3D Printed Modular Quadcopter

I've been working on an accessory-cage based quadcopter design to have a modular way of adding and removing components. 3689543598?profile=originalThe intent is to avoid the rubber-band and tape method of attaching components to the airframe. The accessory cage is comprised of four vertically-oriented carbon tubes and is meant to hold everything but the motors. There's a 3D-printed stage for each component; 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 some refinement: I'm going to implement 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. I designed and printed prop guards but haven't installed them because I don't want to mess with the aesthetic and add too much weight, so instead I have minimalist stainless spring-wire prop guards in mind for v2.

Once I'm really happy with it my hope is 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 for the accessory stages, 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).


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  • Putting the FC up is a real plus of that construction! Besides keeping mag disturbances low, it also helps the baro in ground effect, especially on small copters.

    Cheers Kraut Rob

  • Developer

    Making a multicopter bottom heavy does not make it more stable. A multicopter is inherently unstable and fully relies on active stabilization to fly. Meaning that you want the CoG to be neutral to make it easier for the autopilot stabilization to make quick adjustments, resulting in a more stable copter.

  • Way Awesome killer job

  • Battery is probably low for better stability but may be too low and could result in impact on a hard landing.
  • Why is the battery hung so low ?

  • Developer

    Very cool Justine! Keep up the great work! What kind of flight times are you getting?

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