Quadcopter Propeller

by Landru, published

Quadcopter Propeller by Landru Jul 3, 2012
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Quadcopter Propeller by Landru is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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Generic ~8in Propeller blade

Extremely tricky print, probably requiring support structure.

I have supplied vertical and horizontal orientations

I removed this propeller from the .step files of a quadcopter file on grab-cad a while ago. I have been unable to track down the original source since then, unfortunately.


Print, remove support, see if it works.

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For quad copters you need 2 clockwise rotating propellers and 2 counter clockwise..do you just get counter rotation by flipping over the prop?

No you don't. Bottom of the prop must face downwards, but if you flip it it will then face upwards. You could mirror the propeller object before printing I suppose.

flipping it wouldn't fix anything. A propeller should always be positioned in the way it was intended. flipping it upside down actually will generate almost no lift at all, and you'd simply flip over.

Quick follow-up. I've flown it for about half an hour today with 4 x printed Props. They are not quite as efficient as store bought props - but not bad. Battery life reduced by about 30% - though that was probably in part because my motors are a bit too slow, so to fly it needs to run higher throttle. I'm going to print some 10" props next to see how they compare. All in, I'm impressed!

Notwithstanding JKeegan's comment - I printed four of these last night and have flown with them on a DJI 450 this morning. Though they don't produce quite as much lift as the 10x4.5 props I ran before, they work surprisingly well! I ran one up to full speed (with proper protection) 50W 1000kv and it did not fly apart. I then tried stopping the prop with a piece of wood - to see how it disintegrated. It came apart much like any plastic prop. The pieces slowed down very rapidly with all the pieces landing within 14" of the motor. It was rather unexciting!

The quad flies really well with them! They are a little quieter and showed no balance issues. I printed them flat (with the prop axis vertical) with a raft support on an Ultimaker1 0.06mm layer thickness and once the raft was removed they required very little finishing.

Thank you very much for uploading this! Now I can still fly even if I've bust all my props!

I've officially tested this on a 50W brushless 1300KV outrunner with excellent results. No more dangerous than a real propeller. Lots of lift and surprisingly well balanced. I will be flying some of these on my quad as soon as it is finished.

Have you had a chance to spin one of these up? I would like to start using printed blades but I
’m really worried about them breaking in flight and crashing me. How about including blades for the other direction? I’m sure most of us are fine mirroring them around ourselves but you may want to include it for completeness. These looks really promising unlike most of the props I’ve tried
to make myself.

I have not spun one up to any real RPM.

They are not a practical prop replacement in my opinion, since they take a while to print and also will likely be a nightmare to balance.

Cant hurt to try one I guess, right? I don't have a decent size motor to try it right now though.

If the blade thickness was increased a bit it would stand
a much better chance of working.

I have nightmares about someone trying this without adequate protection. Having seen what happens to real props when they hit something and break apart, I can imagine a prop delaminating and spinning around like a weed-wacker chopping anything in its path.

I suppose part of me wants someone to do this in some safe protected chamber so they can reduce my concern about that (and show that they'd be merely very weak breakable printed propellers instead of dangerous plastic death)...