Polycarbonate Mini Quad Frame
This time we have something very special to review. Received a mini quad frame from Chaney Aerospace that made of transparent polycarbonate. It’s common knowledge that quadcopter frame should be made of material that are stiff, light, and hard to break. You can buy it from here.
This frame only weights less than 90 grams, and it appears to be pretty tough to break. So this frame meets the later two requirement, but it’s really bending and flex a lot when you put pressure on it! I could literally bend this frame 180 degree by hands. :D
I am seriously doubting if this frame can actually fly stable in the air. But if it does, it will be so tough to break. These are some build pictures from the seller.
What is Polycarbonate
So what is Polycarbonate? It’s a type of plastic that is well known for its strength, high impact resistance and long durability properties. Therefore it’s used widely in day to day products such as casing for electronics devices, light weight suitcases, tableware etc.
Here is a bending test of the frame using hands.
Specification, Weight, Dimension Size, Includes
It comes with two plates, a top and bottom plate. The arms and bottom plate are in one piece. It includes:
- Top plate
- Bottom plate
- 8 x metal stand off for the frame plates
- 4 x Nylon stand off for the Flight Controller
- screws and nuts for the stand off.
The frame weights around 89g. Motor to motor distance is exactly 250mm (25cm)
Motor mount holes are 2.5mm, and frame plate holes are 3mm.
Both frame plates are 3mm thick (~1/8 inch).
Slightly narrower than the ZMR250, but a bit longer.
After building/flying this frame, here are some of my ideas for improvement. Will keep this list updated as I use this frame more.
- Need FPV camera mount for board cameras.
- 3mm motor mount holes, and 2mm motor mount holes, giving users more options.
- Holes for VTX antenna extension cable.
- There is warning in the manual about over tightening screws could damage the frame around the holes. Maybe include spare washers in the package, which could help spread the pressure when tightening the screws.
- Make thicker frame plates will help the flex problem, further strengthen the frame, and also helps the cracking issue due to over-tightening screws.
unfortunately, this frame does not perform well. The arms flex too much, and it just wobbles no matter how I tuned it. So… Failed!
I’ve been experimenting with polycarbonate frames exclusively for the past year and a half.
Those arms are way too thin to achieve great flight performance.
Here’s what I’ve come up with.
looks interesting :) but the design is about 12 months behind :)
have you considered doing a X design ?
Absolutely! I have one in the works right now. I also just released the SkyTank210.
I’ll keep you posted.
I did a review as well with the “updated” version including a set of carbon fiber rods and Ive come to the same conclusions you have. There just isnt a way to make it fly correctly. The manufacturer claims he has his flying on a Dragonfly32 board but I just dont see it unless you are running a super gentle set up.
If they just mold in a rod holder on the underside for a tiny square carbon rod along the front left to right and rear motors, the problem is solved.
In case you make a very, very hard crash and the rod should break they can be easily replaced. It should give enough strengt in the arms an has next to nothing extra weight added. This Frame could be a winner in all dimensions ill think.
p.s. You can make a DIY rod holder with a littlebit of Polymorph (excellent product) and a blowtorch to design a custom rod holder. or just heat glue it in place.
Many thanks for al your great info on your site.
Really appreciate you work here.
great suggestions :)
thanks for the idea!
Thanks for the post. I am interested in finding out how your test flights when with this unique frame.
Hey Neo, thanks for the interest.
I have been playing around with this frame, still can’t Find good PID values for this quad. The frame flexes too much it’s difficult not to oscillate.
Currently talking to frame maker, they said they managed to fly this well, just checking what I am missing here.
Will keep my progress updated.