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DJI Phantom 3 Gimbal Repair Kit

Discussion in 'Classifieds' started by Tbock, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. Tbock

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    Although I'm new to this forum, I've been an active member on RCgroups for a while now. I fell in love with this hobby a couple a years ago and am always looking for ways to support my hobby habit by making products for other hobbyists. The latest project I've been working on should fit in great with this group!

    If you're like me, you've just realized that your shiny new DJI Phantom 3 is far from indestructible. Even a "rough landing" can cause enough damage to your camera gimbal that your only option may be to completely replace the whole camera/gimbal assembly!

    Every once in a while, there's an "Option B": Buy someone else's broken gimbal and hope that you can piece together one working gimbal out of the two. You might be upset with DJI for making such a fragile gimbal, but that's the price you pay for the great flight time.

    I'm here to offer a third option, and I truly believe that it should be considered "Option A". I've spent weeks testing and refining a 3D printed alternative for DJIs aluminum Phantom 3 gimbal arms. I've assembled a gimbal repair kit that includes the yaw arm, roll arm, specialized tools, and video instruction on how to perform the repair. I also offer email and phone support to anyone who buys my kit.

    I know many of you are skeptical about a 3D printed part being strong enough to replace the stock aluminum arms. It's a justified concern, but not all 3D printed parts are created equal. There are many people out there selling parts who don't have the necessary skills or experience to print quality parts. About 80% of parts being sold aren't even designed by the people who print them. I'd like the chance to prove to you that the "average" 3D printed part doesn't even come close to showing the full potential of what is possible with 3D printing technology. 3D printing is as much an art as it is a skill. The best comparison to working with a 3D printer is woodworking. When you print with plastic, you need to consider the "grain" of your part the same as if it were made of wood. Your print is going to be stronger in one direction than another, this needs to be considered in the design phase. A good designer can use these characteristics to their advantage to turn weakness into strength and impossible into incredible.

    I'm not going to try to convince you that these parts will hold up better than the stock DJI parts because that might not be true. These parts will likely break in the same conditions that break the DJI parts. I could make them stronger than DJIs parts, but that would do more harm than good in a crash. If the arms don't break in a crash, the motor shafts will. If the arms are the weak spot, good! That is the cheapest repair. I can say with confidence that the parts I'm selling are strong enough to be a solid and reliable replacement for the stock DJI parts. Some extra care is needed during assembly because of the small screws, but that's common sense stuff and is covered in the instruction video. Once your gimbal is assembled, the replacement parts are very sturdy and don't require any special treatment. This kit is designed to use all original screws. If your yaw arm broke at the motor shaft, you may need to buy a new M3x4 set screw to use with the new yaw arm.

    This kit includes:

    •Yaw Arm
    •Roll Arm
    •Roll motor alignment tool
    •Hardware layout sheet
    •Video instruction guide (link to my YouTube videos)
    •Email and phone support

    Things you will need:

    •Philips screwdriver #PH0
    •Allen driver 1.5mm
    •Torks driver #T6
    •Hobby knife or small pick
    •All original screws

    I chose not to include a new ribbon cable (DJI Phantom 3 Part 49) in this kit because not everyone will need one. You can salvage the original if it's not damaged. Just be careful, a replacement will cost you about $50.

    Here's the videos I've made to help with the repair.

    Video #1 shows disassembly:



    Video #2 shows assembly:



    Video #3 shows yaw arm replacement only:



    Video #4 shows a powered test of gimbal movement.



    Video #5 shows test flight footage.



    I made a few small changes to the design of the roll arm since the assembly video. The parts in the photos and powered tests are the final version.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    *There is no guarantee that this kit will fix everything that's wrong with your gimbal. This will only replace the bent or broken arms.

    I'm selling these kits for $45 shipped or you can buy one arm for $25 shipped. Contact me for details.
     
    #1 Tbock, Jul 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  2. cnynctry

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    Looks great.
     
    Ross Gerami likes this.
  3. Fares

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    Nice ! Looking forward to hear some feedback. Good job
     
    Ross Gerami likes this.
  4. Tbock

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    Thanks! I'll update the threads as I get feedback from my customers.
     
  5. Tbock

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    There have been some questions asked on other forums about how strong these parts are. Like I said, I don't expect them to hold up any better than stock parts in a crash, but I do expect them to fail in another way. My gimbal arms are made of ABS so they're not rigid like the stock aluminum ones. I think they'll probably sheer off the end-stops and that might be enough to save the ribbon cable...?

    Anyway, stress test! The only thing I could think of to show the strength was this:

    [​IMG]

    Note to self: The bobbin locks are installed for a reason. EEK!

    I wasn't worried about an arm breaking, but I was a little worried that the roll arm would pop off the motor because I never glued it. This was full weight with battery supported by the camera only!
     
    SkynetOne, UrAwFuL and flyNfrank like this.
  6. cghobbz

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    What method are you using to smooth/finish your prints?
     
  7. Tbock

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    I don't smooth them. I don't have enough practice with that. These parts are pretty thin. An acetone mister might damage them. I don't want to give away all my secrets, but I can say that there's a lot of post-print work that goes into them.
     
    RobVson likes this.
  8. Adamation

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    This is a fantastic use of ones brain, cannot wait to hear some reviews - Adam
     
  9. ksphantom

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    This is great news and it looks like a great product. I have been 3D printing for about 6 months now and agree with everything you said. 3D printed parts can be incredibly strong and still lightweight if designed and printed correctly. If I ever have a crash and need gimbal arms (knock on wood) I'll definitely consider your product. Good luck!!
     
  10. Tbock

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    Thanks guys. This has been a huge project. I have been working on this for weeks now and I have the big box of prototypes to prove it. There have been some really challenging points, but I firmly believe this product will work. I just hope people can get past the stigma that 3DP parts have. I'm sure that the coming reviews will ease some concerns.
     
    Dannynkc likes this.
  11. Fares

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    Am looking forward for feedbacks. Also you are genius man. This is my opinion.
     
  12. jcknows0

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    Will definitely be looking at this if I crash myP3 as I have no desire to pay 600 for a replacement and I love innovation. Cheers to you sir and hope there are many sales in your future
     
  13. bKanzi

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    Looks Great. are you arms compatible with gimbal protectors like
    http://www.djiphantomfix.com/
    and will they be available in different colors too? a red,white and blue one i think would sell nicely considering how many p3's are headed to America.
     
  14. Tbock

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    My arms would not be compatible with that "protector" because it uses the 3 holes that screw into plastic.

    Those things are a waste of money though. Think about how it works. The only thing it would be able to do is keep that roll motor from coming apart. I've never seen that happen. I've seen yaw arms bend and break. No protection for that. I've seen roll arms bend and break on the OTHER SIDE of from being pushed BACK. This little doohickey may have worked on the p2 (I haven't looked at it), but it's useless on a p3.

    I've thought about colors. I think I'll offer them in the future, but for now they'll all be white. If a customer needs a replacement part, I can just grab one off the shelf and ship right away. I don't have a big enough shop to stock 10 colors of everything. Maybe take a poll and see what 4 or 5 colors would be most popular?
     
  15. Tbock

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    This is the first test of my 3D printed gimbal repair kit for the DJI Phantom 3. The camera shakes a little under heavy throttle, but settles down when flying more relaxed. This may be contributed to the 8-10mph wind during the flight. The camera only seemed to shake when I was flying into the wind. You should also keep in mind that this gimbal was absolutely destroyed in a recent crash and was repaired with 3D printed arms and a new ribbon cable. All electronics were salvaged from the smashed gimbal and could have taken damage.
     
  16. RiskFactor

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    Oh man...if only I knew if this would fix my gimbal or not. I suffered a bent "J" arm that I carefully straightened (most of the way) with a crescent wrench, but the main back plate on the gimbal is also bent slightly sideways where it connects to the arm. My camera always settles at a 45 degree angle when I start up and I have to gimbal cal each time to get a (nearly) level horizon.

    Very nice alternative to a new $550 camera...just wish I knew if it would work for me. Kudos on the hard work!
     
  17. Tbock

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    I'll rebuild it and test it for $45 labor and $75 for the kit. If I can't get it working, I won't charge you anything. Let me know if you're interested.
     
    Debner666 likes this.
  18. RiskFactor

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    PM sent.

    Edit...watched both vids. The one you disassembled looks EXACTLY like mine...same bends and all. Interesting videos...you must be veerry patient. :)
     
  19. Tbock

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    I probably spent 60 hrs designing, printing, testing, and re-designing these parts before selling the first one. I even went as far as to buy 2 more broken cameras for testing the kit to make sure they all worked exactly the same. This kit worked every time, no problems.

    Any chance I can get any of the buyers to chime in with their experiences with this kit. I've onle had one post so far (over on rcgroups).
     
    Irish Jonny likes this.
  20. P180 Guy

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    Tbock-
    Crashed my professional this AM. It snapped the camera attachment arm and ribbon. Can you provide an estimate to replace both?