A quadcopter is defined as a multi-rotor helicopter which is
propelled and lifted by four rotors. Two sets of identical fixed pitched propellers are used by quadcopters out of which two are fixed in clockwise manner and other two are fixed in anti clockwise manner. In process of printing a 3D quadcopter, along with 3D printer some non printed parts are also required. These non printed parts are motors, batteries, sensors, electronics, and remote control units. In the end some basic skills is also required to put everything together.
In order to make this work easier one can also 3D print the frame i.e. all housing and supporting structures. In addition to that we can print the propellers also. With the help of 3D printed parts we have quick and infinite supply of spare parts which will make easier to handle the pilot training along with daily mishaps. In addition to fully understand this process, creating a DIY drone will also provide much more knowledge about inner workings and mechanics of flying robots or drones.
The important step in this process is to design the frame of drone in 3D, which is also the part of designing of quadcopter. Here in this step one can implements his thoughts into reality by designing that part as every design will work until it follows some general rules. It can be designed with one single piece or as a main body which has retractable or detachable arms. Flight controller is capable of working with every design but same flat level of motors is required.
Other steps that are involved in the process of 3D quadcopter is gathering components, rotors, frames, prop guard, mechanical assembly, and electronics and software. Components like prop guard, frame, microcontroller and sensors are also required. In order to enhance safety of craft and those who are around flight zone, there is a need of protector around quadcopter. Nine degrees of freedom sensor stick consists of three sensors, one gyroscope, an accelerometer, along with a magnetometer. I2c can be used to communicate sensors from analog pins which are numbered four and five on Arduino.
Most frames for quadcopters consists of two plates which are separated by standoffs within range of 15mm to 35mm. Flight controller and electronics are mounted on lower plates and everything is closed up using upper plates. It should be kept in mind that both upper and lower plates can be used to mount arms. Frame size should be measured from center of front motor to the center of back motor which is on the opposite side. During this process specific frame size aiming is not important.
Everything which is not an electronic part or motor can act as a 3D printed object but it should be noted that appearance of 3D printed version is slightly different. In addition to aesthetic and visual differences, 3D printed version is capable of getting easily modular, upgraded, and user serviceable. There are many laws that regulate the operations linked with drones and UAVs, therefore consulting local regulations is must. High speed propellers along with high flying objects can easily cause damage to property or people therefore in order to stay safe and secure, skilled pilots with active minds are required. These flying objects should be used by people with proper attention and awareness by keeping all the safety factors in mind.
If you want to know more about how professional drones look like, you can also read some guides about them. They are great for surveillance and aerial photography.