Arms Finished Printing and Change of Colour Scheme

I’ve been using CAD models and renders in white plastic the whole time, but a while back you may have noticed that I switched to using grey plastic when it actually came to the 3D printing. The main reason for this is that I’d been having some trouble with the surface finish of the white PLA, and as I knew that grey worked I stuck with it for then.

I’d been planning to stay with grey for the rest of the quad, giving it a nice smart, industrial finish, however I hadn’t anticipated how much filament I would have to use and after printing the second arm it was evident that I wouldn’t have enough to print any more.
(continued)

Read More

Print of Main Frame Centre

The main frame centre has now finished printing, and it’s come out nicely. I had one failed print, where because I didn’t have any glue to put on the print bed, the corners warped to the extent that it would have been impossible to actually attach anything to the bottom:

Warped edge on left
Warped edge on left – you can see the shadow underneath

So I added lots of pritt stick (the recommended way to make prints stick better) to the bed, raised the bed temperature from 60 to 75deg, and tried again.

It came out perfectly:

Perfect print of main body
Perfect print of main body

(continued)

Read More

Test Print of Attachment

I’ve done a test print of just the attachment between the arm and the frame, to check that everything lines up and fits properly; it works beautifully.

Looks a bit ugly but that's because I haven't cleaned it up - it's actually a beautiful print
Looks a bit ugly but that’s because I haven’t cleaned it up (the lines are from where the support material was) – it’s actually a beautiful print.

There are a couple of small problems that this has revealed with the design. First, the screw won’t physically fit underneath the attachment for the bottom mounting, let alone a screwdriver: something that I overlooked. The same will be true for the left and right sides when it is part of the bigger design for the frame.
(continued)

Read More

Connecting the Electronics and Starting to Design the Casing

Ok – Christmas is over and I’m back to work. I’m leaving the program for now and moving on to the physical quadcopter: once I have a finished and connected product it will be significantly easier to complete the code and test it.

The first step is to work out everything that will need to go into the quadcopter. Here’s a shortlist:

  • The 4-motor ESC. I’ve acquired a central speed controller that contains the circuitry for powering all four motors, negating the need to have a seperate ESC on each arm.

    4-motor ESC
    4-motor ESC


(continued)

Read More

Project and Component Break-down

Ok, so here’s a break-down of what aspects there are to this project, as well as a (preliminary) component list.

Of course, the main aspect of this project is programming: I need to turn the arduino into a fully functional flight controller. I’ll do a separate break-down on the code aspect of things.

So, the first part is going to be to design and 3D-print a physical frame for the drone. The reason that I’m going to 3D-print it is that I know from experience that it works very well for drones, being light and strong, and I have experience in CAD design and the manufacturing process for 3D-printing.
(continued)

Read More