Introduction: Quadcopter Frame Design (fiberglass).
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I'm a 17 year old student in South Africa with a passion for RC helicopters quad copters and planes
RC Quad-copters are becoming a craze throughout the RC world, and its no surprise as these machines are extremely fun and rewarding to fly. One of the main problems however when starting in Quad-copters (as i found out) is finding a strong cheap reliable and well designed frame. My fist attempts at a frame were extremely heavy monsters of aluminum tubes and steel bolts.
This drove me to search for a better frame made of composite materials specifically G10 fiberglass.
Unfortunately frames from common Quad-copter shops can be very expensive and not very well engineered or suited to my needs.
Because of this I decided to Design my own frame to suit my every need.
This instructable focuses on the frame rather than electronics and motors however i will give some guidance on appropriatly sized
motors and such.
Step 1: The Design
The design is made up of a very secure "ball" that protects the electronics and attaches the arms, making it extremely crash proof.
The arms are reversible so you can fly with some motors facing up and some down, all the while maintaining the correct thrust line.
The Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC) have their own mounting boards, with appropriate mounting plates.
The Motors lie inboard of the arms for additional protection.
There is a LARGE battery bay with mounting strap holes.
The electronics platform, is large, to accommodate even the most complex installation.
The Design is also fully modular for easy replacement of parts.
No glue is used. There are some nylon bolts for easy assembly and changing out of parts / sections of the Quad Copter.
The fiberglass board and my design makes for an extremely strong and high crash resistant Quad Copter.
A GoPro or any other suitably sized camera can be mounted directly to the top or bottom, of the Quad Copter.
A Sonar sensor has it's own mount place, on landing gear, with clear visibility of the ground
The whole structure is VERY LIGHT and hence gives increased flight time.
Step 2: Tools and Materials
All parts were designed by me over a three month period, using SKETCHUP a free 3D cad software from Google.
All renders are done using ShaderLight.
I used a local cnc miling shop to cut all the parts.
The fiberglass G10 board is 1.5mm thick and can be bought from http://www.mcmaster.com/
Any flight controller can be used, including:
ArduCopter from DIY DRONES - an open source Quad copter initiative
The Props and Motors I used, are from DIY DRONES STORE
Props are:10 X 4.7inch
Motors are 450 size
30mm nylon spacers
10mm nylon spacers
M3 nylon bolts 6mm
Battery 2200mah 3s or more (3 cell or more)
Step 3: Assembly
THE DESIGN and hence the assembly is made as simple as possible.
- Assemble the arms with motor mounts and ESC mounts
- Assemble main ball (electronics platform)
- Using the Nylon bolts, specified, bolt the arms and landing gear to ball in the configuration of your choice.
Use the pictures to guide you.
Step 4: Video
Step 5: Whats Next?
My Current project is to add a camera gimbal to the Quad Copter Design.
This is my current project, a full two axis camera gimbal that attaches directly to the Quad frame.
The Camera Gumbal fits in place of the landing gear, and hence you can use either the standard frame / landing gear for flying, or have a camera platform with incorporated landing gear..
To buy an equivalent gimbal costs hundreds of dollars. I can't afford this, and hence i desperately need the prototyping ability that having a shop bot will grant me, to complete this second phase of my design.
This really is an awesome project but i need your help to make it a reality.