3D Printed Aerial Video and FPV Platform - I call it the SportCam

RCGroups user 3daeroventures shares his AV/FPV winged platform that he created on his 3D printer.

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3D Printed AVideo/FPV Platform

Hey y'all, just finished up the design, build and flight video of a sport scale version of a full-scale homebuilt aircraft called the AirCam.

Check it out here:

3D Printed Aerial Video and FPV R/C Aircraft - Introducing the SportCam (13 min 16 sec)

The full-scale counterpart was developed in conjunction with National Geographic as an aerial photography/video platform so I thought it would be cool to do the same thing in a 3D printable RC version.

Here are the specs:

  • Wingspan: 60"
  • Length: 45"
  • Weight(Loaded): 3500 grams (kind of heavy! I'm reworking the design to help bring this weight down)
  • Motors: 2x Leopard 3536-10T 780kv Brushless Motor
  • Batteries: 2x 4S 14.8V 3300mah LiPo
  • No. of Channels: 5 (throttle, aileron, elevator, rudder, flaps)

I'd love to get some feedback from aerodynamics pros: the full-scale design has the horizontal stab in-line with the thrust line. Should I have any propwash concerns?

It flies pretty well as is, though it flew as if it was a tad tail heavy in the maiden flight, and I have some strength concerns in the horizontal stab so I'm tweaking the design a bit to have a carbon fiber tube running through the horizontal stab.

Last edited by Jim T. Graham; Jan 15, 2020 at 04:51 PM..
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Jan 09, 2020, 01:04 PM
Registered User
rajazo's Avatar
Looking good so far!!!

Do you know how much is the empty weight? Looks a little over structured.

I’m not specialist but put the elevator directly in the thrust line is a excellent idea, just a little over reactive at motor acceleration, but this is not bad at all.


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Jan 09, 2020, 02:42 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
[QUOTE=rajazo;43559577]Looking good so far!!!

Do you know how much is the empty weight? Looks a little over structured.

/QUOTE]


Weight without the batteries is 2800 grams. I think you're right about it being over-structured. The wing and tail surfaces are very light but the fuselage is heavy - I'm tweaking that design a bit to cut some weight. It has plenty of power as is but shedding a few hundred grams would be nice.
Jan 10, 2020, 02:59 AM
Registered User
Breitlingwings's Avatar
Nice !! Although I think too it is a bit overweighted. If you manage to slim it down it could be a great mapping platform with that huge inner space to carry payload.
Jan 15, 2020, 06:27 PM
Pile-it
Alien_Tech's Avatar
Cool looking bird. Your props are on backwards though, the logos should face forward same as a tractor configuration. You'll get better performance, less noise and greater efficiency if you turn them around.

Red
Jan 15, 2020, 10:57 PM
3D Sunset Flier
Buzzed's Avatar
Outstanding! Love the Air Cam.

Jan 17, 2020, 03:27 PM
Build more, websurf less
FlyingW's Avatar
Beautiful plane. I'll bet if you mount the motors on the front of the wing in a tractor configuration, any tail heaviness issues would be easier to solve, and the plane would be quieter.

You may have been the one with this plane to finally get me into 3D printing.

Paul
Jan 20, 2020, 03:42 PM
Registered User
3d printing just isn't the way to build rc planes. It's way too heavy to build anything worth while. Its great for augmenting other building techniques though when you want something solid like a motor mount or control horns and are too lazy to build it.
Jan 20, 2020, 08:04 PM
Registered User
i couldn't agree more, fun concept but not practice for airplanes of any size or shape, the whole purpose of a air plane is its light weight signature, but well done on the SW design

Quote:
Originally Posted by microwhoop
3d printing just isn't the way to build rc planes. It's way too heavy to build anything worth while. Its great for augmenting other building techniques though when you want something solid like a motor mount or control horns and are too lazy to build it.
Last edited by iflyhighrc; Jan 20, 2020 at 08:12 PM.
Jan 21, 2020, 08:06 PM
I fly, therefore, I crash!!!
SteveT.'s Avatar
Looking forward to the re-work!!

SteveT.
Latest blog entry: My shop....
Jan 21, 2020, 09:08 PM
Purdue Engineering
Rocketman1092's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by microwhoop
3d printing just isn't the way to build rc planes. It's way too heavy to build anything worth while. Its great for augmenting other building techniques though when you want something solid like a motor mount or control horns and are too lazy to build it.
That's ridiculous, it's perfectly possible to build airplanes with good flight characteristics and even low wing loadings using 3D printing. Just have to use design practices that complement the material, as is always the case.
Jan 22, 2020, 02:24 AM
Registered User
A ship made of steel will never float.
Jan 22, 2020, 02:25 AM
Registered User
Breitlingwings's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by microwhoop
3d printing just isn't the way to build rc planes. It's way too heavy to build anything worth while. Its great for augmenting other building techniques though when you want something solid like a motor mount or control horns and are too lazy to build it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iflyhighrc
i couldn't agree more, fun concept but not practice for airplanes of any size or shape, the whole purpose of a air plane is its light weight signature, but well done on the SW design
Don't agree at all. 3D printing is just another design and build technique, still to discover their full capabilities but currently in a stage where you can build complete aircrafts and fly them. It is clear it doesn´t cover all building aspects, but neither does foam, depron, balsa, resins and fibers, etc.

Regarding weight it is not true they are "way too heavy". Just compare the wing loading of any standard sport RC ariplane and a 3D printed one and discover they both falls around 50 g/dm2. You can even build as low as 25 g/dm2 (just read the Eclipson Model-V thread).
Jan 22, 2020, 06:50 PM
Registered User
Dirty Dee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by microwhoop
3d printing just isn't the way to build rc planes. It's way too heavy to build anything worth while. Its great for augmenting other building techniques though when you want something solid like a motor mount or control horns and are too lazy to build it.
k

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.
.
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Jan 22, 2020, 07:15 PM
I fly, therefore, I crash!!!
SteveT.'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by microwhoop
3d printing just isn't the way to build rc planes. It's way too heavy to build anything worth while. Its great for augmenting other building techniques though when you want something solid like a motor mount or control horns and are too lazy to build it.
One mans opinion...

SteveT.
Latest blog entry: My shop....


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