This is the second iteration of my vectored thrust Tricopter!
Important: See [Instructions] tab for parts list, link to custom flight controller firmware, and build tips.
I've built two versions using these parts, described by the length of the front (cross) tube:
- 100w motors
- 7 x 4.5 x 3 props
- 1300 - 1500 mAh 3S battery
- no battery tray
- 286w motors
- 8 x 4.5 or 9 x 4.5 props
- 3000 mAh 3S or 4S battery
- battery tray
- camera / FPV capable
- can easily carry a GoPro Hero 3 / 4
These are my variants, but feel free to be creative and try something different!!
Video demo of the smaller (290mm) tri: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejAiD1Q9Bf4
WARNING: I'm assuming you have some experience with DIY remote control multicopters or aircraft. If not, you're probably going to need (a lot of) help from a friend that does to build this.
Note: I printed all the parts at 0.2mm from PLA on my Printrbot Simple Metal. YMMV
Download & read "Excelsior-TopPlateBuildInstructions.pdf" from the Files tab before starting to see what's involved.
3D Print Checklist
- 1 x excelsior_top_plate_b
- 1 x excelsior_bottom_plate OR excelsior_bottom_plate_camera
- 2 x 12mm-tube-MotorMount3b
- 1 x TriYawMountBase-2 (I printed "servo" side down, with support)
- 1 x TriYawMountPlate
- 2 x 12mm_collar
- 1 x 12mm_sleeve_servo_arm
- 1 x servo_arm
- 1 x battery-mount-plate-12mm-tube (optional, recommended for 390mm version)
For the tubes: In my experience, 12mm carbon fiber tubes cut easily with a hacksaw or dremel, but try to avoid breathing the resulting dust. I hear the resins used to make them can be harmful.
Parts Checklist: Both Variations
- 1 x Flip32 / Flip32+ / Naze32 flight controller board
- 1 x OrangeRX R100, Spektrum Satellite, or standard RX
- 1 x 12mm Hobbyking Tube Clamp Mount
- 2 x Turnigy TGY-50090M Metal Gear 9g Servos (or equiv)
- 4 x 5.6mm x 36mm M3 Nylon Threaded Spacers (these go between the top & bottom plates)
- 4 x 5.6mm x 12mm M3 Nylon Threaded Spacers (for FC board)
- M3 nylon screws & nuts
- M3 x 20mm hex screws (set screws for motor mounts, collars, servo arm collar, yaw mount)
- M3 nuts
- XT60 to 3 X 3.5mm bullet power Breakout Cable (or whatever you want to use for battery / power distribution)
- 3mm pin ~28mm long (for tail yaw hinge)
- I used a cut piece of 3mm steel rod, but other materials will probably work.
- Zip ties, velcro strap (for battery), wire / heat shrink tubing, misc hardware (bullet connectors or whathaveyou depending on the specific motors / ESCs you get.)
Parts Checklist: Alpha 290mm variant
- 1 x ~250mm x 12mm carbon fiber tube (tail boom)
- 1 x ~290mm x 12mm carbon fiber tube (main motor arm)
- 3 x Turnigy D2822/17 1100kv 100W motors (or equiv)
- 3 x Turnigy Plush 10amp 9g ESCs (or equiv)
- 3 x 7x4.5x3 blade props (or similar. I used two sets of counter rotating props.)
- ZIPPY Compact 1800mAh 3S 25C Lipo (or similar)
Parts Checklist: Bravo 390mm variant
- 1 x ~400mm x 12mm carbon fiber tube (tail boom)
- 1 x ~390mm x 12mm carbon fiber tube (main motor arm)
- you could probably actually make the tubes the same length in either direction
- 3 x NTM Prop Drive Series 28-26A 1200kv / 286w (or equiv)
- 3 x Afro 20A ESCs (or equiv)
- 3 x 8x4.5 or 9x4.5 props
- I'd stick with 8" or smaller for a 4S batt
- 3000mAh 3S 25C Lipo
- or similar. Might also try 4S if you're feeling brave and want some crazy speed
Flight Control Software
Modified Cleanflight-1.8.0 hex file for Naze32
IMPORTANT: See my blog post about configuring this before using it!