Alternative 3DRobotics Hexa Frame (based on 1,5 x Quad-C)

Hi all,

Maybe an idea for revision E of the 3DR Hexa?

After having played for some time with my 3DR Quad, I decided to make some changes. Actually, I wanted a hexa for more lifting power. And I was inspired by the guys from Team Blacksheep and their awesome FPV platforms. So I wanted a 'low-rise' Hexa with not too many stacked plates.

What to do? I bought a complete second 3DR Quad frame including motors, and when you add them together... you can build a Hexa AND you are left with some spare parts! 2 spare motors etc. which is great!

As you can see, it's really based on 2 Quad Base plates stuck together by an undermounted Quad arm/leg.

(OK, I had another extra black arm lying around). This also allows for perfect mounting of the small and lightweight HK Pan/Tilt GoPro camera gimbal.

Here's what it looks like, and below a test video (1:12mins) which was it's maiden voyage! I was a bit worried about stability, but it was amazingly stable (using APM 2.8.1)

Let me know what you think! As you can see, it's pretty slim!



E-mail me when people leave their comments –

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

Join diydrones


  • T3

    Cool job. You could remove a number of legs and save weight. The normal Hex using only 3 legs to stand. Again nice job.

  • It was just a thought, not exactly what I had in mind (was thinking lighter and rectangular), but was all I had saved that was large enough, low profile, and opaque. Some people like to show all their guts, and some like to hide them (I'm more in the latter camp, if possible/convenient to do). I thought that some type of superficial cover would tie the two frames together into a more unified "whole" (like that famous carpet did for the room).

    For my own quad, I think it looks rather cool with the "salad bowls" on the top and bottom, in a mockup. I would have to convert my electronics from a stack to more spread out like yours, which is going to have to be my future when I add telemetry and then video. BTW the lids for these common disposable bowls are similar-sized transparent domes that are much lighter than the bottoms and some might prefer them instead (to see LEDs etc.) but they wouldn't change the looks much (would just keep junk/moisture out).

  • @Nick Roosen: I came across this one, it's pretty cheap too. Remember to add two servos.

    HK Roll/Tilt Camera Mount

  • @Craig Fraser: Thanks - that's an interesting concept. Indeed the 'salad bowls' weigh very little.

  • What camera gimbal are you using? I've been looking for something and this looks like the one I've been looking for! Great frame setup, always cool to see some experimentation.

  • @Craig Fraser You have an interesting project on the go as well maby go around the arm with a small bung i cord (elastic band ) and a hook? attached to the edge of the salad bowl at each of the legs? just an idea have a great day!

  • Here is sort of what I meant, except it's round and much stronger (salad came in it, still "free"). It is large enough that it should just cover your two hubs.


    [I was wanting to use two of these at one time, one on the bottom too, but didn't work at it long enough to figure out a secure way to attach the bottom one so I could get at the main battery easily. The secondary reason (after protection) I like to cover my electronics is they get filled with bits of grass and dirt (yup, I'm that good!) and it takes me ages to clean them off. Sorry for the surrounding mess I didn't clean up first...]

  • Cool. I think longer "H-style" central platforms just has to be in the future. Space is our friend when there's lots of electronics, and close vertical stacking just doesn't cut it beyond a certain point.

    For "looks", you might consider a longish light plastic, probably opaque, cover over your two central bases. This can weigh almost nothing since it's only for looks and not necessarily protection. Some prepared "deli" food comes in black plastic containers that would probably fit well. Or you could put a big ribbon/bow on it...

  • When you try something different it is always a compromise and you work the new issues as they appear what I like about this web site people like yourself actually "Do Stuff ' . As for making your drone look more friendly

    tell your wife" form follows function" maby one of those happy face stickers on the back of the camera (let your wife pick it out ) or  some of those "big bug eyes on  springs and a smile" or  have everybody stand back and deliver some teddy bears to a child care center with it the women would love that  Have a Great Day 

  • @Mark Böhm: I'll give that a try. It should be able to support itself with just 4 pairs of legs (though I like the look with 6 pairs). Tradeoff between Looks and Performance. The legs a pretty light, but any weightreduction will help extend the flying time.

    On a side note about looks: my wife keeps telling me that it doesn't look 'friendly'  enough and that I should put something on it to make it look more friendly. Even thought I am not really considering that, because of the weight, I have no idea what that could be.

    How to make your drone more friendly? Paint a smile on it?

This reply was deleted.