When you decide to build a quadcopter, you need to prepare these components of quadcopter such as: frame, motor, ESC, FC, lipo battery and so on; though these components are all very very important for a quadcopter, but here we are mainly talking about the quadcopter frame. Quadcopter frame is an important component of quadcopter, motors, ESCs, FC, battery must be installed on the frame, it supports motors and other electronics and prevents them from vibrations.
Beacuse frame is very important, so how do we choose a frame for our quadcopter? People DIY quadcopters also want to get a flight longer, faster and strong, so there are two rules for choose a quadcopter frame: quadcopter frame need to be designed to be strong and lightweight.
Step 1: Choosing your quadcopter frame sizes:
There are many different size frame, the most popular is 180mm-250mm(180mm frame means the diagonal axis distance is 180mm), they are also used for FPV racing quadcopter; more bigger one is from 280 mm to 800 mm even more. Before build a quadcopter, you need know what quadcopter do you want to build, them choose the right frame and other quadcopter parts.
There is a quadcopter frame, lipo battery, motor and propeller size matching table, it is very useful for you.
Step 2: Knowing the materials for quadcopter frame
I have said that there are two rules for choose a quadcopter frame: strong and lightweight. So the materials for quadcopter frame is very important.
There are the most available materials for the frame:
- Carbon Fiber: One of the most common materials for multi-rotor frames is carbon fiber.It is lightweight but expensive. A great many of its physical properties are perfectly suited to the hobby. The only catch is that carbon fiber is known to block radio signals, which is obviously not ideal for a hobby that depends on multiple transmissions. That means you have to exercise a bit of care in how you place antennas on your craft. It can be used though, and is often. Just be aware that blocked signals are a possibility.
- Wood: Build a frame with wood, It’s fast, low cost and does not require much effort. while not nearly as sexy as carbon fiber or fiberglass, is a very good material for this sort of thing. It’s cheap, RF transparent, takes brief structural overloads well, uses simple adhesives and dampens vibrations wonderfully.
- Aluminium is widely used for frame, you need to buy parts and have some tools to cut or connect them together. Very lightweight and aluminum can transmit vibration quite well. Aluminum is easy to fabricate and can often be bent back into shape after crashes.
- Plastic & PVC: Frame usually be 3D printed with plastic, This material is lightweight, cheap, and perhaps a bit to ugly for your new quadcopter frame as well as PVC.
- Fiberglass: Another material you could consider is thin G-10 fiberglass sheet which is easily machinable. This is nice for the body area as it’s RF transparent. It also makes nice motor mounts.
Although it is not as important as for the arms which of the three material to use for the center plate, Carbon Fiber and plywood are most commonly seen because of its the light weight, easy to work with and good vibration absorbing features.
Some tips for choosing quadcopter frame
- Some quadcoper frame can be fine-tuned to suit your exact requirements. such as HobbyKing Switch FPV Quadcopter which By allowing you to choose between 380 and 320 mm wheelbase.
- In our case we want to build quadcopter so make sure the angle between two arms is 90 degree and also check that arms are not twisted.
- If your frame is too big compare to your power setup (motor-prop, esc , battery) it will add extra weight while if it’s too small props will fight with each other.
- Check here to know How to choose lipo battery for your drone?