3D Printed Quad 2.0


Just an update on my 3D printed quad project.  I have just published my quadcopter v2 to Thingiverse.com.  I've flown my first 3D printed quad for over a 100 hours and although it worked really well there were nagging issues with the design that needed to be addressed.  

The biggest issues were with the arms.  The legs, although lightweight, proved to be very brittle.  I must have superglued the legs back on 10-15 times.  So I went ahead and beefed them up a bit.  The are now wider and have extra support added in weaker areas.  They are still very light and although they could still break off they are MUCH more forgiving of a brisk landing or lateral loading.  I also got tired of taking the whole quad apart if I wanted to get between the top and bottom plate to work on something so I designed the new arms to have M3 lock nuts press fit into them.  This makes it similar to a dji arm where you can remove just the top or bottom plate without having the arms fall off.  Lastly I have added mounting patterns for motors with a triangular pattern as well as the more standard 16x19mm.

Because I have been flying with the APM now for a while and thoroughly enjoy it I thought I had better design v2 around it.  The new top plate has 50mm mounting holes for standard flight controllers like the kk2.1 and kk blackboard.  They can be mounted orthogonally (kk2.1) or at a 45 deg angle (blackboard).  The APM however mounts with vibration dampening bushings from hobby king.  I stuffed earplugs inside to make them a little more rigid and the results were good.  When vibrations were measured, without any prop balancing, the vibrations were half of the limits that 3DR prescribes.  Extra holes have been added to help with weight and make it easier to route wires and the top plate has an added area for the APM's GPS/Compass module.

I slightly retouched the gimbal as well.  I added a GoPro 3 case on top of making the gimbal arms easier to assemble, again using M3 locknuts.  

All in all it is very similar to my original design but I feel that that one was the test bed and this one has a much more professional feel to it.  I hope to see more of them printed and flying.  I can't say how much I have enjoyed designing this and bouncing ideas off other people who have printed and are flying it.

My 3D Printed Quad


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  • I've been playing with this 3D printed quad,  but yours is a step higher which I would love to print it!

    Have any of you come across some nice cheap 3D printing service that can send to the world ?

    Thanks for this nice and well thought frame

  • Amazing, Great work!  Really enjoyed following your progress.

  • Tapped them in with a hammer with a little super glue.  Very strong.

  • Developer

    Hi Mike,

    Very nice job!!! How did you secure the m3 nuts into the arms? Did you just push them in and add some hot glue?

  • Thanks everyone,  the motors are AX-4008 620 kv and the props are 10x4.7.  APM 2.6 and simon k 30A ESCs from getfpv.com.  Alexmos gimbal controller with 2208 motors.  There is hardly and post print work, the only thing i need to do is flare out the inserts in the arms to make it easier to press fit in an M3 locknut.

    You can definitely use a replicator 2.  I am using the rep 1 with ABS but a lot of people have printed in PLA.  PLA is a little weaker so just make the infills a little higher and you should be fine.

  • Nice Work. Congrats.

  • Excellent work, bravo!

    Build (or 3D print) on!


  • Please share the beatiful machine bom.
    I have replicator 2 3dprinter, can i use it for this purpose?
  • Very cool! What 3D printer were these printed on? How much post-print work (if any) went into the parts?

  • Amazing Machine!  I'd love to know more about your designs!

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