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Hello guys, today I'm going to show you how to make carbon fiber parts for your Syma Heli (or anything really). The main reason to do this is to rid your heli of the "heavy" metal parts, replacing them with lightweight carbon parts. This can save 84% of the weight of the steel parts, thus using less energy to hover and move around. Plus it looks awesome!
Okay, the tools you will need are pretty basic:
The screwdriver that came with your heli, an electric drill w/ a 1/16" (1.5mm) drill bit, double-sided tape, and a dremel (or equivalent) w/ a drum sanding bit, cutoff wheel, and milling burs (Dremels will come with these bits in the kit). You will also need a carbon fiber plate, a 4"x4" piece will be plenty to do 2 helis. I recommend buying your carbon from Protech, I used a 1mm x 4" x 4" 6k twill weave that i purchased for $11 shipped.
These are the parts that can be made out of a carbon plate, others require more sophisticated steps to make mounting points for screws and/or curved parts. You could also use carbon fiber rods for the tail, braces, and landing gear. If you're doing the tail beam you'll want carbon tube, rods may not reduce enough weight to be worth it. Other things you can do are remove the rear rotor and LED.
First thing is to take the part you want to make out of carbon and double-side tape it to the BACK of the carbon sheet (so you don't damage the gloss side). Then drill the mounting holes, you drill the holes first to be sure the piece will mount to the heli correctly. You do not have to drill the hole that the tail brace locator pin uses, this hole is very small and finding a drill bit small enough to make it the correct size isn't worth keeping it.
Next you should use your dremel's cutoff wheel to cut out the general shape of the part (you do not need to cut the final shape yet).
Use your dremel's sanding drum to start the final shape, leave the metal part taped on as well as a guide. You may need the milling bur or cutoff wheel to get into tight corners.
Use the milling bur to cut out the slot for the gears, NOTE: you're gear guards will no longer be there for protection, you could find a clear piece of plastic that covers gears on other helis and use that.
Note: the cutoff wheel can also be used to flatten straight cuts out, like the inside of the gear slot.
Heres the final product, you can normally have all the parts done in an hour or two, just take your time.
Looks good! I'm assuming the same process will work for materials such as polystyrene sheeting and other, cheaper, materials, just as long as it's not too thin, or makes the heli unstable/unbalanced. Polystyrene is my main material of choice for anything like this, because it's much cheaper, easier to obtain, and somewhat easier to work with. I don't know if it's quite as light, but at this small of a level, it's not that much difference for the cost. Plus, many hobby shops have it in various thicknesses and patterns. (Just make sure to steer for Evergreen Plastics/Models, and not Plastistruct because of cost--a $3 package of a few sheets from Evergreen costs about $8 for one sheet from PS. Although, I do think PS has better prices on packs of flat sheeting)
As CF continues to drop in price and become more readily available over the years, (slowly, but it is) I'm hoping to see more of this sort of stuff popping up. There was a guy a year or so back that figured out how to make them for the 107, and sell them, but that never really took off. The 800g's probably easier to do, since there's just the mostly single-piece frame, unlike the two-part frame on the 107.
I'd just figure out some sort of a guard for the gears, just to keep them protected. I don't know if there's a plastic/glue combo that you can use to attach a guard to the back of the CF, and curve out, or not, but that's what I'd try.
Good luck with this project! Hope it works out in the long-run!
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