Introduction: Xcompact: How to Make a Portable Drone

Hello everyone!

In this instructable I would like to show the concept of a foldable frame, that is used in our Xcompact frames. The general goal is to make the drone as portable as possible. So I will describe the tricks we used.

You will need (see the first pic)

1) CFK/GFK/Plexiglass or simmilar for the plates

Considering 500mm drone, the thickness should be from 1.5mm for CFK/GFK and from 3mm for plastics. This design was made simple so that you can produce the plates even without CNC.

2) Clamps

8 x one-sided (silver), note M3 thread

8 x standard (red), note that supplied screws are M2.5x26mm (too short), I had to order M2.5x30 to fix 2mm plates

3) Tubes (length for 500mm frame)

4 x 210x16mm for arms

2 x 191x16mm for body

4) Other

6-10 x M3 standoffs, I am using nylon 22mm, but it is not strict here

Rubber balls, I am using ones for 5mm holes and 8 mm between plates distance

M3 screws for silver clamps and M3 standoffs

4 x M2.5 standoffs, quite a rare thing, you might consider printing your own

4 x M2.5 screws for M2.5 standoffs

Step 1: Assemble Front and Rear Blocks (don't Tighten)

Althought each can be the front one, and even the whole frame can be turned upsidedown.

It will depend on your intentions as this design is quite flexible.

Step 2: Insert the "body" Tubes (tighten Hard)

Trick 1: You see that with this design various copter sizes are possible (our largest prototype is little over 700mm)

Step 3: Assemble Arms

Here you can use an alternative 3D printable holder, note that its length will depend on the frame size.

You can find it on Thingiverse, together with other parts, like motor holders.

Step 4: Fix Arms and Insert Rubber Balls

In order to get a square frame, certain tube lengths should be used for each frame size.

Be patient with rubber balls ; )

Step 5: Assemble the Antivibration Module

This one on the first pic definitevly requires customisation (see second pic for example), please don't use it as it is!

Trick 2: If you will manage to put electronics, batery and camera on the same antivibration module, then the vibration damping would be more efficient due to larger mass (thanks to Luke Cooke)

Step 6: Attach the Module to the Frame

This is probably the most annoying part.

Make sure beforehand that the holes will fit.

Trick 3: As you might already notice, arms are folding in different planes - this saves a lot of space (see pics 3,4)

Trick 4: Special motor holders are used to level propellers (GFK or plastic).

That's it for the concept.

I will leave here just the basic files. Feel free to contact me with any ideas and questions!

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