Quad props

by IronAwe Jan 18, 2013
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How was this model constructed? Is it built from measurements from the actual prop or best guess? How was it measured and how close to the actual original prop is it?

It is best guess. I don't actually have a 3d printer, so I can't make proper adjustments and compare the two until it arrives.

It is 9/1/2014
It printer it with my makerBot.
The result was so weak. I dont think that It can move my quadcoper up at all.

While I respect the talent of the designer and this is a great model, I'd never put these on a motor and spin it up to speed. Props run in excess of 8k RPMs. There's a lot of force between the acceleration of the blade and the air resistance. I've seen cheap injection molded props fail in flight, no way I would try a printed prop. One potential application would be a plane. A plane can handle a total loss of power and still land, so if you want to test a printed prop I first recommend a bench test and then a plane, not a multicopter.

Just to pass on some info, I have been using 3D printed props on my quad for almost a year now. Not this file, but another on Thingiverse. I have never had one fail mid flight. With good judgement, they can be very reliable and cheaper than ordered props.

Interesting... For which model? I might want to try. Do you print with support? What material?

Any suggestion how to print it cleanly? I printed with Makerware, using raft and support, but the support is a pain in the @$$ to get off cleanly. The blades are so thin, that I fear I will damage them removing the support material. Suggested Print settings? ABS or PLA?

The 8x45 STL file has mesh problems :( I printed with Makerware, and the propellers were not attached to the center body by much if anything. I uploaded it to netfabb, and downloaded their repaired version, attempting to print again! :)

Thanks man, fixed the stl file so should be good to go now. Take some vids!

Hello, I am looking to print the 10x47 props however I do not use object files. Is there any way you can upload stl files please?

Yes I will upload .stl files for you.

I am looking for a 7x4.5 is this going to be possible? I am going to scale the 8x4.5 down by .875 and that should give me 7 inches. Will post on results.

Hey mate, if you scale them down, you are going to have problems I think. They might end up being too thin, and the centre hole might be too small as well. Let me know how it works out for you

they worked out fairly well, just had to ream the center hole out to fit on the prop adapter. Printed them in PLA and seemed to work fairly well. I'll post some pics when i get a chance

Sweet man!! Can't wait to see them!

Hi! Can you make a 9x4.7? Or 9xwhatever? ;) Thanks!

I could really use these modeled for 10x4.7 if you can post that size I will try to print them. Thanks.

10x4.5 are up, I know you asked for 4.7, but I don't have any to model from, so won't have it up for a while, is this ok?

I'll check them out thanks! If you are able to model 4.7s let me know.

Hey buddy, 10x4.7 are up!!! Don't forget to send me some pics!!

OK mate, I'll see what I can do

OK, seems to have worked, I have a .x3g file here.

Hey mate, I just uploaded a new model, did you want to try and download this one and retry it? I have just downloaded makerware and will have a play around with it, see if we can get it working.

Someone might know a trick, but the props come out as dark grey on Makerware for me. The only thing I know this seems to indicate is that the CAD model is not actually solid. Does anyone else have any better luck with it or know how to get around this? I do want to try them out.

Hey mate, just put a new file up if you want to try them. 3rd time lucky. Appears white in makerware for me. Put the x3g file up too. Cheers mate, let me know how you get along.

Sorry, not sure if you were notified of my reply as I didn't use the reply button. Anyway, there is a newer model uploaded and it seems to be working. I have an .x3g file here from makerware.

Printed with the single prop file. The file worked. I did two prints. Both were with 0.2mm layer height 10% infill, supports with no raft. One print was laying flat and the other was rotated 90 degrees vertical. The flat print took 1 hour 6 minutes. The vertical took 1 hour 30 minutes. with support, the horiz print weighs 17g the vert. print weighs 19g. This means that assuming filament costs approximately $50 US per kilogram the part cost between $1.70 to $1.90 per pair. My usual source charges $4 per pair.

I feel that both prints had good structure integrity, comparable with purchased props. I have not tried it on my quadcopter yet though. There are some trade-offs with my two different printing approaches: 1) The flat print has a "topographical" look to it due to the method of printing each layer. You would have to sand a lot of support material off the underside to get a smooth surface. 2) The vertical print had a lot of hanging threads on the blade edge facing down during print. I had to sand those edges but support material came off much easier.

The pitch is not as pronounced as the purchased prop. If the purchased prop is truely 10X4.5, then the printed model looks like it is more of a 4 degree pitch. Just something to note.

Overall, this is looking real promising as a printable part. I think a thinner layer height will help. The price per prop is very attractive and you don't have to wait for new props to come in the mail. If a filament recycler is put on the market, then the props are even cheaper because you can recycle the support material and recycle any broken props. One prop is 9g, so a prop is only 45 cents if support is recycled.

OK new files are up, and they have the word 'shifted' in the title. Good luck!

Mate!! They look great! You legend! Thank you so much for your detailed replies. I will make a new model with slightly increased pitched, and repost soon. Thanks again, please let me know if you actually put these on your quaddie and fly, it would be a dream come true if it worked. :) Thanks again!

Just saw your reply. I tried a print. Here are some comments:

1) I was only able to get the 8X4.5.obj file to work. The 8X4.5.stl and the 10X4.5.obj and .stl files still come out dark in Makerware for me.

2) I printed with a low resolution setting (0.34 mm layer height) to save myself some time. It took 53 minutes. It would help out a lot if there was a file that had only one prop to reduce waste both in time and plastic while test printing.

3) It was a little messy at the center. The plastic really piles up thick. I think thinner print layers will help this problem though.

Overall I think there is some serious potential for this to work. I am willing to do some more test printing if I could get a single prop version. With higher resolution, even printing a single prop could take 2 to 3 hours. Two props would be ridiculous.

I will weigh the prop with support attached to find out the estimated cost per prop. It might be more expensive than an online purchase but it is more convenient for those who break props often. Also, when someone finishes a filament recycler, use can grind up your broken prop and reprint with the same plastic.

Hey mate, I just uploaded 2 new .obj files. I think I know what was going wrong, and they are single props now too. Let me know if it works for you. Thanks for printing them by the way, they look great!