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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Base Parametric Design for the Frame Centre

Ok I’ve started modeling the CAD file for the main centre of the frame, which will contain the electronics and hold the arms in place.

The first step is to create a base sketch that maintains the shape that I want. One thing I do want to ensure is that the motors are all equidistant; that they form a square. This, while not strictly necessary, means that the quad will react in the exact same way in both directions.

Because I’d rather have a longer and thinner frame than a big fat one, I’ve decided to have a rectangular space for the components in the middle and have a separate space on each end for the attachment of the arms:

A quick sketch of what I mean
A quick sketch of what I mean

In the CAD software (Autodesk Fusion 360, which is essentially the same as Inventor but cloud-based), I have opted to make extensive use of ‘parameters’, akin to variables/constants in code: I can set dimensions to ‘centre_width’ or ‘fitting_depth’ etc.
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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


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