Spark 3D Printed Frame

By Chrswn on Apr 13, 2022

16  251  5

Bullet points
This version is more rigid than any previous versions
The extra supports do not disrupt the center of gravity of the quad
about 1.5-2g heavier than previous versions depending on color and filament type
I added a fin to the canopies to help turtle mode (although I never turtle mode my AIO, I just like the way the fin looks :D )

video to show how it flies...

This is another progression of my micro fpv frames inspired from the Calimero from Dave_C. This new version is a little heavier than the last, but much more rigid. After flying the previous version for a few weeks, I felt that I still couldn't get the most out of the quad. I figured if the quad was more rigid, I could improve the tune with more aggressive pids. However, If I simply increase the thickness of the frame, the lipo will be further from the prop line and I'll have unecessary added weight around the edges of the quad. So, I experimented with adding material in specific areas that wouldn't disrupt placement of the lipo or any electronics. Eventually, I found a nice balance. This version seems relatively robust (it's still a 3d printed frame), very rigid, and only about 1.5-2g heavier than the previous version. The extra weight is worth the trade. The result is a better tuned quad that is smooth and predictable. This translates to better lap times.

black, pink, blue
jhemcu 16x16 13a fc
betafpv 1103 8000kv
gemfan 65mm props
akk 16x16vtx
foxeer razer pico

the orange build
crazybee f4
happymodel 1203 6200kv
25mw aio camera with betafpv RHCP antenna
hq t65mm

I printed with carbon fiber/ pla mix for the base and regular PLA for colored supports. I use 20-30% infill and 3-4 walls. the frame is about 10.5g

If you're still reading at this point, then maybe you'd be ineterested in my opinion on the advtanges disadvantages of 3d printed frames over carbon fiber.

First, 3d printed frame are cheaper for me. Many of the carbon frames that I prefer are custom cut by CNC madness or ordered from Tomoquads, Gnarlyfpv, etc. which means I also have to pay for the frames and for shipping.
Second, I can modify the frame to my personal preferences. I can choose to run wide x, stretch x, true x. I can change the weight, the thickness, ridigity, layout. You can even try different materials to improve performance.
third, and probably my biggest reason... STYLE!!!! Everyone likes to personalize their quads. This latest version allows for some really cool color transistions that are easily seen since the wires sit inside the frame, not on top.

First, the biggest disadvantage is the balance between weight, rigidity, and durability. My 3d printed frames are not going to be as strong or light as carbon fiber. However, If I tried different materials (like carbon fiber/nylon mix) perhaps I can still improve on this aspect.
Second disadvantage, if you don't own a 3d printer, then this isn't a reasonable option. However, if you're really into FPV / RC, you should have a 3d printer in my opinion. And for those that say they don't want to pay the price or spend time learning, then perhaps you should convince your flying buddy to get one. I personally love spending other peoples money :D



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makesomemore_   Apr 28, 2022  

pretty little thangs!

Jodie Froster   Apr 14, 2022  

Looks so good! I appreciate the design work, not only structural, but the commitment required to push yourself to learn muti-material printing. The colors came out great!!!
Have you printed one entirely from pla and another from entirely CF-reinforced pla to compare weight and tunability?

Chrswn   Apr 14, 2022 

Thanks! When I first tested this design, I had one frame entirely of the CF filament and another was only PLA. With the brands and colors I used, these were my observations. I use Coobeen carbonfiber/pla mix and it is slightly heavier than the 100% PLA frames. Only by about half a gram or so. The CF/pla is more rigid, but this means they tend to break more easily since they don't flex in crashes. As a postive, I find that I can get a more aggressive tune out of the CF/pla (most likely due to the extra rigidity). This is the reason I like to pair the CF/pla and the regular pla together. I make the base of the frame out of CF/pla to get the stiffest frame possible and then use the regular pla as the support to hold it together when I crash. My next test will be to reverse this and see if reinforcing a PLA frame with CF/pla around the top will provide a lighter, but still rigid, frame. I could also try using ABS but I've heard mixed results of PLA and ABS bonding together.

Jodie Froster   Apr 17, 2022 

Fascinating! As things get smaller and lighter, the "insect body plan" becomes more and more viable (soft inside, rigid exoskeliton), I can't wait to see your results, please post them!!

jdmkramer   Apr 15, 2022  

Nice! I like the accents on the final layers :)

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