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Studio Session-087.jpg

SLiC

There’s a million mini frames out there, and I didn’t want to make a miniquad without a compelling reason, or ‘angle’. As a former terrible amateur bike racer (that means I don’t race any more, not that I’m no longer terrible), I’m acutely aware of the importance of power/weight ratio – it’s the thing that made everyone else disappear over the horizon. Power/weight is important in quads too – the more power relative to weight you have the more you can lean the quad over without losing altitude, and the faster you go. The SLiC is my attempt to make the lightest miniquad frame there is.

The G10 version, a tad less stiff than the carbon.

The G10 version, a tad less stiff than the carbon.

The ‘angle’ of the SLiC is that it’s made entirely from 1.6mm carbon or G10. The box structure gives it rigidity fore and aft, and trusses stiffen up the arms laterally. The trusses slot into the arms and are held in place with zip ties. You could CA them but I don’t think it’d be any stiffer, and it’d be harder to repair. The thinness of the materials makes it super light.

I didn’t color my frame ’cause I’m a child, I colored my frame so you can see the structure better.

I didn’t color my frame ’cause I’m a child, I colored my frame so you can see the structure better.

Most H quads have arms that jut out at an angle for the cool factor, even though that means there’ll be more material and weight. The trusses on the SLiC mandate straight arms, which is kinda ugly sexy in its own way.

To push things further the fuselage is just 36mm wide, the width of a Naze or CC3d. Instead of a pdb, I used a simple wire harness. The ESC’s live on the arms. And it only takes 18 series motors.

Baby's getting a Kiss upgrade!

Baby's getting a Kiss upgrade!

Love this Naze pin placement.

Love this Naze pin placement.

As for the weight?

G10 frame weight.

G10 frame weight.

The carbon frame is lighter even though I got rid of the arm cutouts. The ESC’s block them anyway, and any extra strength is welcome. Most people weigh their frames without a battery strap and cam mount. Without them it's 70 grams.

The carbon frame is lighter even though I got rid of the arm cutouts. The ESC’s block them anyway, and any extra strength is welcome. Most people weigh their frames without a battery strap and cam mount. Without them it's 70 grams.

G10 AUW

G10 AUW

Yes those orange props are unsightly.

Yes those orange props are unsightly.

Like the Sweetness, the SLiC hovers way below 50% throttle and requires an adjusted throttle curve. The carbon version is stiffer overall and its arms resist twisting better, though I’m not sure that matters. The motors don’t apply any twisting force to the arms.

As for the name, there’s a saying from bike parts maker Keith Bontrager: “Strong. Light. Cheap. Pick two”. Well, the SLiC is stiff, light, AND cheap. You’ll note, however, that I substituted ‘stiff’ for ‘strong’. The SLiC is very rigid, but probably not terribly crash resistant. Best to think of it as a no compromises performance craft rather than an everyday workhorse.

Or a SnoCone.