Build a Racing Drone - Custom 3D Printed Frame



Introduction: Build a Racing Drone - Custom 3D Printed Frame

My first build gave me some problems, but it was nevertheless a ton of fun and learning. Everything starts with the modeling of the frame, which I don't cover in this Instructables because it's more of the same. Anyway, you can download that 3D model for free on the next step!

Don't forget to comment with suggestions, questions or similar experiences!!

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Step 1: Bill of Materials

Obviously you can source your electronics wherever you want, but in case you wanna go easy or you just have some doubts about what I used, well, here's the list. You're welcome!



Step 2: Building

Covering in detail the building and calibration of a racing drone is beyond the scope of this Instructables, but I'm gonna throw some of the key points and checks:

  1. Soldering is better than plugging. There are a lot of vibrations on the quad when it's flying, and plugs can and will eventually come loose, usually crashing your drone.
  2. Be sure that the motors are tightly screwed on to the frame. For the same vibrations as before.
  3. If you plan on flying a bit, make sure that your ESCs are well cooled
  4. Make sure your battery isn't moving. A shifting battery during flight is something to fear!
  5. Last but not least: not kill anybody. With a frame this little and light you can't really kill a person, but you know, even scratching somebody's car is not a nice thing to do.

Step 3: Problems

Totally destroyed.

That's because I wanted to make a fancy frame, that had a crucial problem: no layer went through all the frame (??).

Let me explain:You know that 3D printed objects are layered, thus the weakest point is always layer adhesion. So if you print a frame that has the motors screwed not on to a common stack of layers, than the motors are most probably gonna brake off. And that's what's happened to me! Maybe with some stronger kind of plastic you can make it work, but for sure not with standard PLA.

Step 4: Rebuilding

Keep going!

I 3D printed another frame; a totally flat and boring one. But it withstood several crashes!

You can see that this time it's just a flat structure, also a little bit thicker than before. The flexibility you see in the images could have turn out to be a problem, but fortunately, for some reason, it's not (may depend on the kind of motor, FC, style of flight, etc).

Step 5: Reproblems

Apparently one of the ESCs was defective. In fact, when I tried to punch the quad one of the motors just went crazy. So I tried again. And it happened again. With the last crash, something must have gone worse than the first time, in fact the flight controller fried (sigh) and now the quad is parked on my desk.

In the images you can see the moment when the quad flips. Very nice.

Anyway, before self destroying, it worked incredibly well!

Step 6: To Be Continued...

It's for sure not nice to end up with a not working project. But getting the new components is gonna take some time (maybe 3 months?) thus I decided to publish this Intructables now, so you guys can start working on your version of the project! I'm gonna catch you up some day this year ;)

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Don't forget to comment with suggestions, questions or similar experiences!!

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