By Carlos Camacho
January 03, 2018
Ever wanted a cool looking 3d printed race drone?. With this DIY tutorial you can build your own fully equipped racing quad with folding arms and excellent flying characteristics. You can get all the necessary STL files from thingiverse. I hope you enjoy it as much as I build and fly.
Step 1: A WHOLE PILE OF SCREWS
For the construction you need a whole set of screws. Look at the picture for all the details. You also need damper balls for the camera plate. You can get them in many different colors and strengths. Choose these depending on the weight of your camera.
Step 2: MAIN FRAME
For the main frame you have to print the parts below. Print the main frame with 25% fill. The sides and bumpers are best printed with 50% fill. However, the bumper will be heavily invaded in a crash, so you better print a few spare parts.
Step 3: Start the build
Use 4x M3x10MM to secure the bumper together with the bottom plate. The next step is to fix both sides with 4x M2x10MM screws each.
Step 4: The arms
The next point on our list is the poor. You must print all parts to start. And you also need at least a 400mm long carbon fiber tube with an outer diameter of 12mm.
Step 5: Cutting the carbon fiber
To make sure the motor mount and the arm itself sits cuddly in place are not jiggling arround or twisting we need to drill a few holes in the carbon fiber arm.
Therefore, we cut the carbon fiber tube to a length of 100mm. You can scratch the carbon fiber tube at 100mm and then place it in the jig. Start gently with a fine metal saw blade while slowly turning the carbon fiber tube.
Step 6: Use the drill bit holder
I have a drill because the hole alignment is really important with tubular arms. If the holes are in the middle, your firefly has jaw problems. To prevent this from happening, make sure that you ligate the devices perfectly flat on their side also making sure that they are pressed really hard on the carbon fiber tubes. If necessary, use a hammer.
Now drill two 4mm holes and a 3mm hole. Turn the arm over and drill another 3mm hole. Metal drills worked the best for me. If you take the devices to twist them while pulling.
Step 7: Arm Buildup
Now that you have prepared the carbon fiber tubes, its time for assembly. Clean the engine mountings and the hinge very well.
First you have to secure the motors on the engine mounts. The motor mounts are designed to accept motors with M2 screws. To fix the motors, take the motor, 1x motor mount and 1x motor mounting plate together and saw 2x M2x8MM. Make sure that the motor cables are facing the right side.
Step 8: Adjusting the arms
The next step is to add the motor body floor. Press the motor mount with the motor onto the carbon fiber tube. The guide holes show the exact position.
Now attach the lower part of the motor mount with 4x M2x10MM screws. Screw it a little at a time and go slowly. You do not want to break it before your first flight. Now you can add the motor stands. You do not have to screw them in just press them in. Align the arm hinge with the 3mm holes on the other end of the arm.
Step 9: Clip Lock
To finish the arm mechanism, use the 4x M3x10MM in the bumper to screw in 4 clip locks at the front. Use another 4x M3x10MM in the back to do the same thing.
Step 10: Arms location
Now just put the arms in place and make sure that the hole for the joint is aligned with the corresponding hole on the bottom plate.
Then, add the upper chassis plate to add the pending screws, its important that each screw must fit smoothly, after the plate and all the remaining screws are in place you can continue to secure and tight the arms.
Step 11: Secure the arms
To attach the arms, take 4x M3x32MM screws and start screwing them into the bottom plate. As soon as you reach the top plate. Take the M3 washers before screwing on the 4x M3 self-locking nuts.
Step 12: FINISH IT
Now simply push the bumper balls into the holes provided and install the camera plate. You are done. I hope you have a lot of fun with this little quad. Print out some spare clamps, bumpers and motor stands, and you should be well-prepared for the field.