3D printed "T6"


For everyone who's not yet over 3D printed stuff, here's my take on a 3D printed "T6" (Y6).  First flight video is available here.

I've been experimenting to find a strong "tubular" profile that could be printed reliably. The angled sections in these designs are 35 degrees to vertical - so well within the typical 45 degree capability of most printers. They arms only present about 11mm of flat surface to minimize obstruction to airflow.

The rest of the design are a collection of ideas that have accumulated over the past year building various quadcopters and Y6 configurations (3D printed, aluminium and bought frames).



  • completely 3D printable (without support)
  • simple assembly
  • coaxial design (2 motors per arm) provides redundancy to keep flying in case of an ESC, motor, or prop failure
  • strong braced tube section arms with plenty of room to conceal motor wiring
  • designed for dual (3S) batteries located right in the center of rotation/thrust with room for up to 2 x 6000mah batteries (although 3000mah and some foam padding might be a wiser option)
  • easy cable routing with beveled cable "tunnels" (and even a few cable tie mounts)
  • plenty of space to mount ESCs - concealed but still well ventilated for cooling
  • top plate is designed for a Pixhawk - but can easily be tweaked for others
  • RF "invisible" frame - as opposed to carbon fiber or aluminium
  • Frame weight is approx 300g. All up weight including 2 x 3S 3000mah batteries and my over-sized 880kv motors is 1,700g.
  • Sketchup file included so you can make changes to suit yourself


I'm hoping to get some design inspiration to make the body a bit less "boxy" - while still keeping it printable.




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  • @Romushock I'm using a Makergear M2 printer (they don't advertise but they make an excellent printer). It's heated bed is an aluminium (I think) plate with heater pad attached.  The glass then sits on top of the aluminium plate and held in place with rubber corner mounts and binder clips.  It works great as I can remove the part still attached to the glass to cool (freeze) it for easy removal.

    I mostly work with PLA because (in my opinion):

    - PLA is more rigid and will mostly hold it's shape to the point of failure (shattering) whereas ABS will bend.

    - I find it easier to print and don't have any problems with it curling in corners.

    - It smells like popcorn when printing!

    On the other hand ABS is less likely to droop if left in the car on a hot day!  Your choice :)

    Regarding vibrations, I've just got the Pixhawk sitting on Gel pads and held down with a rubber band.  My XY vibrations are about +-1 (so within +-3 recommendation) and my Z vibrations are 10 +-1.5 (so with 10+-5 recommendation),

  • Sorry my ignorance, Brendan, but how did You heat a glass? And other one thing - why You chose PLA, not ABS? Did You made some stress test? Does PLA better in strenth, flexibility and vibration absorbtion? Or all this depends of printing settings? Thanks.

  • But like you said if it is only doing 50 watt then my theory is bust

  • I have a watt meter, I must actually check what those motors pull at 50% throttle, this will give me an indication on the time I will be able to fly.

    The reason I said go with a bigger motor is because of the weight of this frame (1,7kg) and with bigger motors the motors does not need to work that hard to pick it up. So where you have 50% throttle to pick it up the bigger once might do it (not sure just guessing) with 40%.

  • @Christiaan that sounds awesome.  I think all of those bits would fit.  The 880kv motors I'm using are rated at max 248 watts - but I'd never need that and, at 12 volts, that would be 20 amps which would be right on the limit of my ESCs!  Currently at hover each motor is averaging about 4 amps (so using about 50 watts).

    For what it's worth the 880kv motors with 10x4.7 props is using just under 50% throttle which I'm happy with.  It will be interesting to see once the gimbal goes on (which will add a few hundred grams).

  • @Brendan this is awesome and thanks for the skl files, I have started printing mine. I have all the components to build on a F550 DJI hex frame but I have decided to rather build it on this. I think if you go with motors with a little bit more watt maybe 400watt you would get more flight time. I have six 400watt motors with 2 * 4 cells 3300 mah batteries and 11" carbon fiber blades that I am going to do this with. I am not a expert for all that I know my flight time could be 5min with this setup.

  • @Thomas regarding flight times I just did a hover test at it flew for 15 minutes and 30 seconds.  According to my charger that took 5,900mah out of my 2 x 3S nano-tech 3000mah batteries.

  • @Thomas, flight video is now available here.

  • Hot bed is Borosiliate glass at 55 degrees Celsius and sprayed with a budget hairspray (expensive stuff didn't work for me).  Printing PLA at 200 degrees C and 0.25mm layer heights, 2 shells, 3 top and bottom layers, 40% infill.

    The hairspray makes things stick very well.  In fact to remove the part I need to put the glass into the freezer for about 5 minutes after it cools down - and then the part slides right off like magic!

  • Nice work, Brendan, congrats! Would like to know, what kind of hot bed are You use for print those huge parts? Thanks.

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