A practical approach to RC planes

3D Printed Quad Build

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BackyardRC’s 3D Printed Quad Kit

Most of last week’s evening were spent finalizing the Solidworks design for our new BackyardRC Quad Kit. On August 3rd’s post I shared the first revision of the new 3D printed motor mount. Quickly followed with the second version early last week and by Thursday the legs, center hub, and Ardupilot mount were fully designed and mocked up in Solidworks.

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Fist printed quad leg

Thursday afternoon the printing started in ernest. Each motor mount took just under two hours. While each leg took about two hours and fourty five minutes on the Cube.

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Mock up version one – where mount met leg

I could not be more happy with the results. The parts fit so well together. The beveled edges of the motor mount alighted perfectly with the raised edges of the leg. The mounting holes and hardware guides worked perfectly.

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building booms

After about 16 hours of printing the four booms were finally assembled. Motors attached, ESCs fixed, and wires tied down.

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center hub v1.0

Friday evening brought forth the marathon print of the center hub. With dowel mounts, bolt holds, power distribution board mounts, and a battery lead guide this print took just over six and a half hours.

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nearly done…

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top view

The finished product turned out to be a bit thicker and heavier than planned but nothing we can’t manage with. I have tentative plans to redesign the center hub someday… guess we’ll see but this one being so bullet proof I may never need another one.

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test fitting the booms

I quickly mounted the power distro board and mocked up the booms. Everything aligns well and is rock solid.

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oooo white, how fancy

While mocking up everything I started the custom top plate. Running low on black I switched over to white filament.

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BackyardRC’s Aurdopilot TopPlate

I was not disappointed. The top plate looks awesome! With ardupilot raised mounting, BackyardRC logo, and in white this part looks show room ready!

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The finished build

Saturday was the fist scheduled test flight. And in all the excitement to get the new quad off the ground I didn’t even setup the GoPro… what a mistake. After some initial bench testing without the props I raced to see her fly. And rushing is not a good thing. The first flight lasted about .00005 of a second. I powered up to about 25% throttle and the unbalanced prop hubs must have thrown the ardupilot into chaos because it instantly wanted to bank hard forward. Powering up two motors to 100% and whipping the quad hard into the ground inverted.

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The first casualty

The result was a broken boom dowel and motor mount. Luckily nothing else. But being far from the shop this meant quick reprints and repairs were out of the question. She was grounded before she even had a change.

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printing a replacement motor mount

Sunday back at the shop I had the opportunity to print a replacement part. And for me this is where the power of DIY and home 3D printing comes into full effect. Within 20 minutes of printing the quad was fully put back together. No long lead times for shipment of replacement parts. Or even worst your model is no longer manufactured and parts can’t be sourced. WIth Backyard DIY designs you always have the means to rebuild!

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All patched up

With the quad back together I did the wise thing and put here back on the shelf. Before she flys I’ll have to come up with a vibration isolation system. My first thoughts are to use earplugs as shock absorbers. So it’s back to the workbench.

Shortly I’ll post ll the STL files for these prints up on Thingiverse. Stay Tuned!


On another note with the quad grounded I did get in some sweet flight time on the foam board F22 with plenty of air and ground footage curtsy of QSOPC. I’m deep in the editing room now and should have a the footage up by the end of the week!



3 responses to “3D Printed Quad Build

  1. Pingback: Anti-vibration to the rescue | BackyardRC

  2. Pingback: QuadCopter Top Plate for Ardupilot - 3D Searcher

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