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5-Inch Sky Robot   -   2022/02/27Viewed 179 times this month, last update: 2023/04/21

5-Inch Sky Robot Features:
  • Open Source (OpenSCAD)
  • 3D printable on any 300x300mm printer
  • Safer with prop guards
  • Off-the-shelf electronics
  • Cinematic, acrobatic, or autonomous flying
  • 5-inch-class props, electronics, batteries
  • DJI/Caddix HD video
  • Optional GPS
  • Field modifiable (hand drill, glue, zip-ties)
  • 1064 grams with gopro hero9 and 1500mah 6S lipo battery
  • 7.5 min cruising flight time with hero9 and 3000mah 6S 18650 battery
  • 5 min cruising flight time with hero9 and 1500mah 6S lipo battery
  • Design source: 5inwhoop-v0.3.scad
See the scad file for parts list, printing and tuning instructions.

I've been flying and building "mini quadcopters" for a while now, from 65mm "whoops" to 5-inch freestyle, and several points inbetween. This project is to build an aircraft with a few oddball goals:
  1. Relatively safe around people (prop guards)
  2. As customizable as possible for future uses
  3. Good cinematic stability
  4. Decent acrobatic performance
  5. Good flight time
  6. Enough lift capacity for a decent camera/etc.
These goals implied a few project starting parameters:
  1. Off-the-shelf FPV quad electronics
  2. 5-inch props and paired motors/electronics for performance
  3. A 3D printed frame, allowing for any customization, and ease of in-the-field modifications with basic hand tools
  4. Prop guards and a "pusher" configuration so faces/etc aren't sliced up
Still on the to-do list:
  1. Full analysis of flight characteristics of different materials. I am currently printing in Matterhackers ToughPLA, which prints quickly, and is pretty durable. Final material choice might be Nylon+CF, PETG, or something else, but these take more effort to print well, and generally print more slowly, so I am starting with PLA for quick iteration.
  2. Continual tuning as the design changes, and my skill at Betaflight tuning, and motor/prop selection improves
  3. Setup with iNAV for autonomous operation

Version 0.3

Version 3 has several improvements:
  • Lowered motors, reducing arm size and increasing rigidity
  • Spaced out the props forward/backward to make space for side lightts/etc.
  • Added mid-frame bulkheads to add rigidity
  • Improved tuning parameters (in SCAD file) greatly reduces vibrations and extends flight time
  • Design source: 5inwhoop-v0.3.scad
Unfortunately, v0.2 has the vibes pretty bad, which show up as "jello" in the FPV view. (v0.1 did too) I believe this is primarily due to parts of the craft not properly secured: The battery can wobble because the strap slots are too close together. The gopro wobbles a lot on it's mount, and when removed the FPV jello is dramatically reduced. Also wires inside could be secured. v0.3 is coming.

Version 0.2

The second version, v0.2 improves on v0.1 in a few ways:
  • v0.2 is designed in OpenSCAD. v0.1 was designed in FreeCAD. Both were designed to be fully parametric, and while it's easier to get a nicer looking design in FreeCAD with chamfers and such, the OpenSCAD design is much easier to modify and evolve the design.
  • Bell-shaped motor mounts are more rigid and allows the main body to be shorter
  • The prop ducts are solid, rather than slotted, to reduce noise.
  • Shorter main body reduces weight
  • Design source: body-v0.2.scad
Unfortunately, v0.2 has the vibes pretty bad, which show up as "jello" in the FPV view. (v0.1 did too) I believe this is primarily due to parts of the craft not properly secured: The battery can wobble because the strap slots are too close together. The gopro wobbles a lot on it's mount, and when removed the FPV jello is dramatically reduced. Also wires inside could be secured. v0.3 is coming.

Version 0.1

The first version, hereby named v0.1 actually flies pretty well, even with a default tune from BetaFlight 4.3. Future iterations will include an improved frame (various definitions of "improved") and possibly additional electronics for air-dropping, lights, GPS navigation, etc. Here's what's in it now:
Not that anyone would want to duplicate v0.1, but the design files are available here:

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