Prepare Carbon Fibre Quadcopter Frames

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

I always prepare my new mini quad frames by washing off carbon dust and chamfering the edge using a file or piece of sand paper, which is good for your carbon fibre frame.

Why prepare new carbon fibre frames?

Carbon fibre is conductive, and there could be carbon fibre dust remained after they were cut. It’s a good idea to wash all carbon fibre pieces that come in the frame kit.

Carbon fibre frames often come with sharp edges that could cut electrical wires and battery strap in a crash.

Furthermore, chamfered carbon fibre edges hold their structural integrity better in a crash and reduces the chance of becoming delaminated.

More and more frame manufacturers start providing chamfered edges as a frame feature, which is a good thing. If they don’t, it’s not the end of the world as it only takes 15, 20 minutes to polish those frame edges by yourself.

Your frame will be more reliable, looks better, and feels great in your hands. :)

Where to buy the tools?

File Set – Amazon | Banggood

How to file frame edges?

Get a bucket full of water, dip both the frame and the file/sandpaper in the water, place the file 45 degree against the edge, and start sanding off material.

Do the scrubbing inside water to avoid breathing in carbon fibre dust, which is extremely bad for your lung.

You can try changing the angle slightly during the process, until you get a round, smooth edge.

Here is an example of a prepared arm with rounded edges (on top) while the other unprepared arm has very sharp edges (bottom).

Don’t over do it though, you can weaken the frame strength by removing too much material.

Repeat this on both sides of the frame plates and arms.

Note that I only do this for the edges that I can touch and are exposed to crashes. E.g. on the Martian frame, I only do the outer edges marked by the red lines in the following diagram, but of course this is entirely up to you.

Glue the frame edges

It’s a common practice to apply Epoxy or CA glue (super glue) on the edges of the frame after chamfering. This is supposed to increase the frame strength against crashes and delamination further by holding the carbon fibre layers even stronger together.

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8 comments

Arul 16th November 2020 - 10:31 am

how did you use the dremel underwater? the extension?

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Vito MANZARI 13th September 2019 - 12:40 pm

Hi Oscar, congratulations for all your tutorials!
reading this article, I became skeptical about the problems of carbon fiber, don’t you think it’s a bit of a job working on it with abrasive paper or even with Dremmel?
In many cases, health problems with carbon fiber are compared to asbestos! Even using a water basin … you can have long-term contacts and after many days of processing. I would recommend another method to avoid the accidental tearing of wires, cighie or other.
See you soon

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QuadCow 27th May 2018 - 1:43 pm

Why not tell people how toxic carbon fiber is and to wear a mask?

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RALPH J PIERCE 31st January 2018 - 7:47 am

Hey Oscar I have a little bit of a problem with an Quanton flight control board that I originally configured with Mission Planner, but never got around to putting it on an frame. Clean flight and the CC3D boards were much easier for me to configure at that time. To make a long story short, I want to use this board to setup an Ironman 600 quad and make use of the power and connectivity of the STM32F405 Arm processor. I tried to flash the firmware from the TAULAB’s GCS and got as far as calibrating all of the on board sensors using an windows 10 laptop but when I got to the RX setup I can’t get it to recognize the PPM TX/RX inputs. The GCS status board is all green except for the reciever it shows red not available. Can you point me in the direction I need to go to resolve this. If necessary i can try to send you a screen shot of the configuration . Help me please!!

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Oscar 5th February 2018 - 2:10 pm

Sorry I have not come across “Quanton flight control board” and not even sure what firmware they use. maybe contact their customer support?

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jan demant 22nd September 2018 - 8:29 pm

QuadCow.

It was addressed in the beginning.
:We do this underwater to avoid breathing in dust from the carbon fibre, which is extremely bad for your lung.

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nin2thevoid 12th December 2017 - 11:44 am

Just wanted to throw out there that I spent hours in total chamfering all my frames. Then I bought a dremel with a a very fine grained cylindrical sanding bit and the whole frame is done in a matter of minutes. Incidentally, this same tool can be used to drill or cut parts of the frame.

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Oscar 12th December 2017 - 2:11 pm

hours? lol you must be a perfectionist :)

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