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Now that over 600 people have gotten their tricopters the weak points of the design is starting to become apparent. I try to test all aspects of a design as thoroughly as I can before releasing it. I’ve been flying my personal tricopter like a maniac with the original tilt mechanism without any problem. I’ve had many, many crashes and it’s been holding up great. But now that other people have been flying theirs, with with a huge variety of setups ranging from small motors and props to huge ones, some people have broken their tilt mechanism much easier than intended.
I have therefore decided to redesign the top piece of the tilt to be beefier to withstand more abuse. The tilt mechanism is designed to be tough enough not to break during “normal” crashes with the recommended motor/prop setup. The zip-ties should absorb most of the impact saving the motor, servo and tilt mechanism. The tilt should however be weak enough that in an extreme crash it should break before damaging the more expensive, and much more of a hassle to change, servo.
I believe this new design is up to that spec. Actually the new tilt is as strong as the layer adhesion of the ABS. The new part is printed 100% solid, using higher temperatures and without any cooling fans to ensure maximum layer adhesion. It is also 1.2 mm longer, but it still fits the original bottom piece. Making the part thicker wouldn’t actually add much strength past this point. In the future I might develop an optional upgrade part for larger motor setups or super beater tricopters, made from another material or with another manufacturing method. But this will take some thinking and testing, and therefore quite some time.
As I think the tilt mechanism should have been designed this way from the start, I will ship out a free replacement to anyone that got the old one, and would like the new top piece.