Tricopter build log part two

The frame is now prototyped and measurements are almost final. Several small changes were made to the source files as result of this prototype (now on internal-revision #24). These changes included primarily wider tolerances and smaller hardware requirements. Other potential ideas are still pending (in particular; optional “taller” landing struts, ESC/wire management, and AIO mounting).


Changes to the last update included primarily, universal motormounts. Now it’s not necessary to use a specific cross plate on a limited range of motors. I’ve adopted the standard 16/19mm hole spacing used on many motors appropriate for this size multicopter. Also, the mount’s face is now flat on both sides, so you can more easily mod them (drill holes) for a specific motor that doesn’t follow these standards. With this, you will need to use 8mm M3 socket cap screws (instead of the shorter, countersunk M3 screws often provided with your motors) to mount said motors to the mounts.

The arms fold back too!


So far, the hardware requirements for this tricopter frame are:

  • For yaw mechanism:
    • (1) 35mm M4 socket cap screw
    • (1) M4 Nylock nut
  • For general purpose frame assembly
    • (13) 25mm M3 socket cap screws
    • (13) M3 Nylock nuts
    • (2) 350mm* lengths of 1/2″ (12.7mm) square wooden dowel
    • (1**) 320mm* length of 1/2″ (12.7mm) square wooden dowel
  • For vibration dampening plate (not strictly necessary for basic function)
    • (3) Medium zip-ties (5mm width)
    • (3+) Medium/large rubber bumpons or misc. rubber (at least 7mm tall)

* These are subject to change depending on how well you want the tricopter fly.
** You can use a 350mm piece if you are not picky about the tail being a mere 30mm longer.

Another super cool thing about this tricopter is it’s incredibly light weight. I’m currently working on this project from a small college dorm room and finding a suitable backdrop for shooting its pictures has proven quite difficult. You wouldn’t know it, but the images you see in this post were actually taken with the tricopter hanging from a small loop of blue painters tape on the wall. Here, take a closer look at the original image.

I don’t have a scale, but this tricopter weighs significantly less then the old Rev One quad.

Meta: On that note, the “Rev One Quadcopter” to me was more of learning curve. I had zero experience going into the hobby and it still worked! It is certainly a durable and heavy frame, but that’s its downside, it’s almost too heavy for some people who are picky about flying that kind of thing, like me.



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