Laser cut your own ArduCopter replacement parts

I keep breaking my ArduCopter arches, so rather than order replacements, I just laser cut my own through Ponoko. I've uploaded the design, so you can do it too.  Select 3mm clear acrylic, P1 size. It should cost $8.20 plus shipping for the four arches shown above. Note that these are laser cut, not CNC milled, so they don't have the notch on the side that fits snugly on the arms. But they work fine all the same.


Thanks to Sandro Benigno, you can also order a set of five replacement dome rings, as shown here:

All the other parts are in the ArduCopter repository, but need to be converted to SVG format to laser cut. If you see something you'd like to make, let me know and I'll convert and upload it to Ponoko. Most can be laser cut as easily as CNC milled, but in some cases you might need to do a little finishing work, like counter-sinking some holes. No biggie...




I've added the Main Square:


And the Legs:


And the carrier board:



Views: 3842

Comment by Robert Beatty on February 19, 2011 at 11:56am


That's very cool. Thanks for doing this. I would like to make the Arducopter's main square and landing gear fin. If you could convert those two parts and upload them I would appreciate it. I see that Ponoko can make parts out of aluminum (as well as the other usual laser cut materials), so I'm going to try to create aluminum versions of those two parts.  


Comment by Doug Weibel on February 19, 2011 at 12:14pm
Well, the trick is to order them before you need them.  Otherwise you end up fabricating bits manually to get yourself back in the air.  Sandro's dome rings look WAY better than what I produce with hand tools ;)

Comment by Robert Krogh (hooks) on February 19, 2011 at 12:24pm

Clear acrylic will never be able to take the beatings these machines gets. It would be much better to look for other materials not so fragile. Clear acrylic is good for the look and business but bad material when it takes some hard landings. If acrylic is a must then look for ACRYLIC-pvc KYDEX®


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on February 19, 2011 at 12:43pm
At Ponolo you can also choose Delrin as your material. It's a little less rigid, but essentially indestructible. Quite a bit more expensive, though. I would not choose aluminum, because it's too thin and won't fit the other parts right.

You can also choose ply, but I don't think that's any tougher than acrylic and doesn't look as good.
Comment by Robert Beatty on February 19, 2011 at 1:13pm

My whole quad is made out of aluminum that I cut and drilled myself. (see here for pictures: I made the main squares out of 0.032" thick 3003-H14 aluminum sheet. They hold up very well, except in really bad crashes (from 100'+), in which case they sometimes bend. When I saw your post, I was thinking about maybe making an aluminum version of the Arducopter center square plate rather than cut the plates myself (this would be for future quads and on-going improvements to my current quad), but you're probably right about the lasercut material being too thin. Ponoko's aluminum is 0.050" 5251. This, combined with the removed material in the Arducopter design (for weight-reducing purposes), would probably make the plates too bendable.

Comment by Bill Vickers on February 19, 2011 at 1:20pm
I'm having trouble seeing those files. Is there some program I need to view them?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on February 19, 2011 at 1:25pm
Bill, you need to use a SVN client to download files from a SVN repository. We use TortoiseSVN.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on February 19, 2011 at 2:07pm
Robert: your wish is my command! I've added the Main Square and Legs to the post above.
Comment by Robert Beatty on February 19, 2011 at 3:07pm
Thank you, Chris. I appreciate it. I have a dumb question: Since the Ponoko P1 template is 181 x 181 mm, and the Arducopter center plate is 110 x 110 mm, it seems like the eps file should be showing one center plate, not nine. What am I not understanding?
Comment by Pig Pilot on February 19, 2011 at 3:58pm
Given the general abilities displayed on this forum and the complexities of putting these things into the air, I'm amazed that anyone should be using a laser to cut such a poor material as 3mm acrylic to make the parts.    If you have the ability to CAD these for a laser cutter why not do a real design and fabricate them to be much lighter and virtually unbreakable with much better rigidity?


You need to be a member of DIY Drones to add comments!

Join DIY Drones


Season Two of the Trust Time Trial (T3) Contest 
A list of all T3 contests is here. The current round, the Vertical Horizontal one, is here

© 2018   Created by Chris Anderson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service