The first version was pretty cobbled together as I honestly didn’t expect any of it to work, I used the standoffs included with the frame, and the result was really fragile and unnecessarily tall, there were also no mounting options for the antenna so those kept falling off. Now that I have all the parts I have to start designing around them.
The second iteration took the design around the parts a bit too seriously and it resulted in a incredibly tight fit around the components, this resulted in the part warping and being really thin. There also was no cooling for the electronics inside and the aerodynamics of the part were pretty lacklustre due to the odd camera bump. On the other hand the design was so short that if the quadcopter fell the motors would impact instead of the shell which is good as those are much stronger.
The third design has considerably more space and also the walls are considerably thicker, the issue with this one Was the shape as it gave better aerodynamics but poor structural integrity due to the draft angle on the top of the shell. But it does have considerations for cooling as there is a spot for a heatsink to screw in to cool the toasty video encoder. The design ultimately failed because of the antennas being tilted up as that meant that on impact it causes it to be a lever which amplifies the force acting on the shell and snapping it.
Now on the 4th iteration I got a new camera which meant I had to print the part wayyy up to go over it, I ended up using the standoffs from the first iteration so the height is back up above the motors, but I created a teardrop inspired shape and included cut outs in the front and back to let air through which should minimise turbulence. The next major improvement is that the antennae now go down the body and have a cut-out for them, they still can be flipped up or down for crossing gaps of improving the reception. But the drone is a couple of grams heavier now which affects flight time negatively.
Quadcopter Iterative Design Session
This slideshow shows the evolution of my drone, it was originally going to be a tutorial/log but the constant amendments to the drone I decided to make this more of a iterative design session. Considering I have a rapid prototyping machine it is reasonable to make changes and iterate the design.