TriCopter RC Explorer V.2

by jphillips, published

TriCopter RC Explorer V.2 by jphillips Mar 28, 2013
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UPDATE: There were a few small errors on the Top and Bottom. I have realigned the screw holes, changed all nut traps to 6.5mm across. There are three nut traps that are shallower than those that are extruded into a solid this is to retain strength. I suggest you use next M3 x 20mm screw for these three. I have also added counter bore holes to the top so that 16mm screw reaches and it is easier to Velcro electronics on top.

This is a fully 3D printable Tricopter based on the RC Explorer V2.5 by David Windestål. There are 6 Parts that need to be printed and then it can be assembled using 3mm screw and nuts, and some zip ties.
For details on light control board from Rx please see:http://www.teaching-innovation.com/shop/alternate-pcbs/ledcontroller/

Flying demo with lights:

See video detail of rear yaw assembly.


  1. Print out all parts with 30% density for extra strength.
  2. Buy parts HobbyKing from parts list bellow.
  3. Goto http://rcexplorer.se/projects/2011/09/the-tricopter-v2-5/
  4. Assemble body using M3 x 16mm Hex screws and nuts as per list of parts. (And M3 x 20mm for three shallow holes.)
  5. Assemble rear yaw assembly using M4 x 30 or 40mm) and nylon lock nut (same as props)
  6. Zip tie components on following David's Instruction
  7. Enjoy flying and be SAFE.


Qty Part Link Total
1 GWS EP Propeller (RD-1047 254x119mm) (6pcs/set) http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=10055&aff=301613 $4.47
1 Servo Extention Lead 420mm (5pcs/bag) http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=10412&aff=301613 $2.52
4 Turnigy Pure-Silicone Wire 16AWG (1mtr) Red http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9681&aff=301613 $3.96
1 Nylon XT60 Connectors Male/Female (5 pairs) GENUINE http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9572&aff=301613 $3.19
1 Scorpion Lipoly Lock Strap 205mm (Small) x 3 http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=17410&aff=301613 $4.64
1 10CM Male to Male Servo Lead (JR) 26AWG (10pcs/set) http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=21758&aff=301613 $4.00
1 PolyMax 3.5mm Gold Connectors 10 PAIRS (20PC) http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=68&aff=301613 $1.50
1 TURNIGY BESC Programming Card http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=2169&aff=301613 $6.95
3 hexTronik DT750 Brushless Outrunner 750kv http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=6247&aff=301613 $32.91
1 Turnigy Pure-Silicone Wire 16AWG (1mtr) BLACK http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9680&aff=301613 $0.99
3 TURNIGY Plush 18amp Speed Controller http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=4312&aff=301613 $33.15
1 BMS-385DMAX Digital Servo (Metal Gear) 4.2kg / .15sec / 16.5g http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=8761&aff=301613 $20.02
1 OrangeRx R615 Spektrum/JR DSM2 Compatible 6Ch 2.4Ghz Receiver http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=28554&aff=301613 $5.89
1 Turnigy 2200mAh 3S 25C Lipo Pack http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=8934&aff=301613 $8.99
1 Hobbyking KK2.0 Multi-rotor LCD Flight Control Board http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=24723&aff=301613 $29.99
1 Hex Screw M3x16 (20pcs) http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=12314&aff=301613 $1.83
1 Hex locknuts M3 10pc http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=6368&aff=301613 $0.79
1 Hex locknuts M4 10pc http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=6369&aff=301613 $0.79

Total $166.58

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Hey jphillips, thank you for taking the time to make this and upload it. I just printed the top and bottom plates for use in my first Tricopter, but have a few questions. I noticed that towards the front, there are screw holes that pass all the way through on the top plate. There are nut traps on the bottom plate, but no holes are present. This is an easy fix with a drill, but was this intentional?

Also, I noticed that the nut traps for the two center holes are a bit larger. Are they for M4 nuts, instead of M3?


Will this design work with 1/2" (12.7mm) wooden booms? Unfortunately I don't have easy access to metric-sized wooden booms since I live in the USA.

I love this idea you have, could you print me one out, [email protected], I don't have a 3d printer

Hey, any chance this can be edited to have 10mm and 12mm wooden arms being fit to the tail assembly, that would be great, 8mm is way to brittle imho.

Hi Tekker,

I have uploaded original autodesk files. Not sure but they should be able to be edited with 123d which is free or fusion on Mac. All of the arms are 10mm not 8mm. I currently don't have time to modify parts to 12mm.

Greetings, your files ain't opening in 123D

Thanks a bunch, I'll try this to make it work on a 12mm boom.
And you are idd right, it's 10mm, have printed this out and it is.

Any updates? Any way to make this work with 12-12.7mm booms?

These work great for the most part, but I had a few hiccups with parts breaking and all. Though, for the most part, they work awesome.

I just opened the new top plate, and there are 4 holes in that are the correct distance away to mount the KK board on, but they seem to be in the wrong orientation. Is that what these holes are intended for, or are they for something else?

Your design looks great but i tried to print the top frame and its printing upside down. How can i flip it or can you. I would think the top of the tri would print and at the end it would start on the support sections that hold the booms.

Hi Mopar,
I just downloaded the ".thing" file and it is orientated correctly with the flat side on the platform and the support facing up. Maybe you downloaded the ".stl" file. You should be able to reorientate your model in the MakerWare software. Please let me know if this is not correct.

yea i downloaded the .stl and ran it through slic3r

I just open the .stl files in netfabb, it has a free version and works pretty well to just flip .stl files.

that does work great thanks but how to you save it as an stl

I just printed these and did a test assembly (I'm actually waiting for hobbyking stuff to arrive, but what the hey). There are a couple of problems I noticed so far with the current parts that you have uploaded. The main one is that the front corner holes for the top and bottom do not match up. A minor note - for some reason, the nut traps in the middle of the bottom are not the same size as the other m3 nut traps.

Hi Lenbok,
Sorry for the delay. I have fixed the errors and printed a set to verify they were correct. I deleted all of the old STL and uploaded a new set. They have the same names but have been modified today. Uploaded a photo when you have Made it!

Will do! A friend and I are both making one. Good to see the updated pics / vid of yours.

Hi Lenbok,
Thanks for letting me know there was a problem with the design. I had made a few modifications just before I uploaded but didn't get a chance to test print them. I have resolved the problems and printed a set of new parts to verify there are no more issues. I have not yet uploaded these to thingiverse. I will try and do it over the weekend.

Ill take some video in the next few days. Very happy with it's performance. I hade a crash into a tree over the weekend (pilot error) and the I broke a prop and a wooden arm but not any of the printed parts.

Any vids of it flying, I was looking at drawing out a tricopter for use with a kk2 board, this may save me the trouble.