I was looking to buy a prop balancer for the new tricopter I am building. I got the idea to make my own using my 3D Printer. Here is my tutorial on how I created this DIY prop balancer w/downloadable sketch up files. Feel free to revise and create your own, I realized I could have designed the sides better by using less material. Which would have helped because I ended up using almost all of my black PLA during this project.
Design a 3D model to use for the 3D Printer. You can download mine or use your own, the only measurements I took into consideration were:
1. The size of the props I would be using – the build area of my printer ( ~ 304.8mm to 12 in Props )
2. Magnet size I would find at Ace Hardware (25.4 mm – 1 in Diameter Magnets )
3. Diameter of the steel rod I used for the prop balancer ( 3.18 mm – 1/8 in Steel Rod)
4. Diameter of the to rods used to create stability between the prop balancer sides ( 3.18 mm – 1/8 in Steel Rod)
Download file here: Prop_Balancer_SK.skp
3D print each side and the 2 prop holders. Note: I had to tilt the print on the 3D printer’s build area just to get the side panel to fit.
Drill out the holes for the 1/8 inch rods to secure the side of the prop holder. I used a 1/8 inch bit to clean up the holes from the 3D printer. On the prop holders (the green cones), I used a little bit larger drill bit just to loosen up the the grip to the 1/8 inch they will be fitted to.
Cut the steel rods using a Dremel cutting wheel, I cut the two rods that hold together the sides of the prop balance at about 5 1/2 inches and I cut the rod that will hold the rod at about 4 3/4 inches. (Please wear proper safety gear glasses and gloves etc.)
I thought it might be beneficial if I smoothed out the rod that the prop would spin upon just to ensure that there are no snags when the prop is moving. Again I used the Dremel with a metal polishing brush to smooth out the surface of the rod. I also rounded out the tips.
Then with a hot glue gun, I glued 2 magnets stacked to each side of the prop balancer.
You are finished and have a DIY prop balancer. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave a comment on this page and I will try and get back to you ASAP, I am a busy man; but, I will do my best. This is one of my first tutorials so take it easy on me ok.