Unidentified Flying Objects – and a small challenge

Loud and dangerous you say?  Tell me more!

Loud AND dangerous you say? Tell me more!

The last six months or so have seen a noticeable increase in the number of designs on Thingiverse devoted to flying objects.  People are uploading designs for printed ‘copter motor holders, electronics holders, and full frames.  You can find most of them under the names of  “helicopter,” “tricopter,” “quadcopter,” or “quadrocopter” with 32, 5, 3, and 27 things associated with each, respectively.

The photo above is taken from “Quadracopter body” by avh.  He offers this warning, “It is not only loud, but quite dangerous, so flying over people is not recommended!”  (I’m sure he’s still working out the kinks.)

In any case, we may have been promised jet packs and hovercars, but at least the day of printing your own mini-copter are fast approaching.

Now for the challenge part…  9000 internet points and bragging rights to the person who can get me an on-board flight video1 from any kind of ‘copter sporting any number of printed parts.

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  1. Yes, I know that is redundant []
Tagged with , , , , , 11 comments

11 Comments so far

  • Matthew Crenshaw
    December 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Ok so mine doesn’t have printed parts but it’s a good example of sudden loss of control just so people fly safe:

  • ThePelton
    December 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    You could make it safer to fly around people by putting a ring around the propellers.

    • MakerBlock
      December 28, 2011 at 3:03 pm

      @ThePelton: That’s true. I’ve also seen examples where the entire ‘copter was encased in a lightweight cage in the shape of sphere.
      @Matthew Crenshaw: That is a good, and tragic, example of a sudden loss of control. Were you at least able to print any replacement parts on your MakerBot?!

  • Matthew Crenshaw
    December 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Maker bots can’t print gyros and pressure sensors so it can’t save me…yet!

  • Kevin Finisterre
    December 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    @makerbot can you quantify “internet points?” I’ll strap my Rangevideo FPV gear to my printed copter tonight (if its worth it) …

    Here is a test Y6 design, I also just finished printing the entire ArduCopter frame in ABS:

  • Alan
    December 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Bre, youre getting a 3D printed quad as soon as we get back to 3DR 🙂 no makerbot on site to test it, but we have a fortus.

  • Michael Colton
    December 28, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    I made this video a couple of months ago for a documentary. The quad is entirely 3D printed (my design) with the exception of some carbon rods. Enjoy!

    I’ll be back with a picture of the quad when I get home in about an hour.

  • Kevin Finisterre
    December 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Not sure of my comment got deleted vs. not but will the 9000 internet points be redeemable for at the very least a spool of ABS plastic or two?

    I’ll literally move my FPV camera gear from my non 3d printed quad copter to my 3d printed y6 hexacopter tonight. I moved a copy of the .STL files for the open source Arducopter frame to for easier 3d printing. Traditionally there have been no .STL files published for wider consumption.

    I have two 3d printed *copter projects on the floor next to me right now swapping a camera wouldn’t take much

  • Michael Colton
    December 28, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Here it is. (I tried posting earlier but it didn’t seem to work.)

    The frame (except for the carbon rods), motor mounts, camera mounts, battery tray, etc. are all 3D printed parts of my own design.

    See here for a picture:*bNQBvlQXuWB6XLEkAFwqKKPW0VUpgwsrnx5z33qTM3SmhzAS*HB0CgZlBzMWZENw__/DSC_0805.JPG?width=750

    See here for a hastily edited video I shot with it:

  • Buzz
    December 29, 2011 at 12:02 am

    here’s my first ( and only) onboard video from my home-made quadcopter, which suffered a fall from a grea height at the end of the video:
    Oh, and yes, the quad has printed parts. I printed the mounts for the 4x Sharp IR range sensors that are onboard. 🙂


  • Jen'nDavid
    January 5, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Boing has been trying to build a successful quad-copter for more than a decade even though the Pentagon doesn’t even want it anymore (some Delaware legislators do so ….) Well, the Boing specs are just a little beyond Maker size/strength requirements, but it took the company years just to come up with a demo.

    Someone with a good model ought to send a copy there just to, uh, let them know we’re thinking of them, and we’re thinking …


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