Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Bending and welding Aluminium 2mm sections

  1. Feb 25, 2015 #1

    I am planning to make a light weight camera mount for my RC multicopter (drone).

    Issue is due to irregular shape of the camera, need for the mount to be light weight, and setting up a small angle of inclination (5-10 degrees) the only solution I have come up with is to use light weight thin aluminium channels.

    The channels will be need to be bend by angles (80-110) range and also will be needed to be joined.

    I know welding aluminium is not that easy but I am sure I can find someone to do it.

    The aluminium sections are basically thin 2 mm strips, about 25mm wide.

    Now the questions:
    1. Will the bend sections be able to support 200gms of the camera (and self weight of about 80gms).
    2. Will it be possible to bend the sections without breaking them?
    3. Will it be possible to weld (or even solder) 2mm thick sections (are they too thin for TIG?)
    4. Any other light weight material that can be bend in between flights to adjust for angles( any other metal I suppose?)
    5. The mount will be isolated from vibrations. I am still concerned about dynamic effects and fatigue?
      Should I be?
    Looking forward to your replies.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 25, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It's impossible to answer these questions in general. You should sit down with someone and go over what it is you want to mount on your drone and how you want it done.

    For aluminum, no one fabricates something like you describe by welding and bending individual pieces parts.

    Aluminum 2 mm thick is pretty thin. Heck, it's pretty thin in steel.

    There are a number of different extruded sections out there, with much more complicated cross sections than a simple L or T. Perhaps one of these sections could be adapted to your application? Instead of building up to what you want, select an existing piece and see if it can be modified by removing material.
  4. Mar 2, 2015 #3
    Thanks for the reply

    It's a DIY/hobby project so I can't go for die casting or CNC machining the mount out of a large block of Al.

    I have actually worked with Al , 4mm thick strip for making a landing gear and it worked fine.

    The problem is I am mounting a very irregularly shaped camera. My options are to either make a custom Al mount, buy expensive (but relatively flimsy) glass fiber or 3d printed mounts available online or just strap the camera using some velco straps onto the drone.

    3D printed plastic structures last few operation cycles only and soon fail

    I will upload the CAD model soon fr your reference.
  5. Mar 5, 2015 #4
    Here is the cad model to get an idea

    Attached Files:

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook