New version of the top part for the tilt mechanism. – Free replacement!

THIS FORM IS NOW CLOSED. If you missed out, please contact me via email.

Tilt mechanism upgrade

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.

All you have to do is fill out this form and I’ll send you a new one

50 thoughts on “New version of the top part for the tilt mechanism. – Free replacement!

  1. Great news David! I am printing one at the moment so I won’t be needing one in the post 🙂 Thank you for sharing the design!

    For those who can’t get it strong enough, getting it printed in black matte stainless steel from will set you back €35.75 + PP…

  2. Awesome David! I just ordered two spares this morning, I put that order # in aswell as my original one. Hopefully the order hasn’t made it to the post office yet so I can get the newer ones 🙂

    I’m still curious if you could maybe make an extension splined piece to kick the servo a little further away from the yaw mechanism for larger diameter motors!

  3. Hi David,

    I ordered a tricopter kit and a replacement, both the old versions.
    If I fill out the form twice, will you ship the tilt in one shipment?

    I really feel like I am ripping you off, so just adding more postage cost is pointless.

    However I am amazed at the level of customer support you are willing to give.

    I will not hesitate to keep buying each and every product from the store.

  4. Hi David,

    i ordered the tricopter kit which sadly i crashed yesterday. so i will need a pair of “spare top wire holders”. luckily nothing else was smashed to pieces 🙂 i have not filled out the form for the new tilt mechanism yet, will it be possible for you to send these parts in one shipment?

    as Robert C said: “I really feel like I am ripping you off, so just adding more postage cost is pointless.”

    let me know, which will be the simplest way for you.

  5. Hello David,

    thank you very much for your kind offer. I am really happy to see how you are handling things.

    This is what I call “creating customer excitement”!
    I honestly hope, your tricopter sale success story continues.

    As you mentioned above, I filled out the form 2 times, because my order contained 2 complete kits.

    Thanks again and regards from Germany

  6. Hey David!
    I placed an order for a kit on Monday, which is on backorder until you catch up with orders, will that kit be shipped with the newer tilt mechanism?

    Thanks again!

  7. Thank you David! My kit is on backorder, and i am glad to read that we will get a upgraded version.

    All the electronics are already here, looking forward to build that copter. 😉

  8. Wow, I am amazed too and feel ashamed having to ask you for one.. 600 pieces are a lot of material on your expenses, kudos for standing up to such high quality customer care!
    I am finishing to putting my version of the Tricopter together.. cannot wait to test it!

  9. Very nice customer service David, awesome!

    Btw, what 3D Printer are you using? Maybe you could make a video and show us your production environment. 😉
    I really hope you will be doing more videos in the future. 😉

  10. As I haven’t broken one of the original design and I also have a spare, I’ll hold off if you don’t mind. Makes more postage sense to just include with something else, and I don’t doubt I will be ordering something else 🙂 .

      • I did fill out the form. I’m very grateful for your service (and the design in general is awesome).

        The uneventful part of the crash was just that I wasn’t doing anything amazing… I think my FC freaked out and decided it wanted to pitch way forward. I was in rate mode and managed to sort of get control of it, but couldn’t level it out well enough so decided to drop it before something bad happened. It was fairly low, but must’ve landed right on the motor.

  11. Thanks to sending out new parts to everyone!

    I am curious about your tilt that you have been testing on your own rig. When you printed that particular piece, was it on its own or was it off of a regular production run of multiple pieces? I was wondering if printing multiple parts introduces variables which somehow changes the character fish sticks of the piece?
    What I think happens in reality, is we are not as skilled at flying as you are and somehow manage to hit things harder than you imagine possible! Thinking of your crash history though, maybe I’m wrong. I know when I broke mine, I was going full tilt in a dive from altitude trying to shoot a gap between branches and ground, when I struck a branch I didn’t see until the last second. I mean, it hit hard. The rest of the tricopter held up great. Minor damage to the battery tray wire holders. The design is quite crash proof!

  12. Hi David! Did I pass the checking for a new tilt mechanism? I have not yet received any from you. I know I was first of ordering the batch and received it before christmas.
    Many thanks in advance and don’t stress.

  13. just a thought, the new design will definitely strengthen the part, but part of the problem might be the fact that is is 3D printed, rather than nylon caste like the front landing gear one we used in Tricopter V 1 and 2

  14. Thanks David!
    I just received the new tilt mechanism. Now I will replace the old one which actually still is in good shape but you never know. Thanks again!

  15. ok, how do i find out what my order numbers are? got a purchase history page that i can look at? i just submitted one for my first single order, but i made a second order for 4 sets of yaws and 4 sets of booms. went to an fpv race yesterday and had 2 tilts snap on me causing crashes. one at the bolt holes since your printer switches direction at the thinnest part creating a seam (inherent week point)and the other at the spline end to the servo (where you just reinforced). you really need to NOT create a seam at the bolt holes! high stress area. but back to topic… how can i find the order number from you when i’ve already deleted the email after receipt? every other retailer i do business with has an order history. your the Only one that does business through a blog service. i’d really like to have all 5 of my yaw tops replaced. thanks in advance for your time and assistance.

    • Wow, what is your setup?!? You must have crazy powerful motors running a 4S setup to snap the tilt mechanism in mid-flight? Maybe you could post a few pictures in the forum? Most people crash – then break the tilt mechanism, you do it the other way around 🙂 I have only managed to snap the (old) tilt mechanism once in a crash, but have broken a few by simply over tightening the screws when mounting the motor.

      • i’m running ss 1400’s, 8×4.5 carbon weave slow fly props and 2250 lumenier 4s battery om what i’m calling the FT/RC Hybrid. the first yaw survived a few crashes at home no prob, i think what the problem is (in my case anyway) that the yaws start to crack when i wreck but don’t completely let go at the time, but when i take them out for a first flight in the chill of the morning from a nice warm house or car, that’s enough to contract and finish off the crack. both race day it was first flight and the next day just as i was lifting off to show my uncle who came to visit and all he saw was the toiletbowl spin. now don’t get me wrong, yes, i’m hard on my equipment, but the spline crack is a known design flaw and mine flew several flights the day before at the race, but didn’t let go until liftoff first flight the next day. good thing i was only a foot off the ground. but the first was at the bolt holes where the printer switches direction and INTRODUCES a weak point, a seam. this is a Design flaw easily corrected by path planning of the print nozzle. add another 1.5 to 2mm to the od of the mount would be an improvement and add considerable strength for minimum weight. i love the look and want to sell my birds with this yaw, but i can’t call my hybrid a “racing/acro” edition if it’s not going to hold up. david’s already fixed half the problem with this yaw, get rid of the week point at the bolt holes and add a little more material to the od or base (i’m good with using longer screws) and it’d be perfect for 3d printed. a print isn’t as strong as molded and abs isn’t as strong as nylon or other materials, but for what it is, it flies just fine. just don’t land on the yaw and think it’s Not going to break! =^-~= timeline shows the yaw issue, the FT/RC Hybrid is the next album over. yaw view in flight

        • Hi Fatherfox, I see your problem. Some part may be caused by the zip ties? The standard zip ties are small to snap by design, I see you use very heavy duty zip ties on the servo making it impossible to snap. I guess you have had the M3x40 screw bend in a break also? What happens if you use the original dimensioned zip ties?

        • Sorry your having trouble with the tilt mechanism :/
          There shouldn’t be any force acting on the piece in that direction. I whacked the tilt with a motor mounted on it against a boulder when testing and the piece never broke in that way, The screw and the way it’s placed in the bottom tilt piece should prevent any movement of the top piece in that direction. Did you use any loctite on the motor screws?

    • Your order numbers are; 7052, 7702 and 7703.
      I’m working on getting more features on the store, wish there were more hours in the day.

      I don’t quite understand how the tilt could snap at the screw points? There shouldn’t be any bending force on that spot, the 40mm screw should prevent that. Thanks for the feedback

      • Running a 1400Kv Sunnysky motor that is spec’d to do about 1 kg of thrust at 3S, at 4S and using heavy duty zip ties on the servo would be part of the explanation? I guess there is a reason your max recommendation is 1200Kv@3S or 900Kv@4S? How much thrust is it reasonable to expose the tilt mechanism to?

        • it’s not at the servo that’s the problem, it’s the tail end shifting where all the weight and force is. as for the motors, if i had used the flat bottom screws and a washer to spread the load the 1400’s and 4s would be fine in flight. i also noticed using the lighter and stronger carbon weave slow fly props add a lot of thrust force compared to the standard plastic flexible props i was used to running 3s. using the countersunk screws to keep the motor from shifting with a loose screw is where i messed up. the screw acted like a wedge and split the mount at it’s weakest point. i’d like to see a little more thickness at this point, but spreading the load instead of the mount is definitely a plus. don’t noob it like da fox! =^-^=

    • Thanks david for getting the numbers to me. got that part handled. and thanks everyone for pointing out a couple things. i also talked to a couple others from facebook that pointed out a couple things to me. as for the zip ties, having the heavies on the servo, any effect is negligible compared to the yaw being able to shift inside the small zips which adds stress to the splines when you use a servo direct. just enough shift to crack the connection point while not enough to break the yaw loose. perhaps some rails like on the servo pillow would solve this while still allowing the yaw to break free in a hard crash. but i will however be swapping out the big zips for the same sized ones as the yaw for consistency. (week link theory) as for the screws, that was on me. i used the countersunk screws that came with the motors under the mistaken impression that they would keep the motors from shifting side to side and not thinking about the fact that they are in effect a wedge spreading the sides of the screw holes apart instead of distributing the load across the bottom of the mount keeping them together. that was my bad and on me. i take responsibility for my oops. sorry… <:) but on a lighter note as i mentioned in facebook, it's good to know david is taking a proactive approach to his designs and products. thanks david for putting out a great bird and well made parts. your doing a hella lot better than a lot of "other" manufacturers and designers! ^-^ terje: in flight, the yaw does just fine with my setup, it's when i don't check for cracks after an oops that it comes apart in flight. i need to inspect more carefully when i f- up. my only recommendations at this point is to not introduce a seam around the bolt holes through path planning of the print nozzle and add rails to the bottom of the yaw mechanism like on the servo pillows to prevent flexing over time. the rest is on me. operator error (aka: i noobed it again.) thanks again all. =^-^=

  16. Replacements arrived today, with perfect timing, considering the tilt mechanism broke last Saturday(after a motor failed resulting in a fast landing upside down), so, I had to steal the spare from my 2nd kit.

    10/10 for not only making the revised parts but also shipping them out for free.

  17. Hey there!

    Thanks for the free replacement part, really dig this service.
    However, when order #7373 was placed, it contained 3 DIY kits, and some spare parts, amongst which were another tilt mechanism. I filled out your form but only received 2 replacement parts instead of 4. If you can rectify this situation me and my builder-friends will be very happy. I filled out the form once again.

  18. I want to commend David for admitting he had a defective Yaw part and replacing it free of charge! I received the Parcel Post from Sweden and am very happy and ecstatic that David cares about his customers! His customer service after the sale is phenomenal! We are all a very lucky bunch to have this service. All the best to you David and to your wife who is working hard to get these parts and orders to us.

  19. I wasn’t sure if anyone else was having this problem with the new yaw mechanism piece, I have found that the included m3x40mm screw is just a tad short. It wants to constantly vibrate loose, landed the other day and the screw was sticking out maybe 30mm, any further and it would have been bad news. I have tried the CA glue method but it just doesn’t seem to hold with only a few threads sticking into the servo. So for anyone who wants to solve this problem using an M3x45mm screw with a roughly 1mm thick washer allows you to fully thread the servo and have the perfect amount of slack in the yaw mechanism. You can CA glue it and it will not come out of place. David maybe consider shipping these with the M3x45mm screw and a slightly thicker washer instead 🙂 Thanks for such a great product so far! I have 5 flights on mine and it has been great so far, still trying to get the tune the way I like it.

  20. I had a fairly hard landing last-thing today, and indeed, this is exactly what broke. The CA’ed cover-plate holding two of the vibration wires also popped off at the back. And the battery bent very slightly. A mighty thump, really.

    The servo tilt mechanism broke horizontally where the spline enters it, and quite cleanly at the line and along the layer, so that there was a little half-tube of ABS.

    It was a slightly unusual crash, basically straight down but flat. (TX issues and failsafes + gravity.) Oddly enough none of the zip ties on the landing gear went… first time ever.

    Fortunately, I registered for my replacement earlier in the week. 🙂 Hopefully the repair CA will hold until then. Plus I’ve bulked out the sides a little with epoxy to make it more like the new one.

    Lesson learned… on to the next mistake!

    • Nope.. worked fine for a while, but then I clipped a branch with that prop, and the impact was enough to re-break it. Can’t find the piece, so I guess I’m down for the moment until the new one arrives.

  21. and thus is the nature of 3d printed parts. always splits with the grain. the main objective with these parts is to Not crash. 3d printing is for rapid prototyping, not production. a good reason for david to sell them so inexpensively. if he was having injected molded parts made, they’d be more expensive. if you need something more durable, get a fortis titan yaw mech. same thing, but the servo is laying down. not as clean and racy looking but a lot stronger being delrin. the FT/RC Hybrid get’s davids yaws exclusively for the racing look and my simplecopters get the extra titan yaws since they’re bashers.

    • Completely true about the nature of Fused Deposition 3d printed parts, but I’m not sure about the “not for production” conclusion. In some ways, this is the same story as Henry Ford and the Lynchpin.

      I really like David’s “mechanical fuse” approach which creates a hierarchy of destruction. At some point, making the tilt mechanism stronger means it would survive a crash, at the cost of the servo – the most expensive and hard-to-get single item.

      The old $8 tilt mechanism is definitely breaking before the $25 servo, (is good!) but perhaps is also acting to save the $0.02 zip ties slightly too often. (is bad) So probably only small tweaks needed to be made, which he’s done. It’s all a balance.

      On the other hand is the cost of downtime. As some have pointed out, if your flying style means the part may as well be made out of glass and Sweden is far away, we have the design files and places like shapeways will sinter it out of metal for twice as much as the servo is worth. (Go bronze for that steampunk look! 😉

      But you’re so right about the main objective being “to Not Crash”.

      I always thought the core idea was the tilt mechanism _should_ be one of the most replaceable parts. It’s harder to 3d print a zip-tie! When convenience stores have printers in a few years, things will be easier. Sweden is a little ahead of us on this path. David can probably make a new one faster than charging his battery.

      “The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed” – Gibson

  22. Got my new one yesterday! I’m back up and flying, but I’ve got a little tail-wag that I didn’t have before. When putting it together, I noticed the replacement was tighter and slightly harder to swivel than the old one. With just the bolt through it (but not tightened down) I used to be able to flick the old hinge back and forth unsupported, but the new one needs to be held and twisted deliberately.

    I’m running a Naze32, and the implication there is that the servo/yaw PID settings are significantly affected by the friction of the tail swivel – obvious in theory, but it’s interesting to see the one-change effect in practise.

    I must have been very lucky with my first setup – I heard many people complaining about tail-wag, but never saw it. Now I see it.

    While I could just mess with PID settings to compensate, I’m interested in getting the swivel to be as friction-free as possible (while still having zero slop) to see if I can get the old behaviour back, and I wonder if anyone knows any tricks? I’m thinking of soaking the parts in a vegetable or mineral oil to impregnate the (slightly porous) ABS, similar to lubricant-impregnated brass blocks. Anyone think that’s a bad idea? (The ABS compatibility guide says Milk is far worse chemically, but would it swell up?)

    Or perhaps the swivel will loosen up a little with use, and the wag will go away again. I feel like it’s decreased a little already, but that just might be me adapting.

  23. Hi David

    My original one has been working fine, up until the weekend, I was flying more aggressively than I have been previously now that my settings on the naze32 are just about sorted, lucky for me I noticed the cracks while I had the tricopter on the bench for tuning

    Thanks for the great product support and sending a replacement,

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