Introduction: Cardboard/Duct Tape Model Helicopter

*Note* Does NOT fly; it only spins it's propellors. This helicopter is something I have wanted to do for a while. Keep in mind that this is just a prototype, and although it works fine, the body of the helicopter would look much better in plastic or wood. The circuitry is very simple and can only make the helicopter go up or forwards (or both) and can be taken from many household items. My helicopter circuitry came from all broken/ damaged electronics so most people can make this simple design. Parts/Tools List: • Paper • Cardboard • Duct tape • Foamboard • Hobby motor (I found a larger one in a printer) • Small hobby motor (these can be found almost anywhere) • 2 switches • 9-volt battery and battery snap • AA battery and holder • Wire • Wire cutters/strippers • Solder and soldering iron • Xacto knife Warnings: Any Xacto knife blade is very sharp; use with caution. Soldering irons and solder get very hot and give off some toxic gasses; be careful not to burn yourself and use ventilation to protect yourself from the fumes

Step 1: Make the Body

First draw the plans for the pieces on a piece of paper and cut them out. Then tape them onto a piece of cardboard and cut them out to make the different pieces. After that, duct tape one of the side pieces to the long strip while curving it to the edges of the side piece. Make sure to only tape one side closed. Next, cut a hole the diameter of the top motor in the top of the strip and make sure it fits. Then, make the "tail" and attach it to the body.

Step 2: Make the Propellors

Cut 5-10 large trapezoids of foamboard out that fit together around a duct tape sized circle. Then, scrape off some of the foam/paper off the edge of one side, and round the corners of the other edge. Tape them between two duct tape sized circles at a slight angle. Cut out a hole the size of your motor shaft in the center. Repeat at a smaller scale for the small motor.

Step 3: Make the Circuitry

Take your 9-volt battery snap and solder the positive lead to one of your switches. Solder the ground lead to the ground lead of your top motor. Then solder the positive lead of your motor to the other side of the switch. After that, tape the exposed solders with electrical tape. Then do the same thing, except with the smaller motor and the AA battery. If this is confusing, see the pictures. *Note:* I had to solder leads onto my smaller motor and AA battery, so that is why the wires look different.

Step 4: Install the Circuitry

After you have the circuitry soldered together, you need to install it into the helicopter. The first thing you have to do is install the large motor assembly. The first step is to put the large motor into it's place. Put it in the hole and tape it down (make sure that no tape is touching the shaft). Then put the switch in it's hole and tape it in place. Put the 9-volt in the snap and tape it down. Tack down the wires with more duct tape if needed. The next step is to put the small motor in place. Thread the motor to the end of your helicopter's tail. Then place the switch in it's place and tape it in. Close the tail up and tape the motor in, again making sure that no tape touches the shaft.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Once you are done installing the circuitry into the body, you can either cover up the wires with more duct tape or just leave them open. You will then need to install the propellors on the motors securely using the holes you produced earlier (I used liquid nail). The last thing you have to do is tape the other side panel to the body to close the helicopter up.

Step 6: Testing

Now you can start it up! Add the batteries to your helicopter and turn the switches on. Test that each one of the motors work and that it can spin it's propellors freely. *Note* If your motors do not start, check all of the solder connections and make sure that nothing is blocking it from spinning.


thatcactusgirl made it!(author)2013-03-27

@tawhidiscool @GorillazMiko Not really, or at least it didn't for mine. If you use a lighter, more powerful motor and a better made body/propellor it might be able to fly or at least hover a little.

Tawhid+K made it!(author)2013-02-23

will these helicopter fly?

GorillazMiko made it!(author)2013-02-19

Cool! Do you think this will float for a little or break the fall if I were to drop it off a building?


About This Instructable




Bio: My name's Alexis, I'm just a 16 year old trans girl who likes to mess around with things. I now have a Solidoodle ... More »
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