My OpenSource Quadcopter design

Since I started building my quad, using the F450 frame from UnmannedTech, I wanted to make something myself. I have now ordered myself a Shapeoko (an opensource CNC milling machine) and while I wait for it I have started to design myself a new quad frame - opensource of course :wink:

The design is to make it out of either glass fibre or carbon fibre board (or maybe aluminium but that would be after the design is complete, if ever!). I love the industrial trellis design to keep weight down but maintain strength. I also want it to be fold-able so I can transport it on my motorbike easily. It will need to have FPV and gimbal mounting as well.

Currently the 3D mockup is being designed in SketcUP so I can see if there seem to be any fundemental issues and to start with the vague design shapes. The motors are 450mm on center from each other (same as my F450 - had to start somewhere :smiley: ).

I am maintaining it on GitHub if anyone is interested GitHub - smartroad/OSQ: Open-Source Quadcopter

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Looks cool so far :thumbsup: and also great that it will be foldable for easy storage and transport! Depending on the material you are using (and the length of the arms) you might need to add a horizontal plate on the arms to avoid twisting, so worth adding that into the design incase you need it later :smile:

Are you planning to also make a cage for the electronics?

I am hoping that the folding section will work. I wanted it to be tool less so I am hoping the current design will work, although I am slightly concerned about the way the mechanism moves. Failing that I have a second idea, but it will mean more weight.

good suggestion about the horizontal plate for the arms, also will add somewhere to attach the wires from the motor too! :smile:

Currently not thinking about a cage for the electronics, although am planning on making some raised platforms on the top plate to mount them too. Although they will be optional and will just provide extra mount points for all the electronics for an FPV capable quad.

I am starting to struggle mounting all the stuff on my F450 frame. Next few months will see me buying the FPV kit (probably from you :wink: ) and it will be interesting fitting all that on!

Latest update:

Mount for GoPro and added a central spine to increase the rigidity of the main section - although it may need a bit more to to reduce flex in the ends as well.

Starting to look like a real quad! Depending on the space you could probably mount the electronics between the two plates and put the battery on top/underneath. That is one of the nice features of an H-quad… plenty of room for mounting stuff!

Thanks for the compliment :slight_smile: I am happy with how it is coming together. The ‘spine’ of the quad in the previous picture wouldn’t have allowed for the electronics to be fitted within the plates. I have moved it farther apart so that there is now two nice sized cavities to allow for the electronics to be placed inside. It has also been extended right to the ends which should reduce any flex in the main frame. The bolt holes have been moved to help clamp down on the spine more while giving access to the hole in the middle for cable running.

Now all I need if for my CNC milling machine to arrive so that I can start prototyping!

A quick animation of how the flight arms should retract:

Nice work so far! Looking forward to seeing the real thing soon! Any ETA on your CNC machine?

Supposedly it is going to be back in stock by the ‘end of the month’. However while I have learn’t to not hold my breath(!) I am quietly hoping it will be here by then. I’ve largely done all I can do without having some way of starting manufacturing so it is the waiting game unfortunately :frowning:

Well the end of the month has been and gone and still no machine :frowning:

Still has given me a chance to play with the files and refine them more. Some renderings of the quad with the updated 2D files. I have also added in the bolts and nuts that will secure the hole thing together. The underside also has an alteration to allow for a wider selection for Gimbal mountings.

Looking good!

What’s it going to be constructed with?

The initial prototype will be from fiberglass flat sheets. Depending on how well it works I am considering aluminum. The first quadcopter I ever saw many years ago was a custom build from alu, with it being anodized it looked great! That said I am concerned about weight if made in metal. Not to mention the company I have found that sells the fiberglass sheets can do tons of colours too. A friend of mine suggested selling it if it works. Dunno about that but keeping the thought open!

You’ve certainly got some talents at rapid / accurate 3D design. I’ve just given your github repo a +1 too :smiley:

Re: building / selling - I’m happy to commit to buying one if you make it. I’ve yet to get an H-quad in my stable :wink:

Thanks for the compliments! There is quite a major update coming for the repo as I have done some changes to the 2nd files.

I am now just waiting for the bleeding cnc machine to get in stock! lol

Still waiting so I have run some renders of the quad as it stands currently. Hope people like, comments welcome!

Cool renders, are they dont in sketchup? Pretty cool!

Looking forward to seeing some actual photos soon when you finally get your CNC machine!

The renders are done via a plugin for SketchUP. It sends the scene and data to POV-Ray which renders the scene. Great thing is that POV-Ray is free to use as well.

Annoyingly the company that I pre-ordered with have taken the listing off of their site. However work has a CNC milling machine I can use, had to buy some new cutters for it but have those and the fibreglass on order now :slight_smile: should be able to start this week!

YAY! My Shapeoko arrived on Friday, I have been building it over the weekend and had a test which has worked. I’ll play with it over this week and will hope to be ready at the weekend to start the build :slight_smile:

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So I have had my Shapeoko for a few weeks now and am resonably happy with the use of it. I have been having issues sourcing the material I need to product the quad, specifically the G10/FR4 board. I have finally found a couple of suppliers of it in the UK and should be ordering soon. After which I will look at starting production.

Great news :slight_smile: when you start production would be great to share some pics :camera:!