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Old Jan 25, 2012, 11:27 PM
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3D Printed Multirotor Frame - First Flight


Hi Folks,
Just thought I'd post the first flight video of my 3D printed Multirotor. In this configuration, I'm using TREX 450 - 12mm tailbooms for arms.

Here's a link to the flight video:

First Flight of 3D Printed Multirotor Frame with Crashes (5 min 52 sec)




This frame is being printed on the Shapeways.com 3D printing service and is available to the public here:

http://www.shapeways.com/model/44830...l?gid=sg125984

There's also a fully 3D printed version with printed arms and integrated motor mount:



You can see the model on shapeways here:

http://www.shapeways.com/model/42635...l?gid=sg125984

I have also attached a video of the first flight.
Last edited by elchan; Jan 27, 2012 at 12:45 AM. Reason: Add video link
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 05:13 AM
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Wow amazing i was wondering when 3D printing would start rolling out in this great hobby.
Old Jan 26, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Wow amazing i was wondering when 3D printing would start rolling out in this great hobby.
Yes, 3D printed aircraft is upon us. Also the shapeways service makes it affordable. The frame with for the Trex 450 arms, only costs $72 to print, and the full integrated arms version is under $100. This is better than buying a $1299 home printer, since that might not have the resolution or precision needed for straight arms of that length.
Old Jan 26, 2012, 07:56 PM
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I have been printing 3d parts off of my printer here at home and the accuracy is great!!!!
Old Jan 26, 2012, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cdi3d View Post
I have been printing 3d parts off of my printer here at home and the accuracy is great!!!!
I know of people who have those extrusion printers that have problems with printing large items. The plastic cools at different rates, and causes warping.
Old Jan 26, 2012, 08:32 PM
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while this maybe true I am using a heated platform so I don't have to worry about that -
Old Jan 30, 2012, 01:18 PM
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Really COOL!

So how does it work? The printing that is.... Doe the printer squirt out melted plastic only in the spots needed?

How long for it to dry?

What are the tolerances? For example, if I wanted to print the handle for a boat pulley. You know the pulley at the front of a boat trailer that pulls the boat up the ramp. The handle is usually a piece of round metal bar with a plastic tube all the way around the bar so that when you hold the plastic handle and turn it, the metal bar under the plastic can rotate within the plastic tube so that you don't get blisters.

Now if I wanted to print one of those, how tight of a tolerance could I get between the outer plastic tube and the inner plastic bar?

How strong is this stuff?

How light is it? Can we make 3D electric powered airplanes that are light enough to compete with Balsa?
Old Jan 30, 2012, 02:02 PM
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Well, Shapeways uses a high precision printer that uses lasers to fuse powdered plastic.

Here's a video of the printing process:
Shapeways White, Strong & Flexible 3D Printing (1 min 59 sec)


The material I used to print this model, is called Strong White and Flexible. According to Shapeways it's a type of stiff nylon plastics. The printing tolerance is about 0.7mm. They also have other material like stainless steel, and aluminide. The tolerance are different for them.

In this blog, you can see my fully printed frame sitting on a scale:



The density of the material about 1g / cm cubed. It's not as light as balsa, but because it's designed on a computer, hollow structures can be incorporated into the design. You can design aircraft frames more like the hollow bones of a bird.

Check out my shop on Shapeways, to see my future designs, and improvements to my current designs:

http://shapeways.com/shops/rcshop
Old Jan 30, 2012, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elchan View Post

Check out my shop on Shapeways, to see my future designs, and improvements to my current designs:

http://shapeways.com/shops/rcshop
Pretty cool! So when people buy your designs, do you get a percentage of the sale? If so that would be pretty neat a well...
Old Jan 30, 2012, 08:07 PM
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Pretty cool! So when people buy your designs, do you get a percentage of the sale? If so that would be pretty neat a well...
Yes, I set a small markup, to try and recover the cost of the prototype. But, I want it to be affordable for everyone. Hasn't happened yet though I have sold a couple of the frames already.
Old Jan 30, 2012, 08:16 PM
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Yes, I set a small markup, to try and recover the cost of the prototype. But, I want it to be affordable for everyone. Hasn't happened yet though I have sold a couple of the frames already.
Very cool! I am not into helicopters myself, but I love the concept!
Old Jan 30, 2012, 08:23 PM
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Very cool! I am not into helicopters myself, but I love the concept!
Ha ha, not too old to learn new tricks. Multicopters, like the Arducopter I'm flying, have stabilization software on the controllers that keep their headings locked, and orientation levelled using 3-axis accleromters. Much easier than even helis with 3-axis gyros. Once you go multi there's no going back.
Old Jan 30, 2012, 08:31 PM
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I hear ya. Actually I can fly a heli fairly well. I can not do much 3D but I can manage a roll, loop, upside down flight.... Nothing really great.

But I am way into the 3D plane thing right now. I can huck one pretty durn well, but I don't have much in the way of precision or great control. I am currently working on that part
Old Jan 30, 2012, 09:10 PM
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That's better than me. I must confess, I'm the worse flyer in the world. I crashed my share of planes and helis, before I learned about these multirotors. They're easy to build, and repair, and flying is a breeze.
Old May 08, 2014, 08:52 PM
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Hope you are wearing a face mask handling all that plastic dust.


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