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mpbiv's 3D Printed Folding Tricopter: a work in progress

#23
that looks great in yellow. look forward to hearing how she flys. what do you use for your viewer, a monitor or goggles? i cringe when i see its 400.00 for some.. and i have no idea if id even like goggles over a monitor. but the only other option is the 30.00 diy job from hobbyking. but im not sure if that would work as well as the sharks. but im not gonna worry to much about fpv for now. soon tho, it is on my mind.
chris.
I have both, and I started out with just the monitor and video receiver on a tripod. I just recently got a set of Dominator V2's and am still getting used to the goggles.

The monitor has some advantages depending on what you want to do. For example it is great when you are trying to film something while working with others, because you have a lot of situational awareness of where things and people are around you that you cannot get from just through the eye of the camera lens. With the monitor, it is very non-committal, and often when I use it, I find myself switching between FPV flight and LOS flight whenever I am in close proximity even though I want to do an entire flight in FPV. It is also inherently not as immersive as the goggles.

I think the goggles are all around better for FPV. Having the goggles on, you cannot switch between FPV and LOS as easily, so you are more committed to flying entirely FPV when using them. That sensation is something I am still getting accustomed to, but I enjoy the experience and the challenge more so. Plus they are super portable, and a lot less of a pain to drag around than a ground station/monitor setup.
 

C0d3M0nk3y

Posted a thousand or more times
#24
I only ask because I'm having one hell of a time getting a video setting that's worth a damn while flying. I have to constantly adjust the brightness/exposure settings each flight, and even then in the manual settings the brightness seems to change as the flight goes on. In auto mode the image is just too dark.
The settings in these two videos seem to be pretty widely used for the PZ0420:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKUoVa2fQY0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgdLU8gdYSU
 

finnen

Senior Member
#26
I only ask because I'm having one hell of a time getting a video setting that's worth a damn while flying. I have to constantly adjust the brightness/exposure settings each flight, and even then in the manual settings the brightness seems to change as the flight goes on. In auto mode the image is just too dark.
I have a sony 600tvl camera. One of it's strong points is the brightness I think, but make sure that you activate the wide dynamic range via the osd menu. Check this video for how to do it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=wdqsClsJyUU#t=196
 
#27
Had a little bit of time today to start designing the "FPV Pod"

I have an idea of what I want it to look like, but still haven't finished modeling the whole thing. Here is what I have so far:
Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 10.31.25 PM.png

Fresh off the printer, checking to make sure the camera mounting holes are correct........and they are.
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The last major part to design/model/print is the upper portion of the FPV Pod. This piece will tie in the rear vibration damper to the front two dampers and the camera mount. I plan to print this part in the transparent yellow PLA I used already.

This thing is going to end up being all black, yellow and blue, kind of like Wolverine from the original X-men comics.
 

Twitchity

Senior Member
#28
Looks like you have your printer dialed in pretty good, and you're tri looks to be almost complete. I don't know how you've resisted the urge to wire up everything and take it for a test flight.

I do have a question on your printer though. I've noticed recently in Repetier that my infill isn't printing right both on the part and in the software. I have it set to 100% for a few parts but the infill is anything but 100%, more like 50%. If I go in the preview tab in Repetier the filament lines in the bottom layer all touch, but from layer 2 on up even at 100% the lines don't touch and it shows in the print. This is only on .2mm layer height, if I change the layer height to .3mm it fixes the problem both in the print and Repetier. This makes me believe it's a setting somewhere I changed, but I can't seem to figure out which one it was. Does anyone have an idea?
 
#29
Looks like you have your printer dialed in pretty good, and you're tri looks to be almost complete. I don't know how you've resisted the urge to wire up everything and take it for a test flight.

I do have a question on your printer though. I've noticed recently in Repetier that my infill isn't printing right both on the part and in the software. I have it set to 100% for a few parts but the infill is anything but 100%, more like 50%. If I go in the preview tab in Repetier the filament lines in the bottom layer all touch, but from layer 2 on up even at 100% the lines don't touch and it shows in the print. This is only on .2mm layer height, if I change the layer height to .3mm it fixes the problem both in the print and Repetier. This makes me believe it's a setting somewhere I changed, but I can't seem to figure out which one it was. Does anyone have an idea?
That's odd. I don't know why it would do that.

I actually haven't attempted to print anything full solid yet. Maybe you could go into the menu where you specify the number of layers on the bottom and the top that are printed solid and just specify a huge number so that it overrides the infill settings altogether.

Honestly i have been just using Cura to generate g-code for 90% of my prints. And now I am running the machine from the LCD control panel, with all my files on a SD card. I was having some problems with my USB control on my laptop, where prints would stop at random times whenever I was in Chrome multi-tasking while printing.
 
#31
First pass at the upper plate for the FPV Pod. Overall I am happy with the shape of everything but I cannot leave things alone, so this is going to change at least one more time to inprove how it is fastened and also add some mounting provisions for some of the electronics.

IMG_0621.JPG

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I am waiting on ESC's to arrive before any of the wiring begins.
 

jipp

Senior Member
#32
man, what a slick girl.. i want one. i like how it folds up so small. you are doing well. and that bar should add plenty of protection for the camera.

chris.
 

HawkMan

Senior Member
#35
First pass at the upper plate for the FPV Pod. Overall I am happy with the shape of everything but I cannot leave things alone, so this is going to change at least one more time to inprove how it is fastened and also add some mounting provisions for some of the electronics.

View attachment 42007

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I am waiting on ESC's to arrive before any of the wiring begins.
I don't think I would have been able to refrain from making that top plate like a pyramid.
 
#36
I don't think I would have been able to refrain from making that top plate like a pyramid.
I definitely want to add some creative cutouts on this part, but I wanted to print it out so I could play with some of the component placements in real life and figure out how I want to fasten everything. Some things are easier to see with parts in hand, and I am too lazy to model every component in Inventor Fusion.

It will definitely need some slots for zipties and what not.

It's probably going to be about 2-3 weeks before the files are ready for Thingiverse. I won't be able to work on it this weekend unfortunately, which will delay things.
 

jipp

Senior Member
#37
tri.JPG

if you get vibration in the camera do you think you will have two add braces like i did in yellow? id probably use the spacers like other frame use instead of printing plastic that may break being so thin ( well you could make it thicker than i originally thought now i see the thickness available to mount some kind of gusset if needed, so a printed part should work assuming you even need it. or do you think it will be fine with out.

i really do not know the material you are working with so i do not know how stiff it is.

chris.
 
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#38
View attachment 42022

if you get vibration in the camera do you think you will have two add braces like i did in yellow? id probably use the spacers like other frame use instead of printing plastic that may break being so thin ( well you could make it thicker than i originally thought now i see the thickness available to mount some kind of gusset if needed, so a printed part should work assuming you even need it. or do you think it will be fine with out.

i really do not know the material you are working with so i do not know how stiff it is.

chris.
Those are good ideas, and I am considering a very similar approach, but not because of vibration concerns. The three blue dampers will mitigate vibration issues, and you cannot see it in the pictures, but there are posts and fasteners behind the camera which connect the upper and lower pieces together. If I add more supports to the front, the main purpose will be to provide additional protection for the camera in crashes.

If I do it, I will probably print them. Even printed, they should be strong enough. But more importantly, I want to go through the design and minimize the amount of hardware that needs to be purchased. I am also want to provide models to print some pivot bushings instead of using the ball bearings you see, and also a model for vibration dampers which can be printed in Ninjaflex. I guess my rationale is to reduce the amount of purchased parts, and maximize the amount of printed parts. That way there is less initial cost in hardware, and most broken parts can be replaced by simply re-printing them.

This should help reduce the time to rebuild between crashes, assuming electronics are re-usable.

Of course, this has me questioning whether choosing carbon tube front arms was a good idea. Not because they cannot be printed if broken; honestly I think they will probably outlast all the other parts on the frame. But because it was fairly expensive to buy them because most places will only sell you a 60" section of tube and you only need about 8" of that to build one frame. The good news I have tons of carbon tube ready for all my other mini-quad builds/designs.
 

jipp

Senior Member
#39
yeah, i can see how the side would add protection. and can create lots of interesting gusset designs.. its a good design.. and it seems more people have 3d printers. i wonder if they will be come cheap like your regular laser printer these days. i can remember when you did not own a printer cause it was just to expensive. so you went to the copy machine and paid you .10 a sheet.. times sure have change and i guess the same will be true with 3d printers has time moves on. or the dot matrix printers, first affordable printers slower than dirt tho. then lasers, hell the printer i have now is better than the high end model my college used in the late 90s. crazy how fast technology moves forward.

yeah carbon fiber is not cheap.. but like you said you have lots for other projects.. and im guessing anyone who downloads the plans to build one will end using that piece of carbon fiber they need to build more..
chris.

chris.
 

HawkMan

Senior Member
#40
I definitely want to add some creative cutouts on this part, but I wanted to print it out so I could play with some of the component placements in real life and figure out how I want to fasten everything. Some things are easier to see with parts in hand, and I am too lazy to model every component in Inventor Fusion.

It will definitely need some slots for zipties and what not.

It's probably going to be about 2-3 weeks before the files are ready for Thingiverse. I won't be able to work on it this weekend unfortunately, which will delay things.
mostly I was thinking partly it would look cool, but more than that it would make it more aerodynamic at fast forward speed instead of a flat wall. then again your camera currently isn't really mounted for high speed.