KakiDIY took up this challenge to convert simple, commonly available and usually thrown away Ice Cream sticks into a functional quadcopter frame.
Here’s the step by step guide of the entire journey.
Here are the main materials. Ice Cream sticks! Or… those sticks Doctors stuck them into your mouth after asking you to say “AAAaaaaahhhh” Easily available after consuming 10 large ice creams or get them from Art Stores or Medical Supply Shops if you want to get them in a hurry.
Power White Glue! Not sure actually what do people call these. But these are super strong bonding glue for woodwork and art. Also easily available in art and stationary stores.
Use enough of those Glue on the ice cream stick and apply pressure to bond them. Temporarily align them and hold them down using a peg, while…
while…. You align the sticks straight using some guide. A proper tool like a 90 degree protractor will be ideal, however these were aligned by following the lines on the floor tiles. (Need a good eye for that…)
To secure the bond, additional pieces of Ice Cream sticks are used to apply even pressure to the frame. Using a stronger binding clip helps.
A simple ‘Wooden Quadcopter frame drying device’ was made to hold the frame securely and let it dry for a few hours. Note the additional 2 more sticks added to complete the frame design.
The next step is to mark up all the points to be drilled to make way for posts and motors. By using a blank power distribution board and measuring the center for each end of the arm, markings were made and are now ready to be drilled!
Out came the trusty KakiDIY dremel tool. Installed with a drill bit, we first make some shallow marking before we apply pressure to drill them through. (Good tip if you are using a handheld drill)
The holes for the motors are then widened using a polishing bit. It had to be widened to allow enough clearance for the bottom part of the motors. (Not all motors required these clearance holes)
Holes are now completed and ready for mounting.
Nylon mounting posts like these are used to secure the power distribution board and the flight controller. Easily available in electronic supply stores. (e.g. Jalan Pasar in KL)
Testing the mounting to ensure the holes are drilled correctly. Minor adjustments can be made to the post if the holes are drilled to have some free play. When its fitted nicely, you can then tighten the nylon posts to secure them in place.
The boards are removed and ESCs are put into place to be wired up.
Wires from the ESCs are soldered onto the power distribution board.
Flight Controller is mounted on and the rest of the wirings are straightforward (if you are familiar with multirotors) Else, many online guides for you to follow to get your Flight Controllers wired up.
And….. everything is mounted and powered up!
NOTE : The motors shown here are mounted up using strong epoxy. As this is a prototype to quickly test if the frame works. The final version will include a bottom mounting plate made out of wood as well.
A quick test flight and it hovers quite well using factory PID settings!
So it isn’t impossible to make a Quadcopter frame out of cheaply available materials!
Recycle – Reuse – Reduce … KakiDIY signing out…