Introduction: Tri-Shift Copter

About: My main focus is on 3d printing and using Arduino boards. Secondary is using an EEG reader, for influencing controls.

This is the Tri Shift copter.

Using the spring loaded trainer switch on your Turnigy 9x transmitter, all the motors will pivot forward 45 degrees. Now with motors pivoted forward from switch and pressing forward on the stick, motors can be forward 90 degrees. Of course at 90 degrees forward the copter will drop but, will achieve maximum speed. So the the trainer switch can be thought of as a kind of turbo boost. A GoPro hangs underneath the nose and if you like to take level shots, just use the trainer switch instead of forward on the stick.

Print out extra pieces to bring with you to the field in case of a crash. Most pieces are held together by zipties and a bolt or two. So, instead of buying a store bought copter for hundreds of dollars and crashing it, so now it's broken. With the Shift, in case of a crash, just swap out the broken pieces with the extras. You can be up flying again within minutes.

These piece can also be used to build simple Tricopters and Quadcopters and now a HeliPlane.

The video, the Shift Copter is on a stand for filming. The parts for the stand are made of copter pieces also.

Notice the magnetic couplers on servos. I've stripped out a couple of metal geared servos from crashing. My dad and I came up with couplers for the servos using cylinder magnets.

Step 1: Building Arms

We'll begin the build with the two front arms and tail complete. Builds can be found here:

Right Arm

Left Arm


The pieces are free to download and print out on your printer and can be found here:

List of pieces to print out:

1) Body X2

2)GoPro Mount

3)Component Mount

4)Servo Mount X2

5)Pin Mount A X3

6)Pin Mount B X3

7)MagSplit A 0.5 X2

8)MagSplit B 0.5 X2

9)Foot X2

10)Motor Mount X6

11)90deg Tail Pin Left

12)90deg Tail Pin Right

13)Tail Pin Coupler 0.5

14)Servo Shoe 0.5

15)Body Servo Mount

16)Front Universal A X2

17)Front Universal B X2

18)MagSplit A LG 0.75

19)MagSplit B LG 0.75

20)Lower Tail Hinge X2

21)Top Tail Hinge X2

22)Rear Landing

23)Hinge Support

Step 2: Pulling Wires Through

Pull all the wires through Body piece 1 and press arms into place.

Press second number 1 Body piece on other side. Most pieces fit together in a clam shell style.

Step 3: GoPro Mount

Two bolts through the center of Body piece 1.

Piece 2 has three tabs on bottom that fit into the body piece 1. Three zipties through GoPro mount piece 2 and Body pieces 1.

Second picture is the bottom side of Shift.

Large zip ties

Bolt Set(4-40 x 1 1/4")

Step 4: Mounting Components

Pull the three sets of wires part and loosely zip them to their bars.

The Component Mount of electronics can be found here:

Component Mount

Place Component mount in perspective to picture and hookup same color wires to each other. Left ESC goes to left motor,etc..

Step 5: Securing Body

Cut the zipties holding wires to loosley to the bars.

Pull wires back toward the tail with the Component Mount. Ziptie through the center two square holes of Body, and around wires to hold them down/back.

So the battery can rest on piece 2 and wires, pull wires to the left side 90 degrees. Ziptie them together as in the second picture.

Place a ziptie between Body piece 1 and GoPro Mount 2 facing down.

Step 6: Securing Components

Four tabs on the bottom Component Mount 3, fit into holes on top of piece 2. Slip a Ziptie between controller board foam and top of Component Mount 3 facing up.

Connect the two zipties into the other and around ESCs(electronic speed controls). Zip down on each side securing Component Mount 3 to copter.

Step 7: Tying Up Wires

Using smaller 4" zipties, tie up the wiring as neatly as you can, it's a bit of an art.

Small Zipties

Step 8: Power Wire

The power harness connects the battery to the ESCs. It comes with four leg sets four a quadcopter. Don't cut the other leg or the small component power wire if there. In case you wish to use these same pieces to build a quad copter or Quad Shift! For a Quad Shift, instead of building the tail assembly, Build four front arms with two body sets and connect together. Build instructions for Quad Shift coming soon.. All the pieces are all ready there to download for the build.

Tie up power harness with battery plug at rear of Body 1.

Step 9: Rear Linkage

Print out piece Body Servo Mount 15, MagSplit A LG 0.75 18 and MagSplit B LG 0.75. Use the mounting kit included with your HS-645MG servo(rubber garments, inserts and screw), to mount servo onto piece 15.

You'll notice this servo is a little larger that the two front 225MG servos to move this larger tail assembly around. This means the coupler is larger, and needs 3/4" x 1/4" cylinder magnets. The magnets and couplers are actually an optional item. Your servos come with horns, I've just stripped out a couple of servo from crashing. The original bolt for servo isn't quite long enough and needs this new Servo Bolt.

How to assemble Universal Magnetic Copler(UMC)

Cut a two inch long piece of threaded rod. Thread the ball joint on one side and the link to the other.
Slip piece 15 onto the tail bar and then mount horn or coupler onto servo. Before mounting coupler, try to find center position of servo. Press the ball insert of the threaded rod onto the ball mounted on tail assembly. Slide piece 15 with servo along tail bar so the length of the linkage lines up. Ziptie piece 15 onto bar and attach linkage.

Threaded rod

Ball Linkage

Servo link

Servo Bolt

Step 10: Front Linkage

Front couplers use 1/2" x 1/4" cylinder magnets and again, are optional for saving the servo from a crash.

How to assemble Servo Linkage

Also, there extra pics above to explain coupler.

Step 11: Mounting GoPro

Cut four 1/4" wooden dowels 1" long and press them into Foot piece 9. Putting some 5min epoxy into the hole of piece 9 is a good idea.

This variation of the TriShift has a low profile and the GoPro is not in it's housing. Instead of clipping in underneath, it has a ziptie through piece two. The ziptie is going around the camera with two sided foam tape between.

Step 12: Extra Ideas and Pictures

If you wish to build the version that's in the beginning video, there are canopy mounts that can be made from the Filament2 Tricopter build.

Above is a couple of pics I like and a wiring schematic.

Step 13: Earlier Pics of the HeliPlane, the Real HeliPlane Is OUT!

The end result of these pieces or goal is for a downloadable HeliPlane. These same pieces currently released can build up Tricopters, QuadCopters, TriShift and QuadShift. Working to soon release the rest of the parts for the Heliplane above.

I've just purchased the domain name

When the rest of the pieces are ready to be released, will be

There should be a Tri and Quad version available.

Again pieces are free to download at Thingiverse if you have a printer.

Uploading pieces soon to a site that makes the pieces in different colors for purchase if you don't have a printer yet.

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