This design can accommodate any number of flight controllers, ESC, motors, etc. And how you assemble this quad will depend upon what electronic and mechanical parts you chose.
The main trick is spacing the lower, middle and upper decks of the main frame to accommodate the electronics you chose. Aluminum spacers of various lengths can be purchase online or at your local hobby shop.
If you put your ESCs (motor controllers) between the lower and middle decks, you can cut aluminum or carbon-fiber spaces (design file included) to place above and/or below your arms to allow enough room for the ESCs. But how you ultimately configure this is up to you.
If you are interested in building this type of project, you are probably already familiar with how to build a quadcopter, and I won’t explain that here.
The most critical part of this project is knowing how to cut the frame pieces and arms using your X-Carve machine.
I have included sample tool paths that have worked well for me for both the carbon fiber and aluminum.
The carbon fiber is fairly simple, and a standard composites bit will work fine.
For the aluminum, the bit makes a huge difference (as do the tool path parameters). And so far, the bit that I have gotten the best results with is the Kodiak b007btppvm bit (1/8 SE 2FL REG – ALUM).
And use the provided sample tool path parameters as a starting point. Also note that they are different depending upon the type of cut your are doing (cutouts vs. drilling, for example). This is intentional and helps to ensure good results.
Although I have not provided a lot of details here, please feel free to reach out to me if you are interested in building this project, and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
This is in response to another forum member’s questions about cutting parameters:
The quiet-cut spindle should work fine with these parameters. But if it struggles any, just reduce the cut depth/feed rate and try again.
For this project, I actually used the same feed rate and plunge rate for cutting both the carbon fiber and the aluminum. (You can actually cut the carbon fiber much faster than this.) But I do plunge all the way through the material and then cut the full 2mm in one pass.
And for the aluminum, I use a couple of different strategies depending on the type of cut.
The bolt holes are 3mm, and I have found that you are better off to simply “drill” these rather than “cut” them. When you cut them, your router essentially draws a circle instead of just plunging strait down, and I have found that due to a small amount of flex in the system, including the bit, the holes are sometimes less symmetrical when you “cut” as opposed to “drill.”
Since both the bit and the hole are 3mm, I actually indicate in my “drilling” configuration that the tool is 2.9mm so that it will generate a tool path that is inside the circle rather than on it.
I also do two other things differently when drilling: When you plunge strait down, you are cutting with the tip of the bit only, and this actually takes more time, so I slow the plunge rate way down to .25mm per pass, and each pass is only .5mm deep. (You don’t actually notice the passes, because it just does one after the other strait down through the material, but this does create a brief pause between each step to give more time to clear out the material.) I also go .25mm deeper than the material. If you don’t, you sometimes don’t cut all the way through when drilling, because the material “pushes back” a bit.
For everything else (elongated holes, cutouts, etc), I use these parameters:
One critical component here is the cutting bit. I have tried a number of different aluminum-specific bits, and this one works significantly better than the other I have tried: Kodiak B007BTPPVM (1/8 SE 2FL REG – ALUM).
Aluminum Cutting Parameters:
Specified Bit Size: 3mm (It actually is. I just mention this, because for drilling I specify 2.9mm)
Cut Depth: .5mm per pass
Plunge Rate: .5mm/sec
Travel Speed: 3mm/sec
And one final note on these parameter: I had a professional machinist comment on my video and suggest that I be more aggressive and increase these substantially, and although I do value his experience and insight, these values were determined through a significant amount of trial and error to see what works best with these machines.
And you don’t seem to have a lot of leeway here: If you try to be more aggressive than I am here with these lower torque spindles (lower than the large production machines), you simply won’t get good results. Moreover, you will destroy your expensive bit in a hurry.
But if you do decide to experiment some yourself and happen to come up with something that works better, please post the details: I would love to see an even better way to do this.