T6 / Y6 hexacopter

Author: Brendan22, published on 2014-02-11

Click this button to get the 3D model

Summary

Check out the whole “T” copter family:

Features:

  • completely 3D printable (without support)
  • simple assembly
  • coaxial design (2 motors per arm) provides redundancy to keep flying in case of an ESC, motor, or prop failure
  • strong braced tube section arms with plenty of room to conceal motor wiring
  • designed for dual (3S) batteries located right in the center of rotation/thrust with room for up to 2 x 6000mah batteries (although 3000mah and some foam padding might be a wiser option)
  • easy cable routing with beveled cable “tunnels” (and even a few cable tie mounts)
  • plenty of space to mount ESCs – concealed but still well ventilated for cooling
  • top plate is designed for the new Pixhawk flight controller from 3D Robotics – but can easily be tweaked for others
  • RF “invisible” frame – as opposed to carbon fiber or aluminium
  • Frame weight is approx 300g. All up weight including 2 x 3S 3000mah batteries and my over-sized 880kv motors is 1,700g.
  • Hover flight time test was 15 minutes and 30 seconds using 5,900mah out of the 2 x 3S nano-tech 3000mah batteries. Another flight was 17.5 minutes, fully loaded (2.34kg) with Tarot T-2D gimbal, GoPro, 1W FPV transmitter and used 9,700mah out of 2 x 3S Multistar 5200mah batteries.
  • Sketchup file included so you can make changes to suit yourself

    Background

    I’ve been experimenting to find a strong “tubular” profile that could be printed reliably. The angled sections in these designs are 35 degrees to vertical – so well within the typical 45 degree capability of most printers. They arms only present about 11mm of flat surface to minimize obstruction to airflow.
    The rest of the design are a collection of ideas that have accumulated over the past year building various quadcopters and Y6 configurations (3D printed, aluminium and bought frames).

    Videos

  • On-board video
  • Tubular arm versus “conventional” arm design

Revision History

17 July 2014
No version number change but a couple of tweaked files:

  • T6BatteryPeg.stl was lengthened a bit as I realised it was too short for the new 1.02 body :-/
  • T6TarotMount.stl just had a small cosmetic change.
    Don’t forget to check out the T copter springy legs for some more leg options including the new “bent” leg specially designed for this copter.
    6 July 2014 – Version 1.02
  • Slightly increased battery compartments size to 157mm long by 50mm wide by 30mm hide. (NOTE: This makes the body 6mm longer than the previous version so body, top plate and bottom tray are NOT COMPATIBLE if you printed version 1.0 parts)
  • rounded off the front and rear corners – purely cosmetic.
    Changed files:
  • T6Body.stl
  • T6BottomTray.stl
  • T6TopPlate.stl

14 Feb 2014

  • created T6BottomTray v2 which features angled sides (looks a lot less boxy) and also bolt and cable holes to attach a Tarot gimbal. Also uploaded some first flight videos!

16 Feb 2014

  • Revised T6BottomTray v2 – moved the cable hole to make it easier to route the cables for the Tarot gimbal.
  • Added T6TarotMount which is a spacer block for attaching the newer plastic Tarot anti-vibration mount to the bottom tray.
  • Added new longer legs with awesome springy feet. These add some clearance below the Tarot gimbal. The feet are a bit “mad scientist” but they seem to work 8-). Here’s a quick video of the springy legs.

Instructions

Printing

I printed all parts with 40% infill, 2 shells and 3 top/bottom layers. Feel free to experiment. I didn’t play around too much with the settings as these gave me a good strong result.
A quick word about scaling
According to Wikipedia apparently “there is no scale information [in STL files], and the units are arbitrary”. There is often confusion with STL files and metric versus imperial (inches) units.
I designed these parts in Sketchup using metric units and they import correctly into my slicer (which is also set to metric). If you have issues, check your application to see if has a way to select metric or alternatively scale down by a factor of 25.4.

What you’ll need

  • 3 arms
  • 3 legs
  • 1 body
  • 1 top plate
  • 1 bottom tray
  • 1 GPS post and plate (optional)
    …and “hardware”…
  • 6 M3 x 40mm+ bolts (arms to body)
  • 6 M3 x 35mm+ bolts (motors to arms)
  • 12 3mm Nyloc nuts
  • approx 3mm x 10mm self-tapping screws (attach top plate and bottom tray)
  • some foam for padding the battery compartments. I ended up using self adhesive window draft-stop tape from my local DIY store.
  • double sided adhesive foam tape (for mounting electronics)
  • some cable ties
  • soldering gear and connectors to suit your electrical bits
    …and stuff to make it fly…
  • 6 motors (I had some 880KV ones lying around)
  • 3 normal propellers and 3 pusher propellers (10 x 4.7 slowfly)
  • 6 20A+ ESC (speed controllers)
  • 1 power distribution assembly
  • 1 3DR power module (or BEC)
  • 2 3S batteries (eg 3000mah)
  • 1 3DR Pixhawk (or other flight controller)
  • 1 Radio control receiver (and transmitter)
  • 1 3DR GPS/compass (optional)
  • 2 3DR telemetry radios (optional)
    If your new to RC copters then the ArduCopter wiki is a great place to find out everything you need know.
    I configured the wiring and firmware to use the new “Y6B” configuration shown here.

License: Creative Commons – Attribution – Non-Commercial

Tags: drone, hexacopter, multicopter, quadcopter, T6, Y6