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Whoop Hoops (Micro Quadcopter air gates)

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3D model description

Whoop Hoops

Customizable, illuminatable micro quadcopter air gate system.

The goal was to build air gates, or hoops for that matter, for my brushed mini quad, keeping the following design goals in mind:
* as cheap as possible
* mountable to different surfaces
* 3D printed connectors
* colorful
* optional battery powered illumination
* easily transportable

After a trip to the hardware store, I decided to use the following base materials:
* Electric flexible tubing (16mm outer diameter, comes in a spool of 10m)
* Electric tubing (16mm outer diameter, comes in a length of 3m)
* Zip ties
* Duckt Tape

For optional illumination I decided to use the following parts from BangGood:
* 12V LED strips - with protective coating
* XT60 connectors - unfortunately I could not find a pack with only male connectors
* Battery Buzzer - to not over discharge your batteries
* Battery Straps - to secure the battery

As power source I decided to use my old 2200mAh 3 cell Lipo packs, not in the best condition, but good enough to power a LED strip. You can basically use any 3s Lipo, just make sure to attach a battery buzzer to not over discharge them.

To paint the once I am not illuminating, I use spray cans I had lying around. Use some flashy colors for best visibility.


The attaches STL's are the customizers default and suitable for EN16 tubing.

I highly recommend printing one part of each and make a test fitting with your base material - adjust in the customizer until it fits your tolerances and material, then print the parts in batch:

  • Decide on how many hoops you would like to build, print as many Connectors.
  • Print as many battery trays as you need if you decide to go with illumination.
  • If you do not want to use wooden bases, print as many surface mounts as you need, try to keep the dowel short, or they will break easily when too much leverage is applied.


Cut your flexible tubing to length. With EN16 you can make hoops with around 120cm circumference, I like them at 90cm circumference, so about 28cm in diameter. Longer than 120cm and they tend to sag bit, and get more elliptical.

If you want to illuminate your hoop, it is now time to put the LED's in there. I like to use the kind that has the protective covering (so I do not risk to short them out in case they should move in the tubing) and stick them back to back, so the hoop is illuminated equally.

Comparison with and without coating. Slightly more expensive with coating, but they offer pretty good short out protection since all the contacts are covered.
Stuck back to back for best illumination

Cut a small flap into the tubing so that the wire can stick out, and fixate the tube with a bit of tape.

LED flap

Spray paint the hoops - if you like - I use montana spray paint, it dries very quickly and has great coverage, but basically any spray paint will do it. Use colors that are well visible in your designated flying area.

After painting, zip tie them around the connector.

Spray painted

Now cut your dowel - in my case the EN16 tube - to length. Attach the battery tray, if needed, and pop on the hoop. The fit with mine is pretty tight, but you could of course use some glue for a more permanent fit.

Wooden Base

If you do not want to duck tape your hoops to chairs or tables, you can make simple wood bases. I use scrap wood that I drilled a matching hole for my EN16 tube and glue that to a bigger, flat piece of scrap board for some stability.

Duck tape mount

Surface Mount

Wooden Base

  • 3D file format: STL
  • Publication date: 2018/10/10 at 16:18





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