Picture of 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.

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Step 1: The design

Picture of The design
Chris v1 (Craig Burden's conflicted copy 2011-11-15).jpg

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.

minispud2 months ago

Did you make the camera gimbal, if so could you show us how and where it would fit on to your Quadcopter, the design of which is brilliant and the fact you designed it on Google Sketch Up. I also must agree with Ipray1 and say you could be a good Engineer

esl7213 months ago

Elegant design! Where can I download the .dxf or SketchUp files?

Thank you

lpray15 months ago

Great job! You could be a very successful engineer.

Squidyman9 months ago

This is awesome!

Not really what I was after, but very awesome! I will be hopefully building a custom Carbon Fiber frame soon. They cost way to much, so I figure that I can build a cheaper one. Hopefully it will be durable!

oh and btw there are many places to buy affordable gimbals now. Here is one that I will buy soon. This should do everything you need it too.

Hope it helps!
(you will need to mod your landing gear though, but given your creativity, that should not be a problem)


brandcompany10 months ago

Amazing design. Also waiting on the article to help mount the cameras.

dkennedy1812 months ago

Hi. Hoping all is still going well. I'm also in SA and would like to make contact to chat about the components (frame specifically). Thanks for your time.

mirws1 year ago
Hi.. its great frame design for quad.
I see in your video, you put 2 of the motors facing down with the arms on the upper side. I just wondering if that both motors still facing up just like the others with the arms on the upper side.. this will give a space for camera to get clear view, right?
Oh once more, do you share your cad design for public? Can I get it?
Btw, thanks for your idea in quadcopter frame design here...
Waiting of Camera mount article)
Jaz_Allen1 year ago
I love your design, would definitely fancy trying to build my own, and tinker with the camera gimble. Are the DXF files available to download anywhere?
danallen822 years ago
Awesome design! The ability to reverse the rear props is not only cool but functional. You created a passive orientational frame.

BTW did you know of any places to get cheap G-10? I can't find good prices. To make your design would probably cost $80+.
xyz_dude2 years ago
hi, cool design where is the dxf download? dont see on page 3 u said.,
jamess18052 years ago
How much would it cost me to purchase this frame kit from you? And, how is your gimble design coming along?
HaoAsacura2 years ago
Hi, how can I download de DXF files? I can´t find the links
itod2 years ago
Have you published DXF files for the camera gimbal? Did you made any gimbal prototype?
Bongmaster3 years ago
what main controller board u using?

I been playing about with KK multicopter board, and multiWii.
yet to make something that flys yet but doing tests with servos and stuff to see wat is more stable and can be promising
starkec (author)  Bongmaster3 years ago
Im using the Arducopter flight controller from DIYdrones
It works very well and is in constant development as it too is an open source project.
starkec (author) 3 years ago
If you look at the picture in step 3 there is a tag showing the location of a 10mm by 10mm scale reference box. :)