Monday, 26 November 2018

A 3D-printed case for the RX6R

The FrSky RX6R is a sweet little receiver, however, it comes with a flimsy cardboard wrapper - the first thing I wanted to do was give it a proper case. And the obvious way was to 3D print it.

There was a problem though: I had no prior experience of 3D printing. Which means that this post is not just about the little case, but also about my journey into a fascinating new area.

RX6R with flimsy wrapper

The idea was to make a simple box, with a split just above the board. The board would sit on the bottom of the case.

The first job was to design the 3-D model, and for this I chose TinkerCad. It's free, and runs in a browser, and there are some good tutorials available.

First, I measured the dimensions of the receiver board, and made a 3-view sketch. Next, I used Tinkercad to model the internal shape. This involved creating a number of boxes and combining them to form the internal space. I then wrapped the internal structure in a larger box. Finally, I turned the internal structure it into a 'hole'. The result was... the case.

The Tinkercad tutorials were enough to see me through, except when it came to splitting out the top and bottom halves - Tinkercad lacks a 'slice' command and I had to resort to Youtube for a clever but quite involved workaround.

Initial case design in TinkerCad

With the basic design done, I called on the help of my good friend Pete Houghton. He imported the design into Fusion 360. made some tweaks for his printer, and added the RC-Soar logo (just visible in the photo below). One thing I'd overlooked was that the extrusions were 0.4mm, so ideally the dimensions would be multiples of 0.4mm. But it worked out in the end. The completed design took just six minutes to print in PLA.

After a little work with a file, it was time to fit the receiver board. Fortunately it fitted nicely. The two case halves are held together with tape.

Sharp eyed readers will notice that there's no hole for the bind button. This was due to an oversight on my part. Neither is there any access to the S.Port/S Bus socket as I don't use it. (There's no hole for the LED either, but it glows nicely through the translucent case!)

RX6R (front) compared with X8R

A Y-lead is needed for the battery as I'm using all six channels. It would be nicer if the battery were connected directly to the pins, thus avoiding the Y-lead - something to think about next time. Here is the completed unit ready to install in my Stribog:

Rx with Y-lead for battery. Red thing is a magnetic switch.

Feedback and download [updated 28 November 2018]

I've published the design on TinkerCad, but please note that it's still very much work in progress - I've received some suggestions on RC Groups, see posts either side.

It may not be a perfect design, but it does the job and I'm quite pleased with my first foray into 3-D printing.

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