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FlexiSprite Flexible Filament Quadcopter Frame (215 mm Frame, 4-in-1 ESC)

by Ayo_O Feb 28, 2019
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Yo! This is dope! I have a few question though. What's the advantage of a flexible frame. How much does it flex in flight?

Crashes are common when flying FPV quadcopters. Generally, rigid plastic is prone to cracking/breaking in crashes - rigid, 3D-printed plastic parts are even more prone to failure, as such parts are not as strong as comparable, injection-molded pieces. The concept of using a flexible plastic was inspired by the usage of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) in several commercially-available quadcopter frames - the frame will [hopefully] bend/flex in a crash, instead of breaking. My initial goal was to use TPU with a Shore hardness of 95A, but the test pieces that I printed were more flexible than I would have liked. Perhaps TPU may work with enough infill, but a high infill will naturally increase the weight of the quadcopter.

I did some initial flight testing after printing a frame body using Taulman PCTPE (50% infill), coupled with a frame cap printed using Taulman Bridge - as far as I can tell, there is not any noticeable flexing - at least not enough to affect the flight characteristics of the quadcopter.