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Old Sep 06, 2012, 11:47 AM
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Mini-HowTo
Need help with custom frame design? I can help with 3D prototyping

Hey guys and gals, I recently got into multi-rotor stuff for 2 main reasons :

- planes were taking up way too much room in my apartment (boxes of bits and pieces as)
- lack of car and inability to access a flying field on my own

I do 3D for a living, these days it's mostly developing/scripting, technical resolutions and lighting/rendering, but on top of that in early career I had 3-4 years of experience as a 3d modeler , where I did nothing but modeling/digital sculpting.
Now if I'm not using 3D for work, I use it for everything else - prototyping, various volume/area calculations, physics simulation etc.
I'm a fast modeler and for purpose of prototyping models don't have to be all that detailed and in most cases I dont even need to think about proper topology and other nuances, so I'd be more than happy to share my skill and help out anyone who might need it.
Mini portfolio - http://tinyurl.com/c4yuxdt

As I already mentioned I live in an apt building, and building stuff is quite challenging sometimes, lack of heavy machinery, a garage and a back yard is killing me, but I found ways to work around this (such as putting a chair in bathtub in drillign/cutting wood on it to avoid saw dust from spreading all over the place )

Lack of CNC, laser cutter or any precision tools suggested that I should be using plywood and wooden dowels as main build materials. They're cheap, easy to work with and could be painted, sanded, shaped just about any way you want.

Here is my current workflow

- I quickly design a frame in 3D, making sure that everything will fit, sometimes even animate arms and wires if I need the frame to be foldable
- make sure all parts are 2D and could be made from flat sheets
- export vector for each plate or "level"
- print parts on paper
- cut them out and trace on plywood
- using $6 coping saw I cut out the shapes
- drill holes in them
- aseemble
- and finally enjoy.

My main goal is to make a simple frame, that protects flight controller and and the battery and manages wires well.
currently I'm on my third version of the quad, still using same electronics (kk2.0 rctimer2830 1300kv + 8x4)


I will add pictures of my designs in next post.

If you'd like to suggest something or request files (Max, AI, STL, DFX, CAD etc) or even request custom design - feel free to post here
I can make an easy to follow PDF with all parts and measurements that you could print, trace, and start cutting.

Just to make it clear, I'm not selling my services, I'm offering free of charge help if anyone needs it. RCG community has shared a lot of knowledge, so why not share back?
On top of that, together we could perfect a few designs for different weight classes and sizes

If anyone has a laser or a CNC and wants 100% custrom design (could be full 3d, doesn't have to be flat 2D) let me know, I'd be more than happy to make something rather complex in exchange for a cnc cut pieces.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 12:15 PM
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Time for pictures of V1


- AUW was ~960-970.
- Size for this quad was simply determined by the fact that I could cut x4 9" arms from a single 36x1/2 dowel. When I measured it motor to motor, it turned out to be a 500mm quad
- Frame with all electronics was ~800g . A little heavy, but at that point I had no idea about quad sizes, weight, etc.
- Main goal was to secure KK2.0 and the battery to avoid any damage (it was my first multirotor ever)

it flew well, and crashed well too. I had some spare arms with holes pre-drilled so fixing it up was a matter of minutes. Normally zip-tie or the arm snaps before any damage could be done to the motor. This frame turned out to cost ~$2-3.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 12:46 PM
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v 1.5

Here is v1.5

Same electronics but shorter arms (400mm size) and lighter frame,600g without the battery.

Still need to secure all wires with zip-ties and improve battery mount (maybe re-do top plate again). As well as shortening power leads from ecs.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 01:25 PM
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also working on a tricopter that has KK2.0 protected and a platform for batteries/fpv stuff on top.

I have it built and flying, just didn't take any photos yet.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by templton89 View Post
also working on a tricopter that has KK2.0 protected and a platform for batteries/fpv stuff on top.

I have it built and flying, just didn't take any photos yet.
Hi. Any chance you could upload a higher res image of the center plates to trace? I very much like the design of your tri-frame.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giek2000 View Post
Hi. Any chance you could upload a higher res image of the center plates to trace? I very much like the design of your tri-frame.
I need to modify it a little. I built it recently and didn't like it too much, I feel like I need to minimize it back to 2 plates, not 3. I'll change it up a little this week and will upload a PDF that you could print.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by templton89 View Post
I need to modify it a little. I built it recently and didn't like it too much, I feel like I need to minimize it back to 2 plates, not 3. I'll change it up a little this week and will upload a PDF that you could print.
That'd be very much appreciated thanks!
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 04:23 PM
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Here is modified tricopter.
I tried to make it work for both 2200mah and 4000mah lipos (which are the two sizes that im using). Batteries can be rotated depending on video gear and how you balance your tri.

Arms are 12" long , 0.5 thick and the hole is drilled 0.5" from the end.
I'm using 1.5" long m4 screws (4mm diameter). 3-4mm screws are fine for this design.

To protect kk2.0 board and hide it inside the frame , I made the frame thicker by placing pads under and above each arm. Keep in mind, I'm using 1/8" ply (which in reality is closer to 3/16")

CG is indicated by the X on bottom plate and that is where the center of your kk2.0 board should be (warning - you might have to increase "window" size if using another flight controller)

You can make an additional fpv pod that can carry video tx and 1/3" ccd and attach it via velcro, zipties, screws, double sided tape or epoxy.


When printing PDF make sure to set Page scaling to None!

and double check your prints by measuring thr 1"x1" mark

This tri is meant for 700-750kv motors and 10-11" props.
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 07:11 PM
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Nice work
I used to do a little computer modelling back in the day, I'm giving it another shot and jumping into Solidworks. What program are you using to make your models? If you need help creating high-res textures, shoot me a PM and we can collaborate on some projects.

I love this hobby a little too much I think!
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 09:05 PM
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I used to mess around with nurbs modeling in rhino and solid tools, but I use 3ds max fofr work for past 6 years. Take a look at portfolio link in first post if you're interested.

I'm not making complex textures and shaders because I'm too lazy to render this stuff. Everything you see so far are screengrabs from live viewport, so lighting isn't fancy.

I got some more ideas on the way. Using pepakura designer 3d and foamboard
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 09:11 PM
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No kidding, I used to use Rhino 3D back in the day to make tanks and all sorts of silly things. 3D Studio Max is a hell of a learning curve for me, so I'll give Solidworks a try first since my cousins and uncle use it in their engineering endeavours.
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AeroRoo View Post
No kidding, I used to use Rhino 3D back in the day to make tanks and all sorts of silly things. 3D Studio Max is a hell of a learning curve for me, so I'll give Solidworks a try first since my cousins and uncle use it in their engineering endeavours.
definitely go Solidworks route. Only reason I use max is because my scope of work goes outside of modeling. There are some particles, rigging, animations, fx, volumetric fluids, a lot of scripting and developing and other crap, while solidworks is pretty much a nurbs modeler. If I could keep my job and do nothing but modeling, I'd be happiest and laziest person in the world
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 03:24 AM
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Your work is very inspiring! My current project is very similar to yours. I even chose the same colors as your first mini quadcopter (orange and black). Here's a link to my progress.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1730793
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 09:45 AM
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had first major crash yesterday

had first major crash yesterday

So far I have ~5hrs of combined flight time experience with multirotors (although 4-6hrs on phoenixRc simulator before I tried the real thing helped tremendously, can't recommend it enough)

when it comes to planes I'm somewhat of a ballsy pilot, and old habits carried over onto quads as well. I hate hovering and slowly going back and forth. Yaw + pitch/roll it's what it's all about for me. I was doing some 8 shape patters and circles around the park and at some point went a little too high above my head and behind my back. Lost track of pitch/roll and over compensated, crashed into biggest tree around, ~size of 5 story building, it tumbled down through branches and fell on the ground. 2 broken props, broken arm, and 4 broken zipties. Pleasantly surprised that everything worked out so well and easily replaceable elements snapped first and there is no damage to motor shafts or KK.

Currently I'm working on a folding quad (somewhat of an H-frame) that will have 750kv motors spining 10x4.5 props, fpv gear and 4000mah lipo.
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