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3D Printed Mini Racing Quadcopter

Posted by AlexY 
3D Printed Mini Racing Quadcopter
September 06, 2015 02:14PM
Hey all,
This is a project that I completed recently, a mini quadcopter that uses a fully 3D-printed frame. So when I crash, I can just reprint the broken parts and be back in the air again in no time! The quad is surprisingly fast and agile, and with a 4-cell battery installed it's like a rocket.

I used the Cloneout Mini H frame from [www.thingiverse.com]. The arms I extended a few mm to accommodate 6 inch props.
Here's my printer making the pieces for the frame.

Here's the camera mounted to the quad, which records my flights in 1080p 60fps. It's a Xiaomi Yi cam, and is mounted using a printed piece I designed, a rubber band, and velcro. The mini quad also has a separate camera (below) for first-person view video transmission.

I added some bright red LEDS to the back for orientation when flying line-of-sight.

The quad looked like this after a particularly nasty crash (I tried doing a combination roll and backflip but ran out of height sad smiley).

Fully repaired and ready to go again!

Finally, here's a compilation video I made of clips I took from various flights: https://youtu.be/RE3I6J5cAXA.

Let me know what you think!
Re: 3D Printed Mini Racing Quadcopter
September 08, 2015 12:32PM
Cool! I wish I had such green and empty surroundings here too.
Re: 3D Printed Mini Racing Quadcopter
September 08, 2015 04:28PM
It's actually been a bit of a challenge finding good places to fly; the field close to where I live (most of the sunset clips in the video are from there) is limited on the sides by trees so it's not as big as it looks. Out of all the places I've flown, I think I like the field at a local park the best (most of the daytime flips/aerobatics in the video are from there), though it's quite a bit farther out.
Re: 3D Printed Mini Racing Quadcopter
September 08, 2015 04:41PM
The frame arms seem a bit more fragile than their carbon fiber counterparts. A relatively low crash onto asphalt when doing some night flying yesterday broke all 4 props and the left rear arm. Though that's probably because I was trying to save plastic and printed the pieces at 60% infill...I'll try 100% on the arms to see if they're any stronger than they are now.
Re: 3D Printed Mini Racing Quadcopter
September 08, 2015 05:02PM
You may also try with a different plastic (I don't know which one you are currently using).

I have never built such a thing before, but it looks really cool. Where did you get all the components? I have seen on Ebay and Aliexpress that there are motors and many other parts.
Re: 3D Printed Mini Racing Quadcopter
September 08, 2015 05:36PM
I printed the parts in PLA since my printer doesn't have a heatbed, though ABS would probably be a better choice since it's less brittle. I might get a heated bed soon so I'll give it a try.

The parts were mainly from Hobbyking.com (batteries, radio, speed controllers, wiring harness) and Banggood.com (motors, FPV camera and transmitter, flight controller, recording camera). Order from their China warehouses to get the best price, but if you want them to arrive quicker they have regional warehouses in other countries as well. Additional parts came from eBay (video goggles, FPV antennas, charger, some bolts/nuts), and I got the LED strip from a friend who had some extra lengths.

Here are the quad's specs, you can use something similar if you want to build one:

Motors: DYS BE1806

Speed controllers: Afro ESC 12a

Zippy 1800mah 25c 3s + Gemfan 6030 props (cruising)
Nanotech 1300mah 25c 4s + Gemfan 5045 props (aerobatics)

Flight Controller: CC3D

Radio: TGY-i6 + ia6 receiver (bundled together)

FPV gear: Eachine ET600 video transmitter + 700tvl CMOS camera bundle

Video goggles: Fatshark Attitude v2 (these are pretty expensive even though I bought them used on eBay, so if you are getting started with FPV check out the $30 Quanum FPV goggle kit)

Recording camera: Xiaomi Yi (not strictly necessary but nice to have if you want to save your flights or share them with others)

I highly recommend building one of these mini quads. They're both super fun to fly and a rewarding experience to build and customize.
Re: 3D Printed Mini Racing Quadcopter
September 08, 2015 05:45PM
looks like a Christmas tree
Re: 3D Printed Mini Racing Quadcopter
September 08, 2015 06:15PM
Thanks for the info!

Since the parts to print are not so thick, you may try printing ABS on cold bed with no risk of delamination. I have never tried that, but I managed to print Colorfabb XT (a kind of PETG filament, if I remember well) on cold glass with PVA glue, which is less brittle than PLA, and really hard to break. By the way, Colorfabb PLA/PHA filaments are also infinitely less brittle than ESUN PLA or other cheap PLA brands.
Re: 3D Printed Mini Racing Quadcopter
September 08, 2015 11:10PM
The arms are a bit long so they might not work in ABS on an unheated bed. For now I'll just print with more infill until I get a heated bed.
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