Considerations for an Official Tri-Copter Frame?

I'm starting to see tri-copters becoming more and more popular, so I'm asking the DIYDrones community if there is any interest in making a tri-copter frame that has interchangeable parts with the quad-copter frame.


I've put together a rough draft of a 2D laser cut sketch of a possible main board and carrier board. I think the only thing that would require some change other than the two boards would be the dome ring. The rest of the parts should be the same, and we can even use the standard quadcopter power distribution board too. I'm not very good at 3D modeling, but I'm hoping this could be a community effort.


And here are the 2D Illustrator files:

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3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on June 20, 2011 at 2:38pm
Very cool idea! Just a note that the ArduCopter parts are polycarbonate, which is tougher than acrylic and not typically laser cut. (Jdrones CNC's most of its parts).
Comment by Ethan Ferrell on June 20, 2011 at 2:48pm

I didn't know that. From the pictures it looks like a nylon sheet.


I'm hoping that this can be a good starting point for a new standard tri-copter. I'll see if I can get some 3D models done unless someone more talented than me wants to work on it :).

Comment by Jeff Taylor on June 20, 2011 at 5:30pm
That's a great idea Ethan, keep us updated with your progress!
Comment by Luke on June 21, 2011 at 12:47am
I have been flying a tri recently and while it is relatively easy to make your own, more kits would be nice as an option. There really are not many available that I could find when I was researching it. And of course none designed to mount an APM.

One aspect which can be tricky is the yaw servo. But there are as many approaches as there are people flying tris, so plenty to choose from.

Anyway I'd be interested to see a nice, inexpensive design. There are indeed a great many people flying these now, but I have not heard of many using them with an autopilot. Hopefully that will change.

Comment by Jani Hirvinen on June 21, 2011 at 1:45am

ArduCopter Tri frame is almost out from the door along with ArduCopter Hexa frames. Both frames follows original look and feel with some improvements.


Tri frame is more tricky to do due it has to have tilt capability on tail rotor.


Comment by Jani Hirvinen on June 21, 2011 at 2:31am

And just as a pre-tasters or teasers.. Here is first pictures of ArduCopter Tri Frame. There are few things to do with it but we are close. First it will be available on jDrones and after that mode widely.


ArduCopter Tri frame with Tilt tail rotor

Comment by Ethan Ferrell on June 21, 2011 at 7:02am
When you say "first it will be available on jDrones and after that mode widely," you mean you'll release the designs as an open source build?
Comment by Don Brooks on December 14, 2011 at 12:20pm

This thread died, and jdrones still hasn't released a tricopter frame...

Ethan, do you mind if I use your illustrator designs and try to fit them into Ponoko?

I may also use some of the arch artwork from the quad and put it all together in one project that can hopefully fit two full frame kits on one P2 size job. I just need to move the arch centers from 4 notches at 90 to 3 notches at 120... unless someone has vector drawings of that already!

Comment by Ethan Ferrell on December 14, 2011 at 1:24pm

Sure go for it. I'm glad it's not going to waste :P.

Comment by Don Brooks on December 14, 2011 at 6:43pm

A first try. I'm going to print it and try and get an idea how it all fits together before making a test order on Ponoko. Not too long though, 2.3 mm P2 size delrin is free right now!


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