I'm fairly new to miniquads but I'm really into it now. Since I can't afford to buy lots of frames, I have to use high quality, cheap frames that will last indefinitely and are future-proof. Unfortunately, light-weight, durable, aero frames are very expensive, so I started designing my own.
Of course, the first frames would never have worked, but It's come a long way since then. My first major breakthrough was "The Long Ranger": an endurance freestyle frame that used tube arms. Since then, I've designed a micro (Baby Ranger), a hexacopter and now a high performance, top-of-the-line, race-spec quad.
At first, I designed around tube arms which can be remarkably strong and aerodynamic. Unfortunately (it didn't bother me honestly), the build process was fiddly and DIY (kevlar and resin). After that, I tried to design a vertical arm frame. It didnt work. Unless you have a lasercutter or a 3D printer, you have to use aluminium brackets to reduce vibration. Since that would be too heavy and fragile, I decided to design a different kind of frame inspired by Hyperlite frames. My current go-to for frame design is to use two narrow/high arms stacked on top of eachother to create an arm that is higher than it is wide. This has a vastly lower drag coefficient than flat plates and even tubes, with an even smaller face area. This drastically lowers drag by several orders of magnitude (figure of speech). Not only lowering drag from moving through the air, it also means less of the prop's thrust is blocked, giving you more power on demand.
The end result: Speed. Lot's of speed.
I'm going to utilise low kv motors on 6s with my race frame to increase speed and efficiency even further. With any luck, there may be an LWDesigns quad getting podiums locally, nationally or even internationally.
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