3d Printed Gimbal

Multi-Rotor BASE from Mikey B on Vimeo.

Here is some recent footage from my printed brushless gimbal edited together with the rest of the footage from the "adventure".  All in all I am very happy with how everything is working.  It has been a long journey to get to this point.  I'm sure I could have bought everything and saved myself a lot of heartache but what I learned designing, printing, testing, crashing (many times) and learning is worth much more than just an off the shelf product!

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  • Wow, that's absolutely incredible.. and brave.  Lol at person jumping off of wind turbine blade, looks like an insect, just shows how gigantic these are!

    I'm printing 3D gimbals, motor mounts, landing gear, fuselage, whole quadcopter, basically everything that might break.  It's kept me flying, if I break something I don't order it and wait, I print it and keep flying.  When considering the shipping costs, (the few dollars for any one part is not the problem), and the waiting, it's not that fun otherwise.  Like you, I've learned a lot more by crashing than by flying!

    I too experienced the pain of designing 3D printed parts (had to make my own quick change print head for Makerbot Replicator 2x just to eliminate some of the 'requires engineering support' aspects and make it a real prototyping tool), and the realization that you *can* design it that way, but good luck printing it.  Especially with larger parts.  I also found that with some of the parts I'm making, there would have to be a $100K mold with four gates in it to injection mold, or would require EDM, or not even manufacturable at all any other way.

    There is more than a complimentary relationship between these technologies (UAVs and 3D printing).  When I make a part, and assign it ABS material in Solidworks, I get a model weight that, when compared to the printed version is more than twice as heavy.  And the 3D printed parts often have very thick walls, something that simply can't be done without shrinkage and warping with injection molding.  Because these thick walled parts are as little as 15% "fill", the printed parts are 40% of the weight and stronger than their molded counterparts.  Also, part function can be combined - once you have two parts that work, you can integrate functions and make one part, and.. the part that's left of the airplane is the one that's bound not to fail!

    My most recent uQuad (uSwiftBot) is an entirely printed frame MAV.  It flies 8 minutes instead of the hobby version 5 minutes.  It's 22g, and the hobby version is 20g.  I'm still trying to figure out why its so much more efficient.  Ideas anyone?


    About wind power, and maybe another incredible UAV application:

    Having just experienced a bunch of engineering friends lose their job over wind power (Clipper wind power), I know all too well that one of the reasons wind power is actually a _major failure_ is the maintenance aspect, somebody has to climb up and check out those blades, routinely, seemingly a great job for a robotic drone (not manual flying!).  Who knows, maybe it can even be done without stopping the blades (this has to be done to inspect, of course, it's a big deal).  Nothing about the technology is 'free', I seriously doubt that the ROI is achieved before it breaks.  Just take a look at the size of those blades, and the size of the tower, and the size of the 'nacelle', and how dangerous it is to maintain these.. all too expensive.

This reply was deleted.