DarkStar - 3D Printed ABS Frame Digital 3"

By Jayembee67 on Apr 24, 2022

21  385  3

Some new drone-flying friends of mine are going through the Zealotry of The New Convert phase - they are relatively fresh pilots - and so are in the process of building one of everything, and trying out new stuff all the time. It's fantastic. Their latest venture has been to try printing frames, and they offered to print me up an ABS 3" frame. I happily accepted.

This is a slight remix of Dave_C_FPV's Asterix design, converted to top mounted, and carrying digital video gear. The ABS print is not something I am equipped to attempt, but my chums have built heated enclosures and all of that, and so this has come out really well. There is a tiny amount of warping at the ends of the rotor arms, but otherwise it's very clean. And it's strong and extremely stiff, whilst still being quite light (the finished machine is 210g dry, 339g with GO2 and 850mAh 4S).

To keep things simple, and low profile, I went for one of the 'rectangular 20x20' AIO boards that are showing up these days, that fitted the frame nicely, and was clean and easy to solder up. I was being a bit cheap as I wasn't wholly expecting this to work out, and so didn't go for BLHeli_32, hoping that the lack of RPM filtering wouldn't be too much of an issue. I used some EMAX Eco 1406 motors I had in the spares box, a salvaged Crossfire, and went with the Polar Vista, having had good success with it in other machines. So a relatively cheap and cheerful build, at least as far as digital machines go.

I took it out today for the first test flights, and as noted, I really wasn't sure how this was going to go. Was this going to be a mass of vibrations? Was it going to shake itself to pieces? And even if not, was the Insta360 GO2 footage going to be jello-tastic - that camera while great is very susceptible to jello? I mean the ABS seems stiff, but is it stiff enough...?

Happily it turns out that it flies just fine, really nicely in fact. Maybe not the fastest of the fleet, but plenty quick enough for a 3", and smooth as anything - the GO2 footage looks great from this machine. And this is entirely stock BF4.2.11 without RPM filtering. Impressive. ABS printed frames definitely work it seems, at least for 3".

Needless to say, I'm chuffed with this result! Thank you so much @8Climbs

DarkStar 3D Printed 3" Maiden Flight - Cut short by lack of free camera memory



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alihanima   May 10, 2022  

I took it out for the first test flights today, and as previously stated, I had no idea how this was going to go. Was this going to be a tidal wave of energy? Was it going to shatter into a million pieces? io games

Jodie Froster   Apr 25, 2022  

This is OUTSTANDING! your build quality is 2nd to none

Jayembee67   Apr 25, 2022 

You are far too kind! But it did come out nicely, I cannot deny, and flies considerably better than I had hoped. A fine addition to my digital fleet!

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