Joe's FPV QuadCopter variant

by JoeMattie, published

Joe's FPV QuadCopter variant by JoeMattie Feb 12, 2013

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This is a spin-off of MikeyB's excellent 3D Printed Quadcopter. I have made a number of upgrades and modifications.

The arms are now solid. I ran several tests and the solid arms only weigh around 1.5 grams heavier when printed at 25% infill and are more rigid.

I beefed up the landing gears after having a few of mine break, and rotated the motor mounts by 45 degrees so that the wiring is neater. The ESCs mount on the bottom and are enclosed by the ESC covers.

The wiring is contained by the snap-in sidewall covers.

The top cover protects your electronics, and has a removable window for those of us with KK2 boards to facilitate tweaking the settings without having to disassemble the quad.

I also modified the top plate to accept an FC mounted in either X or + orientation.

I will update this thing as I continue to mod and update my quad.

As of right now, this is 100% tested and working in PLA. I printed the ESC covers and other cosmetic parts in ABS.


Most parts are printed at 25% infill with 2 or 3 perimeters and 2 or 3 solid layers.

You will also need some nuts and bolts for mounting everything together.

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JoeMattie , how much air time are you getting with you setup? I pretty much got everything you listed and am printing some smaller props now, but ecalc is saying that the flight time with a 2500mah 25c battery is like three minutes. This sound right?

This is a beautiful design. Thanks for sharing. I am new to quadcopters, but have been researching. I have a parts list I have found between here and the forum you posted. Does anyone know of anything else I need to add to the list? One thing I'm confused on is which of these components interfaces with the receiver that comes with the remote? Any thoughts or missed items?

D2822/14 Brushless Outrunner 1450kv

TURNIGY Plush 30amp Speed Controller

9171000033 - Hobby King Quadcopter Power Distribution..

TX-9X-M2 - Turnigy 9X 9Ch Transmitter w/ Module & 8..

9171000073 - Hobbyking KK2.0 Multi-rotor LCD Flight C..

T2200.3S.25 - Turnigy 2200mAh 3S 25C Lipo Pack

9329000111 - 9x4.7 SF Props 4pc Standard Rotation

258000012 - 20CM Male to Male Servo Lead (JR) 26AWG ..

You should get a LiPo charger for your batteries.. HobbyKing has several. Does anyone have a recco for Jmpk12? Mine is in the mail, so I cannot vouch.

Hi, excellent design!
Could you please list which of the files need to be printed and how many times per file?
Much appreciated, thanks

I probably will as soon as I have time to update this. Made a lot of changes lately

Thanks for sharing this model. If convenient, could you post additional pictures showing the detail of the wiring. I am currently assembling everything, but it would be interesting to see how you've got it all connected.

Thanks Joe! Is there a forum you could recommend? I have zero experience with this and the flight controllers confuse me, I have no idea what to get, I can't find any instructions on how to use these things, where can you find out how to "put it all together and make it work"? I assume I need to buy 4 speed controllers to control each motor. This is how much I don't know, so I would like to find a forum that can help me. Thank you


should be your first stop.

You need:

  • 4 speed controllers
  • 4 motors
  • at least 8 props (4 of each cw and ccw, because you will break them :)
  • a flight controller (I recommend the KK2.0 board to newbies, it's super simple)
  • a battery (3s, somewhere between 2500mAh and 3300mAh)
  • a receiver and transmitter
  • servo extension wires and short female-female cables for wiring stuff up
  • zip ties
  • patience
  • nuts and bolts
  • printed parts

This looks like a very cool project. I wanted to print this item, I finally got my printer working properly again and started printing this. Do you have another source for the parts to buy from the hobby stores? Almost all the parts you listed from hobby king are all on back order, or is this stuff almost always on backorder?

How much can this lift?
Total own weight?

My usual flying weight is 1445 grams. This includes:

  • 3000mAh battery
  • GPS unit
  • Sonar unit
  • Video TX
  • Camera

It can probably lift a couple lbs. I have yet to try to max it out yet though!

My usual flying weight is 1445 grams. This includes:

  • 3000mAh battery
  • GPS unit
  • Sonar unit
  • Video TX
  • Camera

It can probably lift a couple lbs. I have yet to try to max it out yet though!

What propeller size are you using with your setup?

I prefer 9x4.7s

Great! Thanks!

Hi Joe,

Thanks for all the informaiton. I'm only wondering about the ESC. One of the comments at HK page mentions these can't be flashed to SimonK because it doesn't use Atmel chip. I was looking to use these: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__25365__Turnigy_Multistar_30_Amp_Multi_rotor_Brushless_ESC_2_4S.htmlhttp://www.hobbyking.com/hobby...

Btw. there is also an OPTO version but I don't know what it means.

In any case I would need to have an AVR programmer so I was also looking at these preflashed from RCTimer that Mike sugests:

The Atmel ESCs can generally be flashed with the blheli firmware, which is basically equivalent to the simonk FW. I don't use an AVR programmer when I flash mine, just an Arduino that I've set up as one.

The preflashed ones that Mike suggests are totally the way to go though if they're in stock.

Hi Joe,
Your model looks awesome and I started printing it today. Can you provide BOM of electronics that you use?

Ok, I have stumbled into the world of Makerbot and Thingverse while searching for a new quadcopter frame. I registered to contact you directly. I am a quadcopter hobbyist and fairly new to building my own. I want to build my first FPV and came across your awesome design. Please contact me via email to discuss the details of your design. [email protected] Thank You!

How about "No?"

I've already spoken with him via email.