3D Printed Drones
Stores across the world feature a huge selection of drones. Some are powered by brushless motors, others by brushed, some are bigger, and some are smaller. The very basic models can go as low as 40 USD/EUR, but these products often come with a series of issues, such as bad camera, short range of flight, low-quality motors, and missing accessories such as FPV goggles, RC transmitter, batteries or chargers. Plus, it’s hard to get spare parts if you break something. Here is an introduction to 3D Printed drone templates.
The good news is that almost every part of a drone can be 3D printed except the electronic components. Here are some parts that you can print:
- Landing gear
- Camera mounts
- Protective equipment (i.e. prop guards)
- Antenna holder
- Remote casing
- Battery pack casing
In this article, we’re going to talk about building the Xolé 330mm Broken Arrow Quadcopter. Set your 3D printer as follows to start with the center of the drone:
Arrow shafts and arms are relatively cheap – we’re warning you in advance that these are the device’s weakest links. In the prototype, ABS plastic was used, which admittedly isn’t the sturdiest out there. Nylon printing is a better option. There is some experimental plastic filament (acetyl), which professionals recommend as well.
Design the holes small and use a drill press to fine- tune them to get the arms to appear square. The original quadcopter was made of acetyl. Machining takes a lot of time though. Its advantage is that it’s lightweight – the whole device weighs 250 g.
Here’s how to print the motor pod:
Keep the arms to under 330 mm although technically, you can make them any size you want. The drone we’re covering here is aimed for extreme acrobatics. It is stiff and light. For the arms, use 7.5 mm arrow shafts or carbon tubes. It is easy to replace broken arms in the field – just loosen the screws and slide the arm out.
This design accommodates the top-end motors called “blue wonder” without having to use a mounting bracket. The design does not use a set screw either because these can flatten the bearing tube.
Keep in mind that this design is hard work, but it pays off. All the components are durable enough to stay straight in a crash even though many of them are meant to give. So, don’t over-tighten the screws. The designer recommends 645 nylon or Taulmans T-glase. To make these pieces, Stratum 3D 12-64 nylon is a good idea as well. The drone uses a flip32 or similar size FC.
Printing your ESC holder:
We’ve dealt with the key components, but there is still a giant variety of extra things you can add to your drone. There are some very functional accessories. Some – less so. Your could create a Helicarrier that will look like something out of the latest Avengers flick, but this is for the more creative practitioners of the craft. Other markers prefer more practical applications like cases for transportation, 3D printed propeller guards, and camera mounts for FPV drones.
Your imagination is the limit!
Image of Ready Product
Do you have any templates/designs for 3D printed Drones? If so share them with us all in the comment section.