Welcome to DronePrint!  In this bi-weekly series, we find and print awesome designs that we can use with our drones or add to our gear bag!  We overview why we selected the design, show the print process, and finally review the outcome.

Hopefully this series can help you find some cool components to add to your backpack.  Interested in reading more on 3D printing and drones?  Check out this article where we go over all the basics!

This week, we are printing a gimbal protector for our Taranis transmitter.  Afraid of damaging your gimbals when carrying your transmitter to the field?  Well this article may be for you!

 

Taranis gimbal protector overview

I don’t know about you, but whenever I go to the field, I just toss all my gear in my backpack and hit the road.  I want to easily carry everything in one bag, and not worry about hauling five different things around.  This means I am not using the fancy carrying case that came with my Taranis.  Though it has nice foam cutouts to gently carry my transmitter from A to B, I rarely use it because it adds another thing I need to carry and be mindful of when I go out to fly.

taranis-case-padded-propwashed

I should use this to carry my Taranis – but it’s a bit bulky for the field!

Well, when we recently put together our Betaflight configurator article, I noticed a significant amount of drift at the midpoint of my transmitter when toying with the Receiver tab.  I spoke a bit to James about this, and he mentioned that the Taranis is known for its less than stellar gimbals, and my haphazard carrying practices might be shortening the lifespan of my transmitter.

Yikes!

So, I started looking for a solution.  How could I improve the lifespan of my gimbals while also keeping my kit light?  As usual, the 3D printer offered a solution.  A quick search around Thingiverse led me to this potential option…

Enter the DDC TEAM Taranis gimbal saver!

thingiverse-ddc-team-gimbal-saver

Could this be the answer to my problems?  Well let’s find out together!

 

The Print

As I said, I found the print via a quick search on Thingiverse.  Apparently, a lot of people have made Taranis gimbal protectors, so there were plenty of options to choose from.  I chose the DDC TEAM version mainly because it was one connected print – meaning I didn’t have to print two gimbal protectors, one of which I would likely lose down the line.

Plenty of results on Thingiverse!

Plenty of results on Thingiverse!

With the print selected, I downloaded the STL file and spun up the printer.  First thing I had to do was reposition the print, as the default layout was a bit too big for the printer.  Obviously, resizing a print like this one would be a bad idea, as we want all the proportions to fit our transmitter at the end of the day.  A quick rotation of the print allowed it to fit perfectly.

cura-import-bad

cura-import-good

 

With everything oriented correctly, it was time to print!  The estimated time to complete in Cura was 2 hours 35 minutes, so I figured I would set up the camera and grab a time-lapse of the process.  Here it is in all its glory!

 

Success!

post-print-gimbal-protector

While the print fit perfectly over the gimbals, it was a little too tight for the neck strap connector.  No worries, nothing the soldering iron can’t fix!  I heated up the soldering iron, and widened the channel slightly to allow it to fit cleanly over the loop.

solder-adjust

 

Fit test…

fit-check-bad-plastic

Perfect fit!  But, melted plastic isn’t the greatest look.  Lets bust out the sanding block!  A quick once over and….

taranis-gimbal-protector-final-fit

Love it!  Fits nice and snugly and keeps the gimbals in their proper positions!

 

Review

Overall I am very pleased with the print.  The protector fits snuggly on the Taranis, and I haven’t noticed any slippage or issues thus far.  I feel much better throwing my transmitter in my bag, and hope this will help extend the overall lifespan of the Taranis.

Stats

Time to Print: 2.5 hours

Final Weight: 24g

Estimated Cost to Print: $1.60

Material used: ABS

Post Print Adjustments: Widen neck strap hole (used soldering iron), sand excess filament (used sanding block)

Link to Model – 4/17 Update – looks like the original model is down for some reason.  Luckily, there are a ton of similar prints on Thingiverse that can be found here.  Bummer.  Will fix if the original print is added.

Want this print but don’t have a 3D printer?  Well, we want to give one of these away to one of our readers!  We will give a print away in a Rafflecopter drawing, which you can enter using this link, or the embedded option below. There are a few ways you can enter to win, so select an option (or two!) that works for you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thanks for reading!  If you want more DronePrint, you should follow us on Instagram!  We post a ton of drone related pictures, including our most recent 3D prints!  You can also join our Facebook group, where we share designs and printing ideas daily!

Questions?  Check out our FAQ for information on our printing setup and how we reach our cost assumptions.  Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any additional questions or recommendations!  If you print a design that we talk about and want to share it, make sure to tag it #DronePrint so that we see it!

Next Drone Print episode – building a propeller changer!  Check it out here!

 

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