Dec 30, 2014 | By Kira

While a lot of attention is given to the more noble pursuits of 3D printing technology, from generating prosthetic limbs for amputees, to monitoring brain trauma, to saving wild rhinos from illegal poaching, it's also important to remember that 3D printing can also be used for good old-fashioned fun.

As an aspiring avionics student, Philippines-based, 16-year-old Timothy, known to the Instructables community as treyes4, has combined his passions for RC, gadget hacking and 3D designing in order to create an impressive quadcopter frame that seems to be equal parts technology, design, and adrenaline-pumping fun.

The frame he designed is based on the 250 Blackout Mini Quad, a frame famous for its ability to withstand crashes and pitch forward with ease and speed. It has a Semi H/X frame, which is faster than conventional X or Cross configuration quads, and gives extra space for FPV equipment, Gimbal, and more. "Just pack it with some of your favorite motors, ESC', batteries and receivers, and you're ready to go," says Timothy.

Of course, it's not quite that simple to build a high-powered, fast-moving, acrobatically inclined helicopter. Therefore, Timothy provides the STL file as well as very detailed tools, materials, photos, and step-by-step instructions to help build your very own H Quadcopter. For the RAW sketchup or DWG files, he can be contacted directly.

The model is a Blackout 330, with a frame weight of 282g, a diagonal wheelbase of 330 mm, a recommended propeller of 8 x 4.5 inches, a recommended 3S-4S LiPo battery, and 22 x 12 mm motor. Specific print settings are also provided, since it is crucial to control the weight and stiffness of each part to ensure proper flying.

Timothy estimates that the entire project took him roughly eight hours of printing time, and cost $56 in the Philippines. Of course, this will depend on your own level of experience with 3D printing and the types of tools and materials that are already at your disposal. Some of the tools listed include a cordless drill, soldering iron, alex wrenches, and various types of screws, most of which are available online if you don't have a local tool shop nearby.

A layout of some of the tools required to assemble the copter.

Diagram of the wiring required.

When it comes to the electronics, wiring, and calibrating, Timothy clearly knows his stuff. Still, for the less experienced among us, he provides specific recommendations and even links based on his personal wishlist. In order to do flips and acrobatic moves with the quad, for example, he suggests going with the Mulitwii flight controller series. He also gives personal tips on which motors he thinks are overpriced (the DJI 920KV) and which chargers are worth paying for in order to maintain your batteries' health.

Finally, he provides an app for Android phone users that will allow them to control the quadcopter wirelessly. Unfortunately, iPhone users will have a bit more legwork to do, however he suggests looking for Multiwii programs instead.

An Android-friendly app that can control the 3D copter from a distance

FPV video of the completed H Quadcopter soaring and doing tricks.

While avionics and 3D printing are Timothy's personal hobbies, he has educational ambitions as well. Along with his high school team (Don Bosco Technical Institute Makati), Timothy has entered The Next Bright Idea 3 Elevator Pitch Challenge. Having submitted their design for a modular generator that will generate power by harnessing heat and salt (i.e., it could charge your phone while you jog and sweat), they are competing to win PhP 50,000 ($1,100) in a contest for young aspiring entrepreneurs. If you're as inspired as we are by this H Quadcopter design, head over to The Next Bright Idea website to vote before January 6th.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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