Tricopter build log part one

The frame still needs to be prototyped on my printer, though I have modeled the finished project to get an idea of the size.


The distance between motor-centers is roughly 625mm when the two front 1/2″(12.7mm) wood dowels are cut to 350mm and the tail to 310mm (-40mm). This was necessary to accommodate the inline motor hinge that pivots on the axis of the tail arm. These dimensions, along with other things, are subject to change after the prototype gets printed.

I modified Thingiverse user ennui2342’s tricopter body, based off of David Windestål’s RCExplorer tricopter, to support the stronger, more common 1/2″ wood dowels. Other minor modifications to the body were made as well.  I also loosely based my landing gear/motor mounts off of jphillips’ designs. The shock absorbing bottom plates (optional setups for FPV shown above) are unique to this tricopter.

My current bill of materials (BOM) includes the following:

  • Motor(3): Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 – 2826 – 1130kv (or any motor with a cross-plate that has holes spaced 24mm apart on all four sides)
  • ESC(3): Turnigy Plush 18amp
  • Tail servo(1): BMS-385DMAX Digital Servo
  • AIO(1): Crius v0.2 SE (MultiWii)
  • TX/RX: Turnigy 9x
  • Battery: (TBD?)
  • Props: (TBD?)
  • FPV(optional): Fat Shark
  • Assorted metric nyloc-nuts and bolts (TBD?)
  • 1/2″^2 wood dowel
  • 12AWG wire
  • 16AWG wire
  • 450mm servo extension lead
  • Various banana plugs and connectors
  • Assorted heat-shrink
  • Zip-ties
  • Some fancy Velcro strap to hold the battery
  • Misc. scrap

Thankfully, with the exception of the silicone wire and some connectors, I have most of these things on hand already.

An after thought also suggests I bring over the concept of the clip-on wire-ties I used in my previous quadcopter build.


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