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Old Mar 11, 2012, 12:40 AM
3D Printer Owner
Joined Mar 2012
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I'm designing an open source quad frame. Inclusions anyone?

I'm designing an open source quadcopter frame suitable for 3D printing. Granted not all of you have 3D printers, but I was just curious to see what you all would like to have in a basic quadcopter frame.

Currently my main design is two identical center "plates" where four peaces of 3/4" aluminum tubing bolt into to form the four arms. Motor mounts, landing gear, and other accessories are also currently in development.
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Old Mar 11, 2012, 09:43 AM
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Joined Feb 2008
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I have a question and based upon your handle "physics dude", I'm hoping that you're a mechanical engineer and you can shed some light on something.

Considering 3D printed material sections, how does the mechanical properties of the finished product compare to the properties of a homogeneous sample of the base plastic? So specifically comparing, the tensile strength, Young's modulus, damping characteristics, compressive strength, etc. To be clear, I'm not really interested in "almost as strong", because almost could mean perhaps anywhere between 70% to 99.99% in some people's minds depending on their perspective.

BTW, sorry for the off topic post.

Thanks,
Dan



Quote:
Originally Posted by Physics_Dude View Post
I'm designing an open source quadcopter frame suitable for 3D printing. Granted not all of you have 3D printers, but I was just curious to see what you all would like to have in a basic quadcopter frame.

Currently my main design is two identical center "plates" where four peaces of 3/4" aluminum tubing bolt into to form the four arms. Motor mounts, landing gear, and other accessories are also currently in development.
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Old Mar 11, 2012, 10:41 AM
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You can see for yourself. http://www.solidconcepts.com/sls-materials.html I have had hundreds of various parts made by this company.

3d printing materials have very poor properties. Lately 3d printing has become a popular fad but the good processes are still expensive and the material choice limited.

Any structural plastic like Delrin is many times stronger but obviously must be conventionally machined. Even better is glass or carbon fiber filled injection molded material like Verton but then you have mold expenses.
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Old Mar 11, 2012, 12:22 PM
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Joined Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by otlski View Post
Considering 3D printed material sections, how does the mechanical properties of the finished product compare to the properties of a homogeneous sample of the base plastic?
Dan,
There are a number of different methods and and materials to print with in home 3D printing.
In contrast to milo12, I have a Makerbot 3D printer and the peaces it produces are incredibly strong and the most popular ABS and PLA raw plastic material lasts for many many prints

As for comparison to proper, say cast, parts of the same material, it's a fairly close game. Something you probably don't know about 3D printing is a thing called infill, which usually takes a honeycomb structure inside the part. It's a ratio of how much air to plastic there is inside. You can print something with 5% infill and have it prone to damage, or you can print something with 100% infill and basally have a solid part comparable (90% to 105% as strong) to a cast peace of the same material and size.
The trade off between the two is that it takes significantly longer to print 100% infill as oppose to 5% infill. There is also an obvious difference in weight.

A quick little thing about the choice of plastics to use in these 3D printers. I mainly use ABS plastic, the same stuff Lego and many other things around your house is made of. It has some flex and is incredibly resilient under stress. PLA plastic is stronger then ABS, but more brittle and will usually break before bending.

Now I myself have not directly observer specific properties of these printed peaces like tensile, Young's, damping, and compressive strength, but there are other 3D printer users that have given out their opinion or results that I'm sure you can find after a bit of Googling.

I urge you to check out Thingiverse (where this quadcopter frame and peaces will end up), most people there have their own 3D printer, or access to one, and there no absence of stress tested peaces.


Since this thread is on a multicopter sub forum, I want to point out what user Swepet made on Thingiverse. It's a fully 3D printed quadcopter printed entirely out of PLA plastic on his 3D printer.
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:17612

He also demonstrated the strength of PLA in this recent video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwZ5aTlU0iY

With that, I'm holding in my hands an early version of the center plate for the frame I designed, this is the critical peace where the four arms of the quad will meet. It is built with ABS and has 15% infill with minimum 6mm thickness, I can't break it with my bare hands (and I'm no weakling). In fact I'll be suggesting users to print this peace in 15% to 25% infill for their final frame.
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