Yesterday while scrolling through my Facebook feed I ran across this little gem of a post by Matt Gleason featuring a 3d printed micro quad, Mega Whoop, while there are sure to be others out there this is the first I’ve seen posted publicly in the 3d printed groups also now offered on thingiverse the location where most free 3d print designs are exchanged. I contacted Matt and he gave me a little background on his experience and how this project came together.
Do you work in 3d printing or is it a hobby?
Matt: Just a hobby, I print a lot for household reasons, drones or building other printers
Matt: I designed and built this one
What lead you to design a 3d printed mini Quad? You’ve built your own printers from scratch?
Matt: I bought a eachine 105 bat and broke it after one day and designed a new frame for it and decided I wanted something more indoor friendly and really like the tinywhoop but wanted something that would be able to handle outside also that’s when I decided to build an oversized tinywhoop I came up with a very interesting motor mount design also seeing as it’s hard to get the holes sized perfectly from 3D printing I went with a flexible pressure fit that it pretty unique!
Matt: And yes that printer I designed most of the parts some were taken from other designs like the corners and so on but I designed the important parts.
What application did you use to design the mini quad?
Matt: Thinkercad, it’s my go to design program
I see you are also in the sphere builders group, do you have a general interest in robotics?
Matt: I’ve always wanted to get into robotics but I’m not much of a programmer so that’s always stopped me 3D printing was definitely a good first step especially with building my own printer. I went into it knowing nothing about programming and had to learn simple Arduino coding to make it all work
So do you think you’ve become proficient with marlin and g code fairly fast, or has it been a slow Process?
Matt: Marlin was difficult for me to understand at first but after 3 days of messing with it I was able to flash my board and get everything working pretty well. I think my biggest problem was getting my e steps correct. As for gcode I don’t edit it much after what simplify 3D outputs no need really
Will you be selling the STL or offering it for free?
Matt: I’ll be putting it up for free just want to make sure the motor mounts I designed don’t fail over time also need to design caps for the bottom of the motors.
I designed this mega whoop to be an indoor friendly large sized whoop! The motor mounts are force fit and hold very tight, I had to spin motors in with pliers. The camera mount I just hot glued to the top posts and used a small amount of hot glue to hold the camera in place since I wanted it all removable. battery is held in place with a rubber band which there are mounts for.”
Moving forward it will be interesting to see this technology adapted to production in novel ways like this to produce items once only attainable in a lab or through large scale manufacturing, I did mention to Matt that it’s possible to commercialize STL files in bundles with electronics kits and it’s likely we will see this in the future in both the commercial and hobby sectors of the drone industry.