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Pros and Cons of 3D-printed Mini Power Pods?

#1
Question's in the title. If I'm already having Mini Firewalls 3D printed, are there compelling reasons for or against just printing the whole power pod, like for example here? And what if I'm really not planning on swapping out anything from plane to plane?
 

FDS

Well-known member
#2
I find that when I crash the soft nature of the foamboard walls of the power pod absorbs damage that would otherwise be on my prop and motor. A harder pod will simply shift the point of breakage to more expensive components.
The other advantage about the foam pod is that you can easily adjust the motor and prop position in the airframe with minimal tools.
A printed reinforcement for the main airframe to keep the holes from wearing out, possibly disguised as a cool scale detail might be a good use for 3d prints in that area.
 

kdobson83

Well-known member
#3
I find that this depends on the plastic you are having them printed in. PLA is very common in 3d printing but has a lower melting temp. Means if you plan on getting the motors a tad bit hot this plastic will soften and flex, in some cases, A LOT. I had a PLA firewall on my FT Alpha running 4s and during some play time with my kids, blowing them with the prop wash while holding the plane, the motor got a tad hot and the motor started to move around. Just something to keep in mind. ABS and PETG both have higher melting points and may not have this issue. Just something to keep in mind.
 

mrjdstewart

Well-known member
#4
i 3D print the firewall then use foam board for the rest. if you 3D print the whole thing it can really mess with CG due to added weight. you can also have issues in a crash. the plastic does not give, it breaks. foam board will absorb impacts much better.

my $.02,

me :cool:
 
#5
That's good feedback, particularly about reinforcing the fuselage holes vs the power pod, so that the easy to replace power pod is damaged and not the plane. So to my second question then, I guess you guys would still recommend using a power pod even if you don't plant to swap planes, for that reason alone? To potentially reduce or absorb crash damage in a replaceable part?
 

mrjdstewart

Well-known member
#7
i know a lot of guys glue there power pods in but i never do. even if i have no intention of ever "swapping" the pod. for me it is just easier to do it the normal way, then be able to access everything in case something goes bad, or replace the pod if needed.

laters,

me :cool:
 

jaredstrees

Well-known member
#8
When I first found this site I decided making planes swappable was dumb and I glued in all my pods. I realize now that even if I don't plan on switching the pods around it's not always better to glue them. I still often modify the pod or relocate electronics depending on the plane, but generally won't glue them in in case something need fixing. I also realized that lighter is better, so a full 3d printed pod is a no go. Sure, you could print them to be light, but by then they are generally to fragile or thin to work properly. Plus, I can cut one out 2 hours quicker! and for a fraction of the price.
 

mrjdstewart

Well-known member
#9
.... so a full 3d printed pod is a no go. Sure, you could print them to be light, but by then they are generally to fragile or thin to work properly. Plus, I can cut one out 2 hours quicker! and for a fraction of the price.
exactly. the nice thing about printing the firewall is you know your holes are perfectly centered, really the only thing you need to print.