if it gets a BIG hit.

What size and length of bolts are you using to affix the arms to the body (and also using on the motors.) What motors are you using? Do you know if the Hobbyking KK 2.x Flight controller direct mounts to this (or what flight controller are you using?) I've been dying to try my hand at building a Quadracopter (and eventually going FPV with it.) This looks like what I'm looking for as a 1st run, before I make modifications.

Hi TAZ427. have a look at the Instructions page for my T4 designhttp://www.thingiverse.com/thi.... Much of the the detail there would be relevant to this design also.

T4 Quadcopter Drone

I found this after I posted, just order a boat load of stuff from Hobby King for the project. Didn't see any details on bolt size and length, but I guess I could figure it out by pulling the files into an editor and measuring. I think I need to buy some bolts too now.

FWIW, I designed some landing legs to slide on over the legs and zip tie in place (gave them about 0.2mm gap on the sides for easy sliding on) could glue them later if one wanted to https://tinkercad.com/things/6KMV3x19LKe-t4-quadracopter-landing-legshttps://tinkercad.com/things/6...

That leg looks great. The springy legs included with with T4 design also work well - albeit a little "mad scientist".
From the T4 instructions:

  • 8 M3 x 40mm+ bolts (arms to body)
  • 8 M3 x ~5mm bolts (motors to arms)
  • 8 M3 Nyloc nuts and washers

I LOVE this design, anyway you could modify it for a small 250mm quad?

Thanks for your comments. I see that MikeyB's centre plates are already about 150mm long ...so do I understand correctly that you would only want the arms to extend 50mm out from the centre plate?

Was talking about one about the size of this one http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:27318http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... which i can print on my afinia just with your awsome design ( and 130mm arms)

Micro Multicopter Frames R1

Ah ha. I might have a go at Micro quad sometime. It would be interesting to see how small the arms could go and still fit the wires inside them. The first step for me would be buying some smaller motors to play with. In the meantime you are welcome to grab the attached Sketchup file and shrink/stretch the arms to fit your needs. Please post a derived thing if you put one together.

Im just getting into rc's myself and just built that as my first ever quad. i love my little rotor but the design lacks rigidity, unlike this one

Well, you've half convinced me. I've put myself down for a stock notification when HK gets those motors back in stock. If the motors/escs/props are staring at me then I might get excited enough to build a micro T4!

AWSOME!! let me know how everything goes and send me a link as soon as you get a working proto type and ill help you out anyway i can

Really like this design! Printing it now, and may try your T4 body with the same arms.
Very difficult to print on ABS, as I can't stop the arm curling at the body end. PLA works like a charm.

Had the same issue with the body and ABS. Tried to do a brim, and ran out of room (partially because my servo motor of my autobed leveling system hit's my X bracket and effectively cuts off 10mm of my bed )-; )

I'm going to import into tinker cad and make my own strategically placed brim components and hopefully it will print w/o issue.

Thanks Zebble. I'd appreciate any feedback as I haven't printed this one myself yet. I've been focusing on the T4 (stand by for version 1.04 soon).

I'm no expert with ABS but one thing that seemed to help me the most with curling was reducing the heated bed temperature as low as I could get away with.

Oh, and any idea when 1.04 will be released?

Thanks Brendan22. Will 1.04 have the same arms? If so, I may wait to print the rest until 1.04 is released! I'm just finishing printing the 4th arm. I'm thinking I may try the T4 first, as I really like the encapsulated design.
I'll definitely try your advice on the bed temp for ABS. For now, I'm starting to like PLA, and it has no problems printing the arms.

T4 vs 1.04 will be posted within 12 hours. It has a lightly narrower "waist" and a few other features - the body, top plate and bottom tray are affected. The arms and other bits are unchanged. I'm just printing a 1.04 myself now ...so far I'd only printed my original 1.00 so I'ma bit out of date :-)

Great! I look forward to grabbing the rest of the new bits! Just finished printing the last and final arm, so I'm glad I didn't waste time/plastic!
Any idea if the new design will fit 12x4.5" props? I have some 10x4.7" props, but I prefer the performance of the 12x4.5's with the 880kV motors on 3S. Will any of your older designs fit 12x4.5 props if 1.04 doesn't?

T4 1.04 is now posted

The motor spacing on the T4 is designed for 10" props (or smaller) and has remained constant through the versions. There is only about a 10mm gap between the front and back prop tips (similar to the 3DR Iris). The arms a certainly strong enough to make them longer but the geometry would change and probably require longer front arms and shorted back ones to keep the centre of gravity in the middle of the battery compartment - would need some experimenting to see if a 12" prop version could reuse any of the existing parts.

Great info. Thanks Brendan22! I'll try the 10" props for now, with some DJI 920kv's, and see how they go. The 880's I can always try later. Sounds like 12" might be a sweet setup, so I may remix when I have some time.
Great work again on 1.04, printing now! Woot! I'll post back on your T4 page now...

Hey MikeyB thanks for the comment. These arms take a couple of hours to print and weigh in about the same so there might not be any advantage on that front. It would be really great if you got a chance to print one sometime. I'd love to hear you comments. BTW your base jumping video gave me chills!

These arms look great, thanks for posting. I will have to print these out to compare but just looking at your video I'm sure you den get a whole lot less flex with these at probably a much quicker print time.