The plastic is actually pretty strong stuff. It's 1/8" PETG, which was quoted at 60%-70% the strength of polycarbonate. It's very similar to bottle plastic (PETE), so it's extremely flexible and can bend by a huge amount without whitening. It's not at all brittle like acrylic (Plexiglas), and can be drilled without crazing (cracking).
I don't know if I'll get around to doing the tutorial though. I'd like to defray the costs that went into it, but I don't really have the time, seeing as how I have to go to South Korea for a week on a (sort of) robot trip, and probably end up writing a research paper on something related to robots at some point.
Nevertheless, I'm still photographing the build as a sort of documentation. It's easier than taking notes.
Anyways, some photos, in approximate chronological order:
The inner frame to hold electronics and batteries. You might notice that's propped up at the bottom. This is because I made a mistake in the design. One of the perpendiculars has landing gears that are smaller than the landing gears on the other perpendicular. The cardboard I put the frame on is also curved for some reason.
The motor mount's holes actually match the motor's mounting holes perfectly, but I angled the screws outwards (you can see it in this photo) so I could get the nuts on more easily.
Now with all the hardware on the motor mount.
Put the motor mount on the carbon fiber and attach the rotor to the motor.
Soldered some nice connectors to the motor leads.
Working on the whole frame...
(Heh, high school student books) You can see a computer power supply unit, a battery charger, and a big 13.2V 2.3Ah LiFePO4 pack (delivers 70A of current
). I'm going to use regular LiPos (7.4V, 1Ah to 2Ah) for the copter though.
I've been soldering this stupid 4-way split power cable for a hour.
Soldering 16-gauge wire to the itty bitty pins on a Deans Micro connector is not fun. It's even worse when you realize your bought Chinese knockoff connects that melt under a soldering iron. Melt and burn. With smoke.
But, it looks so nice once I had finished. The motor controllers are hooked up to a 12V rail of a computer power supply with a Molex connector. That way I can power it for experiments without having to charge batteries.
There are more photos at http://www.geekshavefeelings.com/robotimages/quadricopter/qphotos/
. The links here might eventually break if/when I decide to rename them or resize them.