Laser cut foldable quad frame design v2

by enivid | June 29, 2013 | (4) Posted in Projects

Foldable quad version 2

So right after finishing version 1 of my laser cut foldable quad I decided to go for a second version of the frame to introduce some improvements that were needed from my previous build.

Landing gear

The landing gear was quite unstable, I've gone through a couple of iterations of the design.  The first version the legs were too short and didn't fit very tightly into the booms.

I attempted to build a second version which had two parts to fit as a + into the boom anchored using zipties.  I found this design complicated and it's quite difficult to get the tolerances right for a flush fit.

The final version was based on boat masts, think of a forestay and backstay holding the arm into the boom, by moving the ziptie anchors down the landing gear I think I have created a nice compromise solution that doesn't remove too much material on the boom.  Keeping with that design decision, all ziptie anchors on the booms and landing gear have a significantly reduced area, again to remove the least amount of material.


Layer plates

My original design used two layer plates but atter building it, I found that having two was an overdesign.  I decided to merge all of the features of both plates into one (for more details on the layer plates you can check the "layerd approach" heading in my previous article).  I've also done some minor tweaks like adding orthogonal velcro strap anchors.  Additionally, one set of ziptie anchors can be used to mount the KK2 boards (original was designed only to accept the v1 board) using M3 nylon screws or zipties.  Another key innovation, is the little gap at the edge of the plate to allow the builder to pop-in cables in the cable feed hole.  This improvement makes mounting ESCs onto the plate a lot easier.



Motor mounts

I've gone through a few motor mount designs to get to v2.  I wanted to maintain the ability for the builder to use zipties to mount the motors while also allowing the builder to use M3 screws to mount their motors.  I've tried to keep a balance in the design by not removing too much material while being functional, I think I hit the sweet spot.


Please share your comments below and checkout my build in the forum.  Also please don't forget to rate this article! 


Splatwillicrash on July 1, 2013
Inovative Design! I like it, and our local makerspace just took delivery of a Laser Cutter!! Do you experience any issue with flex in the arms since the design is set up to fold? I find that issues develop in some of the rotor bones I have built where if the arms attaching to the anycopter frame were even slightly loose I will get oscilations (sp?) which on the decent sometimes increase to uncontrollable levels.
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ox141jf on July 2, 2013
have a look at my blogpost on the laser cut frames i design, you will find it enlightening i think.
As someone said, drone frames seem to be so minimalistic and basic, which is where i decided to go out of the box.

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enivid on July 2, 2013
Yup your designs are very cool. My goals were a little different... my frame is really targeted for easy builds. Are you interested in integrating some of my features into your design to make it simpler to build? (for example the motor mounts).
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enivid on July 1, 2013
There is flex in the arms but if you dial back your P/I gains it flies like a normal quad.
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enivid on July 13, 2013
If anyone is interested the design files are available at:
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Laser cut foldable quad frame design v2