Carbon fiber and bamboo ply hybrid quad frame

by enivid | March 15, 2015 | (0) Posted in Projects

Carbon fiber and bamboo ply hybrid quad frame 

So I've been been iterating on plate-based simple frame designs for a while now and I decided to make the leap to milling my own carbon fiber (getting access to a milling machine's helped a lot).

To save time and milling bits, I decided to only mill the parts that contribute most to the rigidity of the Quad and I came up with this hybrid design using a combination of carbon fibre (CF) and bamboo plywood.  

In this article I go over the fabrication and assembly of my latest quad.  Can't wait for the maiden but I'm already very happy with this build.

Fabrication

CNC Milling 2D parts

Because I orginally used laser cutting as my fabrication system of choice, I had all my parts drawn in Inkscape.  To use the milling machine I had to conver them to a 3D format the milling machine could accept!  Lucky for me tinkercad imported the 2D drawings and added a Z axis value to it (warning make sure the measurements in tinkercard are 100% correct!).  I found that tinkercard had other import issues (the resulting part would have strange angles), converting all objects to path in Inkscape was the workaround.

 

 So now I could start milling (Also try not to breath too much of that CF dust... who knows what's in there).

 

Laser cutting the other plates

When laser cutting, make certain that you cut for rigidity.  Check the flex of your material then cut in the direction that gives you the most rigidity for your application.  In my case the length of this part as aligned with the grain of the wood.

 

Assembly

Everything is designed for M3 standard screws so assembliy is very straigh forward.  

Mounting the motors straight onto the booms.

Sandwiching the CF booms between the CF basepate and the bamboo base plate.

 Mounting the flight controller and the M3 nylon spacers.

Then hiding that mess of wires with the top plate... make sure you place that battery strap before screwing the plate down.

Ziptie the ESCs down.

Here is another bottom view, I love the look of wood and CF together.

Here is the final product.

COMMENTS

HilldaFlyer on March 20, 2015
Great - everyone should get access to a CNC. Great build, compact.
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HilldaFlyer on March 20, 2015
Oh - I would turn your ESC's over so the heat sink is exposed to more are flow ;)
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enivid on March 20, 2015
Yeah because of the sink's offset they can overlap the center plate... so it's prettier this way but I agree they should be the other way around.
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enivid on March 20, 2015
Access to CNC: a human right? :)
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anthro101 on April 9, 2015
Where did you source the bamboo? I've had a similar project in mind, but I haven't found any bamboo suppliers with thin enough board. Is it resin coated or just raw? If not are you worried about moisture?
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enivid on April 13, 2015
I've gotten it from Ponoko.com. It's basically raw and yes I'm worried but I've been flying raw for a while with no issues. :)
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pichettem on March 18, 2015
Looks great! Will it become an fpv ship? I didn't see a video transmitter anywhere.
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enivid on March 20, 2015
yeah for sure... I use an FPV backpack (attach the FPV tx to my battery).
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HarleyRev on March 17, 2015
Aw man that looks cool ! I like it, hope it flies as good for you as it looks. Thanks for sharing.
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enivid on March 20, 2015
Thanks!
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Carbon fiber and bamboo ply hybrid quad frame