Introduction: Single Plate Adaptive Drone Platform
One of the most exciting developments in the greater Maker community recently has been the maturation of "drone" designs, electronic autopilot systems, and flight control software. In 3D content outlets there do not seem to be many choices as far as robust customizable drone platforms, until now. This platform prints fully on one plate in it's assembled orientation. The most important interfaces print on the build plate to limit errors and variation. After several strategic tabs are broken the platform is ready to have motors, ESCs, and electronics installed. When the drone is fully assembled and ready for the field the platform folds for easy storage and transport.
Step 1: Print Out Solid Part File
Step 1 is to print out the solid part file. The file is attached. There are support features built in so it isn't necessary to use Slic3r or similar software to generate break away support material. You may use these features but you are on your own as far as post processing because it may be difficult to clear the support material from the tight spaces. The platform is specifically designed to print with the top side on the plate as shown to ensure the important interfaces have minimal warp.
Step 2: Remove Support Tabs
There are support tabs around the platform that must be clipped. The tabs to be clipped are shown by the arrows in the images. There are identical tabs on the opposite side of each image, 16 in total. Using angled snips is recommended but an Exact-O-Knife would work just as well.
Step 3: Break Arm Rotation Features
Rotate each arm about the platform mounts as shown to break the designed rotational fixture features shown in the other image. These features allow the arms to be rotated at several angles and fixed which is aided by the hinge like design and compression thumb screw. The platform is designed for a #8-32 thread that is 1/2" in length and a standard hexagonal nylon lock nut. The thumb screw shown also has a hex socket built in for extra torque if necessary.
Step 4: Add Motors, ESCs, and Electronics
The final step is to add motors, ESCs, and electronics to suit. The motor mounts are designed to support 16mm to 18mm hole patterns with the center cut-out allowing air flow and potentially a dual shaft motor. The red circles show the mounts for many common Flight Controller boards which support 30 and 30.5mm square patterns. The blue circle shows the mounting holes and zip tie slots to secure extra hardware or batteries. The front and back faces have two holes for mounting cameras, gimbals, or any other extra hardware.