Slim Jim

By Crafted Kwads on Jun 18, 2020

11  220  0

This is a experimental frame that I've been working on for a bit. It consists of 3d printed parts, 2mm carbon fiber rods, and optional machined plates. It is definitely not a ultralight, weighing in at 25g with hardware. It flies very well, the Rcinpower 1207 motors are super smooth and powerful, but the metal is super soft and dents and dings super easily. Already I've had to take them apart to un-dent the bell after small crashes. In regards to the carbon fiber rods, the frame is super strong. The weak spot is the 3d printed body, as I'm printing in abs. Sooner or later I will get polycarbonate or NylonX to print with, but as of now the expense of NylonX is not justifiable for this, and polycarbonate would require a hotend rework, something that I am not looking forwards to and is a extra expense. Flight time is between 2-4min, depending on how hard I fly.

This project is one of the more interesting I've take on over the past few months. The frame has gone over 85 versions and revisions, as I worked to optimize it for ease of assembly, clean look, and component space. The frame is setup to take a 16x16mm stack, nano camera, and 9mm mounting motors. Why 16x16? I chose a 16x16 stack for multiple reasons;

  • I really hate AIO boards. If a esc blows or a flight controller dies, you have to resolder every component and buy a new board, which is more expensive than getting only the part that died. With 16x16, if a esc blows, you only have to spend money on the esc and resolder the esc joints, limiting the space for error while soldering and reworking boards.
  • It fits the frame profile better. With nano sized components, rework and disassembly is a pain. With this style frame, you can see all the components while still having space to add more. additionally, the frame can be narrower, which I like the looks of.
  • Ease of access. Most of the solder joints are accessible without taking it apart, so a motor swap is easy, and diagnostics as well. The usb port is in the open, and their is room to get to other components as well.

A receiver fits inside the canopy above the stack, and a capacitor fits behind the stack as well. With the rod design, you can choose your own frame size and prop size, meaning that theoretically, you could setup this frame for 2" props all the way up to 5" (not recommended). The frame fits together friction tight, but I chose to superglue the parts together for added security. The price of a single frame costs $1-$3, depending on the price of carbon and filament. Motors are softmounted as well, but those can be removed to make it lighter. Overall, it was a very enjoyable build, and one that I will be releasing if anyone wants it. I call it the Slim Jim, as the individual rods are like Slim Jims, and the configuration resembles a slimjim antenna. Slim Jim FTW!

UPDATE: All files have now been released on Thingiverse!

Photos

Discussion

Sign in to comment

Guides & Reviews

39 4,030  47
May 05, 2020

This guide will walk you through the process of building your first FPV quad. The goal with this design was to build a low-cost, lightweight quad, yet powerful enough to safely carry a GoPro in close proximity areas. I chose these parts to minimize the amount of soldering at no cost to the quality. A typical build requires around 30 solders while this only needs 25. It's not a huge difference, but..

Read more
28 7,821  38
Nov 30, 2019

In late 2019 DJI made inroads into the FPV scene with their remarkable low-latency digital system. It gave us a 720p video feed with latency on-par with the status quo, analog video. Traditionally we've used analog video systems for low-latency video, but the video quality is far from ideal. It's a trade-off we've been willing to accept for the control. Now we've got the best of both worlds and what..

Read more