Additive Manufacturing Strategies

A 3D Printed V-Tail Quadcopter with Functionality and Flair

ST Medical Devices

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With 24 days still to go, maker and multi-rotor copter fanatic Ken Konrad has already earned nearly 50% of the funding he requested for the creation of his 525 V-Tail Multirotor flying machine. His interest in the creation of copters is something that has been with him not since he was a child, but since he worked on a project with one: his own son. Finding himself soon to be more excited about the project than his son was, he turned a small project into a quest to create the coolest v-tail quadcopter possible.dfdc54952bc409fad73b8d29fb47d453_original

“My interest in robotics has been life-long, but really got kick-started when my 10 year-old son and I attended a Raspberry Pi workshop geared towards high school aged children. Together, we built a basic tank-tread robot that could be controlled and could stream live video over a network. I got more excited than my son, and eventually designed and built (using a 3D printer) the frame work for a hexapod robot. From there, things spiralled out of control and I built several quadcopter frames, and began to fly. That’s when I began doing contract work for InDro Robotics, printing prototype parts and assembling industry-quality drones.”

Conrad has already created a working prototype that has proven quite satisfactory. However, as anyone who knows a maker is all too aware, nothing is ever finished, there are always improvements that can be made. He would like to continue to work on his project to reduce the frame weight, add light effects, create exciting body panels, and make provisions for aerial photography.

He believes he has created a truly solid drone-capable multi-copter and given the quick response of backers, he isn’t alone in that belief. The front arms fold back both allowing easy transport and reducing the chance of breakage from impact. The creation of a v-tail design increases yaw authority, which is the control over the copters ability to move its nose vertically as it turns. Other features of his design include:

  • A shrouded design to protect the controller857fb69db34508550b3017134dd21a3c_original
  • Potential for reinforcing the robust frame with carbon fiber or hollow aluminum shafts
  • Built in conduits for clean design
  • Rear antenna placement option to reduce signal interference
  • Built in military specification rail system for user add ons
  • Easily replaceable parts that can sourced from any 3D printer

Konrad explained his hopes for the funding raised through the Kickstarter campaign:

“I am raising funds for the purchase of a bigger and better 3D printer and to continue development of this model, as well as future models of fantastic flying features! My current printer has a small print area and a low print speed. I am looking to increase productivity and project capabilities. I am also trying to build a different perception of Multicopter flight, making it a little more affordable and adding a lot more style!!”

The varying levels of reward make supporting this project quite tempting and two people have already chosen to opt-in at the $600 level and sometime soon will be off and flying!

Let us know if you’v backed this Kickstarter project and your thoughts on this creation.  Discuss in the V-Tail Quadcopter Forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the Kickstarter pitch video below:

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