Printable Accessory-Cage Based Quadcopter Airframe

Greetings all,

I think this is my first post here, and I would like to share a design I came up with.


I'm flying by manual-control only at the moment (first flights were this weekend) but my objective is to work on automated flight. Also, I've been looking for an excuse for years to develop my own LIDAR system, so hopefully I can figure something out with that.

Anyway, my idea here was to have a modular way of adding and removing components, avoiding the rubber-band and tape philosophy. The accessory cage is meant to hold just about everything, and is comprised of four vertical graphite tubes that I use for adding or removing 3D-printed stages to hold the various components. That is, the flight controller, battery, ESCs, etc. each sit in their own carriers that slip on and off and can be repositioned as one sees fit. I have a basic "starting point" CAD model for an accessory stage, and I modify it as needed for whatever component I want to add.

The design needs a bit of refinement: Primarily, it needs a better thermal break between the motors and the [low-melting temperature] PLA airframe. It also has underside LED lighting (not visible in the pictures) that I would like to make removable for wiring access in the next version. Once I'm really happy with it though I would like to upload the files to the Thingiverse for those with a 3D printer, if anyone is interested. I'll also include the "starting point" file an accessory stage, as well as the Inventor part files (2009) for anyone with access to that program.

You'll note in the pics that the flight controller is simply supported in its stage, so I should also work out an isolation web for it (maybe something like a shock mount for those old-timey microphones).

I wasn't going to go crazy, but I couldn't help myself and made a little Youtube video:

Some more pics. Just sharing:


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  • Developer

    Nice. Arms and joints look very sturdy.

    If you want more exposure, you should make a blog about it.

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