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.
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CAD Design for Arm

Now that the main body is done, the next step is the arms. Now I know exactly how they have to fit into the frame, because I designed the fitting earlier, and the female part of this is already built into the frame centre.

The first problem I noticed is that the radius of the propellers I’ll be using is about 130mm – the same as the length I had set between the body and the motor centre. The frame is angled so that motors this distance from the frame will be equidistant, but I obviously need some clearance between the propellers and the frame, and so I have regretfully extended the arm length to 160mm to allow for this.
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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.
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Fitting from Arm to Frame

Before I can get together a final design for the frame of the quadcopter (now that I know what the inside is going to look like) I need to decide on and model a connection from the four arms to the central body. They can’t all be printed at once because my printer isn’t big enough, and anyway it’s always better to print smaller parts in case anything goes wrong or you have to change something.

At my disposal, without having to go and buy anything, are lots of countersunk M3x10, M3x8 and M3x6 screws, and so I’m going to use these along with some nuts to attach the arms to the frame.
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