quadcopter attempt


Here's a long post about my first attempt at building a quadcopter.

One interesting and rather different feature is that I tried to use a .NET micro framework board (FEZ DOMINO) to do the balancing... it did not work so I moved to a basic Arduino, thinking it's the garbage collector and especially the switching from one thread to another that caused the instability... Right now it still doesn't work :) and it looks it's because I was using the Euler angles rather than the raw gyros outputs. 


So I'm really wondering if I shouldn't go back the the .NET board?


There si VERY little on the net about this, except a few people saying that it can't be done because of managed code not being real time, etc. ... Most  people "complain" about the garbage collector kicking in unexpectedly, but with my code it would run every 5-10 seconds and take 3-5ms, which to be honest is negligeable... there was definitely something else stopping my quad from proper stabilisation !


Right now, it still doesn't fly as I've been having several issues with the IMU and Wii motion gyros lately, but even just the experience of building it was a really pleasant and interesting one !


Anyhow, I would love to hear any feedback or experience with this kind of board, or eventually a Java based one !




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  • that was my whole initial question, if I was able to download just the design and print it myself...:)

    As mentioned, I'm not happy with the price and the toughness of the material from shapeways...

    Anyhow, thanks for your infos.


  • Yes, you'd have to order it from Shapeways.

  • I don't see an option there to download the models without buying the physical thing from shapeways ...?

  • Oh one thing, if you need an idea on the build process, I have a parts list and details in this blog:


  • Sure, you can get it at Shapeways here:


    There's also one, that has a larger mounting plate, that'll fit AeroQuad, which uses a full sized Arduino Mega board for flight controllers.  Both mounting plates can mount APM1, APM2, and KK boards.



  • Can I get your design and print it myself or do I need to pay for it on Shapeways ?

  • I print the hub with 2mm thickness. Trust me it's tough enough.  I crashed it enough times to attest to that.

    The best thing about printing it in 3D, is no drilling, no cutting.  I reinforced it everywhere, by just copying a cross brace and pasting it there.. All parts are replaceable.  I used to build my own frames from scratch, but getting the holes on the hub drilled right on the hub is no easy business,  Off by one or two millimeters in the hub, and it translates to significant skewing at the motors.  For $73, you save a lot of work, for an Octo ready frame. 

    I would not go back to drilling holes in hubs again.

  • @TheGiantUfo  sorry no news... I haven't actually touched this project for the last year or so... lol...:)

    @Ellison Chan  Interesting. HOWEVER, funnily enough I received my first 3D model from Sheapeways less than 2 weeks ago and while the resolution is great, the plastic or whatever they use feels very delicate !

    Also, the overall prices ends up quite high !!!

    But I'm really on the edge of deciding if to buy or not a 3D printer myself, so it might be a great first thing to do...

  • Dan check out my 3D printed Firefly Mark One frame.  You can angle the motors to your heart's desire.  The motor mounts are 3D printed too, and made for cheap 12mm Trex 450 tail booms.


    Check out the blog.

  • Hello my friend, any updates with micro framework based quad? as I am thinking to start with such project, but still checking the feasibility.

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