3D printing a small drone

So I’ve been getting into 3D printing over the last year during lockdown. Previously it’s been primarily for my wargaming hobby, but then I saw an article about 3D Printing a micro drone.

I’ve been designing and building it ever since. Waiting for stuff to come from China!

I haven’t quite got the FPV sorted yet. I have a camera but am awaiting goggles and so far have only flown it in my back garden.

I have been looking for safe places to fly the little thing around Chesterfield.

I have my CAA operator ID and have been watching a lot of Youtube videos.


Nice work - how much does it weigh ?

Good question!

I just went and weighed it. 89g with battery etc.

I decided I thought that antenna was a little vulnerable as it was so I printed a bit of protection for it from Polypropylene.

The rest of the body is already printed from that same stuff.


What is PP like when printed? Stiff? strong? flexible etc? Never tried it.

Strong, almost indestructible. Slightly flexible, but returns to the same position.
I saw a Youtube video where a guy tried loads of filaments and this came out best.


This guy is funny. Good find! :rofl:

Yes, he certainly makes fun videos.

We took it out this evening for it’s first FPV flights.

I’d be interested in any comments on anything at all (drone related) you may notice in the video.


After an excellent session using Acro Trainer mode (why did I not know about this before!) the battery cable snapped.

This has given me a good chance to replace the top frame, which kept on breaking, with something more substantial to my own design.


I’ve started progress on my second drone. The first prototype frame has basic components fitted and working. I’m designing the 3D printed frame myself from scratch.

It’s up from 2" props to 3" this time. And no prop guards. I decided I knew the risks and ran up the props on the bench, clicking the “I accept the risks” button and then receiving my first drone prop injury… I now have a nice big plaster.

Anyway, it’s working… now to design a second prototype with places to mount the other components. I might also reduce the frame in size as it could probably handle 4" props with the size it is right now.


Hope the prop is still ok :grin:

lol… not a mark on it.

It’s not going right unless there is some claret flowing :smiley: :smiley:


Unfortunately there was smoke today as well.

As far as I can see a tiny fragment of solder got lodged between two pins on the ESC.

Result was a smoked motor and a dead ESC.

I did have a smoke stopper on, but had removed it because everything had been working fine.

Motor was twitchy before the smoke… :frowning:

Anyway I ordered a whole new stack and several more motors of the same type. The new FC looks to be a lot better than the one I was going to use.

I had really started to be getting somewhere with this build as well. Main frame was designed and printed. Receiver worked, GPS module worked… etc…

So, whole stack has been replaced with one of these and I must say it’s a lot better than the stuff I was using before. I don’t think I could have had the short on the ESC like I did with the other stack as the boards are conformally coated already on these.

So, everything bar LEDs and GPS is on and working. I have those ready.
Everything seems good, but I need to have a quick test flight…


It flies!


Looks solid and stable :+1:

It feels it… a lot more to it than the 2"