MINI TriCptr - 3D Printed TriCopter

by BanditMr2 | May 12, 2014 | (26 Ratings) Posted in Projects

This is my 3D printed tricopter. 

This project is built around the MINI MWC Flight Control Board and DSM2 Receiver from HobbyKing. It's an all in one package with built in Accelerometer, Gyro, Barometer and Digital Compass. Better yet, is has an DSM2 Receiver Built-in. I bought this when if first appeared on HobbyKings site, unfortunately it has been backordered since. I modeled this in AutoCAD and I’ve uploaded the STL files in Thingiverse. Click the link below to see instructions and download the parts.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:327338

 

Main Frame

 

Front and rear landings kids.

 

Tail motor mount with integrated servo horns.

 

Canopy.

 

All the Printed Parts. Yeah!!!

 

3D Printed parts mock assembly. I used an M3x22 hex screw and an M3 locknut. The tail assembly is very simple,

Assembled with the MINI MWC Flight Control Board in the cabin. I cut the servo and control wires to fit. I also soldered the motors directly to the ESC. I wanted to minimize the weight and clean up the wiring. I used 12A Blue series ESC flashed with Simon-K.

 

Here it is Fully assembled. I used RCX 1804 (2400KV) 2 Reverse & 1 Normal Rotation motors from MyRcMart.com

 

I used a Zippy compact 3S 1000mAh Lipo. I get 10 minutes of flight time with this battery. I also use 5" 2 blade props from gemfan.

 

The Mini TriCptr next to my Turnigy 9XR to give you an idea of its size.

 

Next up, FPV and using an Acro Naze control board. Stay Tuned........

 

 A short flight video.

COMMENTS

SnapPunchRobert on June 5, 2014
That is so Wicked Cool. Great Job.
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BanditMr2 on June 5, 2014
Thank you. It's so much fun to Fly...
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Cortes Gary on June 2, 2014
Nicely done! Can't wait to see the FPV version.
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BanditMr2 on June 2, 2014
thank you for the kind words. FPV is coming along nicely. I'm hoping to have it up soon....
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felixx on June 7, 2014
Wow! I want one!
I dont have a 3d printer, keen to ship one to NZ?
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BanditMr2 on June 7, 2014
I feel for you. I would probably be more cost effective to have one printed from a local 3D print service. Thanks.
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felixx on June 7, 2014
Wow! I didnt think of that idea!
I will look into it.
Will my turnigy 9x control this?
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BanditMr2 on June 8, 2014
I use it with mine.... I installed a DSM2 OrangeRX Transmitter module.
Works great...
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MentalWhiplash on June 2, 2014
Very well done. The tail assembly is brilliantly simple.
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BanditMr2 on June 2, 2014
Thank you.... I like to keep things simple.. less parts to worry about.
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Sirglider on June 2, 2014
Brillant design! Integrated FPV camera and you can race for sure with those 250 quad bastards! :P
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BanditMr2 on June 2, 2014
Thanks. My thoughts as well. Although, I'm not sure my little tri will be as tough as my blackout. It's a good thing that If I have an unscheduled landing, I can always print more parts :)...
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iwan_canobi on June 2, 2014
Thats an awesome little design, nicely done! Really makes me want a 3D printer...
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BanditMr2 on June 2, 2014
Thanks.. You should do it. Believe me, I've spent more money in this hobby than my 3D printer.
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filken on June 2, 2014
Great job! The next step is to create a swarm of them... Just make sure they aren't allowed to self replicate. That's when it all goes down hill. Seriously though, that's a great design. Love your work.
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BanditMr2 on June 3, 2014
Thank you.... I'm OK with them self replicating as along as we hold the controllers. :)
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MIDNCOCO on June 3, 2014
how long did that take to print and what printer did you use?
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BanditMr2 on June 3, 2014
It took about 3 hours to print all the parts. I used a printer I made myself. It's based on a reprap mendel i3. Any 3D printer with a 200mm x 200mm bed should be able to print this. Thanks for your interest...
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Captain Crash on June 4, 2014
you're a genius man great work exited for the fpv version are you going to use the mobius
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BanditMr2 on June 4, 2014
Thanks. I'm planning on the mobius unless I find something lighter. I'm trying to keep the weight as low as possible.
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djentangle on June 4, 2014
I want one, I have a makerbot thing-o-matic at work but it's Z axis stepper motor is messing up. I think i'm going to get a 3D printer for home with my next paycheck. BTW, I had no luck getting my mini multiwii with dsm2 sat support working.

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BanditMr2 on June 4, 2014
Sorry to hear about your thing-o-matic. I think the build volume might be too small for this model. the on-board DSM2 receiver only works in ppm mode. your will need to un-comment for PPM in the firmware. LeoCopter has a good tutorial in the HK website (look in the comments section.) I also cut the default PID's by half. Let me know if you need more information..... Thanks.
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FKreider on June 4, 2014
Wow, inspiring build! This would be AMAZING with FPV!
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BanditMr2 on June 5, 2014
Thanks. FPV design is done!!! I'm waiting for parts to finish.
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Philydog666 on June 5, 2014
That's a sweet designee. And so simple to. And it would be even cooler with FPV. GREAT JOB!!!!!!
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BanditMr2 on June 5, 2014
Thank you for your enthusiasm... I have a blast flying it..
FPV version will be up soon.
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Capt Buscemi on June 6, 2014
Amazing! I've been a tricopter junkie for a couple of years now - I don't exactly hate quads, but I don't love em either - but the mini quad FPV revolution made me think again. THIS design might keep me on the Pure and Righteous Path of 3-motor fun. Love the integrated servo mechanism.

Has Mr Windestal seen this one yet? I'm sure he'd have some awesome feedback...
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BanditMr2 on June 6, 2014
Thank you so much. I feel the same as you about tricopters. After my first build, a tricopter using the anycopter kit, I was hooked. I also have a Blackout MiniH quad which is a lot of fun to fly; but I find myself reaching for this little tricopter when I have time to fly.
I don't know if David Windestål has seen my build but I would be honored if he did.
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IcyBird on June 8, 2014
Oh man I wish I had a 3d printer. This is so cool! I would rather have this than pay for a blackout.
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BanditMr2 on June 9, 2014
I was into RC before I decided to make my 3D printer. When I was done with the 3D printer, I decided to combine the two projects. the two hobbies are very similar. There is something very satisfying about designing to 3D modeling to a physical model....
I have a blackout and I've flown it only a handful of times, mostly because I'm not very good at flying FPV. I'm hitting the simulators now...
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highfly122 on June 9, 2014
Wow this thing is awsome!!! how much would you charge for two shipped to 98501? if you would be willing. I have no access to a 3d printer or if would bother them. thanks!
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BanditMr2 on June 9, 2014
you can try http://www.makexyz.com/.
they might be able to help you out.....
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highfly122 on June 9, 2014
thanks man, ur not interested in selling?
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BanditMr2 on June 10, 2014
very interested....
I'm working on a few things that will compliment my little TriCptr.
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jubishop on June 17, 2014
I'm attempting to build one of these and trying to follow your build instructions as closely as possible. Are these the ESC's you used? http://witespyquad.gostorego.com/speed-controllers/readytofly-12-amp-rapidesc-simonk.html
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BanditMr2 on June 18, 2014
I used BlueSeries 12A from Hobby King. I flashed it with simon K firmware. The one from witespyquad should work too...
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BanditMr2 on June 18, 2014
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__11429__HobbyKing_12A_BlueSeries_Brushless_Speed_Controller.html
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jubishop on June 17, 2014
Also, I see no mention of the exact servo hardware used. Any pointers there too? Thank you so much!
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BanditMr2 on June 18, 2014
I used the 9 gram metal gear servo from Hobby King.
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__27569__turnigy_tgy_50090m_metal_gear_9g_analog_servo.html

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jubishop on June 19, 2014
thanks! and thanks again for this fun project!
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BanditMr2 on June 19, 2014
no problem.... let me know how it turns out..

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jubishop on June 20, 2014
will do! all parts are now on order. :)
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shermanhartman on July 8, 2014
Hey banditmr2, i cant seem to find any multiwii software compatible with this board, for tricopters. I've only found programs that work for quads. What program did you use?
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BanditMr2 on July 8, 2014
you will need to modify the firmware using arduino and upload the it to the board with a usb ftdi flash stick. remember to use the pad to connect the flash stick with the MWC board.
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