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New quadcopter projet (startup)

#1
Hello everyone, Im thinking to start a project (startup), the idea is building a quadcopters for environmental monitoring.
For the chassis, Im thinking to built it by using 3D printers.
The Quadcopter should have:
- FPV Camera + OSD.
- Altimeter/Barometer/Thermometer sensors.
- Manual/Autonomous flight.

For all the electronic devices, I hope you can give me the best price / quality ratio.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#2
Most 3d printed chassis are not strong or rigid enough for smooth flying and payload carrying. They are possible in the nano sizes but carbon fibre is better.
What type of payload might you need on that design? If it just needs to fly round and look there are numerous commercial designs that already do that, some pretty cheaply.
A basic set of components, goggles and a transmitter is going to be around $200-300.
 
#3
Most 3d printed chassis are not strong or rigid enough for smooth flying and payload carrying. They are possible in the nano sizes but carbon fibre is better.
What type of payload might you need on that design? If it just needs to fly round and look there are numerous commercial designs that already do that, some pretty cheaply.
A basic set of components, goggles and a transmitter is going to be around $200-300.
But what if I use a carbon fiber filament for the 3D prints?
For the type of payloads, that will depend on the customers.
But for me, I have to build a prototype to show it to different customers first.
I guess just a FPV camera plus OSD, and altimeter barometer thermometer windspeed sensors, plus an autopilot, I think its just good.
What do you think?
 

FDS

Well-known member
#4
I think a cheap carbon fibre frame like a ZMR 250 for $12-15 will trash any 3D printed frame with a 5” type set up. You cannot get the layer bonding strong enough in an FDM type set up to replicate laminated carbon fibre. There’s a good reason nobody uses printed frames.
The wind speed sensor won’t work, unless you hover and deploy it, since the quad will have an air speed and prop wash will mess up the measurement. The thermometer will also not be accurate, since the air moving around the quad will cool it or components near it may warm it.
The Matek F405 AOI board has a barometer on board, it measures altitude with it. You are not going to legally be able to fly high enough to measure atmospheric weather conditions.
Weather balloons do that job very simply, cheaply and effectively. They also create no disturbances as they rise, unlike a quad.
You won’t sell many weather/environmental quads when a simple balloon can do the job better with no licence problems.
 
#5
I think a cheap carbon fibre frame like a ZMR 250 for $12-15 will trash any 3D printed frame with a 5” type set up. You cannot get the layer bonding strong enough in an FDM type set up to replicate laminated carbon fibre. There’s a good reason nobody uses printed frames.
The wind speed sensor won’t work, unless you hover and deploy it, since the quad will have an air speed and prop wash will mess up the measurement. The thermometer will also not be accurate, since the air moving around the quad will cool it or components near it may warm it.
The Matek F405 AOI board has a barometer on board, it measures altitude with it. You are not going to legally be able to fly high enough to measure atmospheric weather conditions.
Weather balloons do that job very simply, cheaply and effectively. They also create no disturbances as they rise, unlike a quad.
You won’t sell many weather/environmental quads when a simple balloon can do the job better with no licence problems.
But weather ballons will give the atmospheric weather conditions in a specific location, what if the customer has a large area and want to know these information in a far location?
And also in a environmental disaster, a Quadcopter will have some benefits, no?
And a Quadcopter has the possibility to hover in a position and also to land wherever.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#6
You rarely need to know the weather in a specific area of the ground, most of the things that affect ground conditions happen much higher up in the atmosphere than you can fly a quad.
You can’t fly a quad very far for extended periods. It’s simply not efficient enough vs something like a fixed wing UAV. Wrong tool for this job IMO.
 
#7
You rarely need to know the weather in a specific area of the ground, most of the things that affect ground conditions happen much higher up in the atmosphere than you can fly a quad.
You can’t fly a quad very far for extended periods. It’s simply not efficient enough vs something like a fixed wing UAV. Wrong tool for this job IMO.
Yes I see.
So in the environment field, what is the tasks that a Quadcopter can do efficiently?
 

FDS

Well-known member
#8
Anything where the hover, manoeuvrability and payload capacity is an advantage over duration. I am not an environmental scientist. Why not do some market research before designing your quad? Also get some FPV flying in and make a few test builds with automated control in stuff like wings or the FT Explorer?
 
#9
Anything where the hover, manoeuvrability and payload capacity is an advantage over duration. I am not an environmental scientist. Why not do some market research before designing your quad? Also get some FPV flying in and make a few test builds with automated control in stuff like wings or the FT Explorer?
To be clear, I always prefer the fixed wing uav.
The FT explorer is a good choice to begin with?
You think its easy to build it?
 

FDS

Well-known member
#10
I haven’t built it. All FT designs are fairly easy. The wing on the Explorer is the hard part, they fold sometimes. There’s a whole thread on here about reinforcing it.