Introduction: Make an H Quadcopter With 3D Printing

Picture of Make an H Quadcopter With 3D Printing

Lets make a 3D printed quadcopter frame! This build is for the 3D Design contest, along with my hobby. This frame is different compared to conventional frames wherein its more of a Cross or X, This frame is more of a Semi H/X. Compared to other frames this design will give you a lot of space especially for your FPV equipment, Gimbal, and more. Its Faster than your normal X configuration quad, just pack it with some of your favorite motors,ESC', Batteries and receivers and your ready to go

This build will be concentrating on the frame build and electronics parts only for the tuning its up to you or your local hobbyist to help you out in tuning. (LOOK at the last step for the best way to get your quad running without doing manual tuning)

Design: The design is based from the 250 Blackout mini Quad, I was inspired in our local flying which lead me to making this using my old F450 parts. The 250 Blackout frame is famous among mini Racers since its designed to crash and its length gives it the upper hand to pitch forward with ease and speed

250 size Mini Quad Race video

Acro Session with my Quad using my DIY MULTIWII



Go to the next steps and download Parts.rar for the stl files and PM me for the RAW sketchup file or DWG file.

Specs and Key features

Blackout 330

Frame Weight


Diagonal Wheelbase


Takeoff Weight

600g ~ 1200g

Recommended Propeller

8 × 4.5in

Recommended Battery

3S~4S LiPo

Recommended Motor

22 × 12mm (Stator size)

Recommended ESC

20A +

Wireless programming Via Bluetooth for PID settings, Telemetry and in flight data logging (NOT A WIRELESS CONTROLLER)

Printing Cost & time~ $$$

It took about 8 hour of printing, with a cost of almost 56$ here in the Philippines

Looking for local 3D printing service?

Heres a good website on where to start 3D HUBs

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

Tools & MAterials

Cordless drill


Soldering Iron

Allen wrenches.

Super glue

screw drivers

sandpaper any grit that will just smooth en the surface

Parts- Next step for 3D print infill setting

1x Heli Landing gear

2x Base

4x Side Base

4x Arm

1x Topbase1

1x Topbase2

8x Standoffs 3x35mm


12x 3x20mm screws

16x 3x10 Screws

16x 8 to 10mm long M3 or 3mm screws

12x Locknuts

Electronic Parts

4x 920Kv or 950kv brushless motors , "GEARBEST SALE" 03/18/2016

16x 3mmx8mm screws

1x 4 in 1 ESC 25A / 4x ESC opto

1x Flight controller |Multiwii, CC3D, NaZe32, APM etc|

Bluetooth Module/telemetry module (wireless programming)


Step 2: Print Settings

Print setting is crucial in this project because in here we can control the weight and stiffness of each part, as well as printing cost and time.


Infill 30%

Layer thickness .25

Shell 1


Infill 20%-30%

Layer thickness .3

SHell 1


Infill 10-20%
Layer thickness .3

SHell 1


infill 100%

LAyer thickness .25

Shell 0

Top Base 1 and 2

Infill 15-20%
Layer thickness .3

SHell 1

Step 3: Extra Drilling~ and Gluing

Picture of Extra Drilling~ and Gluing

Once you receive your parts there might be a need for some drilling and certainly gluing because this 330 size frame exceeds most 3d printer sizes I decided to split some parts of the frame and just glue it together once its with me.

Things to do

1. Drill all the holes you see with a 3mm drill bit

2. sandpaper the rough edges/ surfaces

Step 4: Assemble the Frame I Guess....

Picture of Assemble the Frame I Guess....

The slots you see encircled are the slots for your Arms you will need:

12x 3mmx20mm Screws

Insert all the screw first then lay it down on a flat surface, Attach the arms just like what I did on the 2nd picture

I used 2 screws since i'm out of stock.

Step 5: Landing Gear

Picture of Landing Gear

There are different types of Heli Landing gear and im not familiar with this so in this step its up to you on how will you be able to attach your landing gear, but anyways here what I did

doing the usual technique

Position your landing gear then mark the holes using a pen/marker then just start drilling easy right! After that just use the screws that came with it and your done.

Step 6: 2nd Base

Picture of 2nd Base

As you noticed there are 2 layers of the same part. This is because a layer is not strong enough to make a Quad fly, try bending one i'm sure you'll know why. So when you stack two layers bending will no longer be an issue.

Things you will need for this step:

8x 3mmx10mm screws

8x 35mm standoffs

12x Lock nuts

Attach the standoffs first on the 2nd base and once done align the 2nd base through the screw holes then finally get your lock nuts and lock it in place.

Step 7: Top Base

Picture of Top Base

Easy as it is just attach the last parts

8x 3mmx10mm screw

Top base plate 3D printed and glued

By logic just screw it in place and your done!

Step 8: Electronics!

Picture of Electronics!

The electronics parts of the Quad copter is quite easy but some people just dont know how to spend wisely. So I will help you guys pick your parts according to my wishlist

Flight controller Multiwii series (I do not suggest buying the kk2 if your are going to go FPV and acrobat) If you want to learn flips on your quad and FPV go for Multiwii because there are more mode options compared to kk2 wherein it will just give you the LCD tuning option, after that you cant upgrade it anymore unlike the Multiiwii wherein you can ttach a GPS, bluetooth module and an LCD.

Wireless programmer (bluetooth)

Motors in my guide I used the DJI 920KV but as I learned through my hobby DJI is overpriced so my friends in our local flying field suggested this motor. Its cheaper and basically the same as the DJI 920kv.

ESC I chose the 25A ESC because it will give you that extra power you need when flipping You can also pick 4 in 1 ESC' because it will lessen the wiring problems.

Transmitter! Something expensive as the quad but will give you everything you need. I use the Turnigy 9Xr but trust me this is better since it includes the Casing with it

receiver module

Battery, You would want to range from 4000mah to 5500mah but I suggest using 4000mah

Charger, For a beginners setup this is the Ideal one since it will maintain your batteries health and balance it properly (Do not use Cheap chargers)

Step 9: Motors First!

Picture of Motors First!

You will need

16x 3mmx8mm screws

Easy as it is just screw things in place and proceed to the next step

Step 10: Wiring

Picture of Wiring

Wiring may change as your flight controller differ so better check you flight controllers pin out over the manual.

But this is the usual standard connection for your Quadcopter

The connections are really simple

Step 11: Multiwii Setup

There is a saying watching is better than reading in terms of learning so here

A guide over youtube to help you guys Credits to the Owner


The Flight controller I suggested does not need an FTDI uploader since its built in

If you have problems with your flight controller configuration then feel free to ask me over the private message.


Dont forget to calibrate Accelerometer by putting your quad on a flat surface

And calibrate your magnetometer by rotating is in all axis for 30 seconds

And you if you have the bluetooth module (Upload the Multiwii program first before doing wireless)
simply connect the following

Bluetooth | Multiwii

5V | 5V

Gnd | Gnd

Tx | Rx

Rx | Tx

Step 12: Wireless Programming

Picture of Wireless Programming

Wireless programming~

Programming with a Wire sucks lets go to the next level which is a lot better

Download this in your android phone

For apple devices try looking for some multiwii programs because I have no idea about apple~ This app is very useful, It eliminates all the drag of bringing a laptop and tuning it on the field and then testing the values all over and over again through a "cable and a laptop" ..that sucks. So here I wish you a safe flight and have nice day!

Step 13: Quad Tuning

Tuning is actually easy as long as you have a bluetooth module. Be patient and take your time reading

Or if you know some people around who deals with multi rotors such as this Quad then better ask help from the professional. It will be much easier tuning it with someone experienced.

Step 14: Hassle Free Tuning

I will Elaborate more on this step for those who are more advanced and with the ones who have expensive flight controllers.

AUTOTUNE - This is the way I do it with my latest flight controller "APM 2.6 with UBLOX6H GPS/compass". This is a flight controller that is somewhat expensive compared to the multiwii or kk2 it has everything you need from the basics to the advanced, like return to launch, loiter, GPS lock, way points etc. This is the ideal flight controller for most quadcopters since its performance is noticeable compared to the kk2 and multiwii with that is has more than a dozen features to help you start out with the basics of flying a drone.

APM "ArduPilotMega" just like an arduino mega it packs a lot! making this flight controller a good one

setting this APM up is a long process so a youtube video will help a lot

Watch every step in the video, but you will notice some changes when you do it yourself since the video has an outdated mission planner and the up to date mission planner guides you in the whole setup.


Rendboe (author)2017-02-02

Hi, is it correct that the base is 210 mm x 102 mm x 4 mm ?

waynewen2003 (author)2016-11-21

Hi I'd like to know how to open the files for the parts.


JacobW22 (author)waynewen20032017-01-11

go to the store and download RAR open

jdmcpherson34 (author)2017-01-06

How do I download this copter I want to fly it through my school as senior prank???

AbrahamE7 (author)2016-10-27

On step 8, what electronic is that? I'm a beginner to this.

Thank you.

AbrahamE7 (author)2016-10-27

Hey man, i'm a little confused on what multiwii system i need to use can you help me? I'm doing this project right now and i need a little help with picking out parts. I don't know what part to get that all work well together. Can you send me a list or something, anything will help. Thanks.

HenryS72 (author)2016-07-29

I've built the copter and it looks great, but I am having tons of trouble getting any of the programming actually onto the Crius 2.6. I went into the config.h section of the code and modified it as needed, but when I go to upload it with the board and processor selected, the only port that is recognized is the bluetooth one although the multiwii is connected with cable and ftdi adapter. I'm on Mac OSX V10.11.3 and Arduino V1.6.9

If anybody could help, it'd be very appreciated! Thankyou in advance

treyes4 (author)HenryS722016-08-04

Crius 2.6 hmm quite an old flight controller you have there and probably not a lot of people know about that fc since it has evolved so much since then.

HenryS72 (author)treyes42016-08-04

I thought that was the one that was recommended for this copter? This is my first build so I don't know much about what to use, what would you suggest instead

treyes4 (author)HenryS722016-08-11

well you can still use that crius but it would be nice to follow my others builds since this is an old one and i haven't really bothered updating it. just the thing that i forgot how to setup a Crius board

LaurentD18 made it! (author)2016-07-16

Hi, I made it and it flies great! I designed a few additional parts such as landing gear, battery holder bracket, cable holder, flight control holder and receiver holder. I didn't want to use Velcro and it looks much cleaner like that.

The problem is that I lost it :-( I'm printing a new one right now and this time it will have a GPS and tracker.

I'm also upgrading the flight controller. I used the CC3D and it's not good enough. It doesn't have a barometer and altitude control is too difficult without a barometer.

I ordered the CC3D Revolution, which seems to be much better.

If you want the additional parts I designed, let me know and I can email them to you.

Overall, this Instructable is great and I'm thankful to Timothy for sharing it.

treyes4 (author)LaurentD182016-08-04

Nice build!

Fish-chips (author)2016-06-12

hey, i was wondering could you share the measurements for the body and arms of the quad-copter 3D printer,


Fish-chips (author)Fish-chips2016-06-15

dont worry i got it

bebro (author)2016-06-07

Hi, I noticed that the SkyRC motors you linked to from GearBest have a max current of 28A. If I use these will I need 30A ESCs and a bigger battery?

treyes4 (author)bebro2016-06-09

You can use a 30a ESC or 25a+ just expect some heat on your 25a ESCs for the batteries... No problem really

bebro (author)treyes42016-06-09

Ok, thanks. I'll start ordering some of your suggested parts.

KyleM94 (author)2016-04-13

Is there any way you can update links some of them point to hobbykings main website and not the desired product

TheMovieM (author)2016-03-05

I love it man I am making one right now and I will try post pictures of the finished product!

Skyerocket3 (author)2016-01-21

I have always wanted to do one of these

markparfaitjr (author)2016-01-06

I am making this quadcopter for a senior project in my class. If you could email me that would be great, I have some questions that I would like your help on! :)

Grespino (author)2015-11-15

hi can anyone send me a .stl version of the quadcopter frame because sketchup has decided to go full retard

RDWW60 made it! (author)2015-11-08

Started mine, just finished printing. Going to order parts next. Thank you for the design, it printed well.

nicken83 (author)2015-11-02

I've just builded a 3d printer, and would now try to build a drone with a printed frame. This seems a very good explained instructable. Would you recommend this build for a first drone? I have no experience in flying one... However, would love to learn, especially with a selfmade one!!

DustinC3 made it! (author)2015-09-02

I am building this right now.. Thanks for the awesome article and files

EricZ4 (author)2015-08-08

I'm tempted to make this for my robotics club in high school. I just need a recommendation on what flight controller I should use since I don't think I'm gonna need a GPS one because I'm more than sure we're gonna be flying this thing inside our school since there is enough room. So any good controllers out there? Not TOO expensive either. Thanks!

EricZ4 (author)EricZ42015-08-08

Sorry! I mean the radio controller

raimundo151179 (author)2015-07-29

Hi, I'm new to the Quadcopter, I would like to know how it works, if wifi, bt, or if necessary a radio control, additionally, I wonder if all parties can be bought in one place and if you can edit the right links for those parts because when you open show a list of products:

I appreciate the help.


PierrotT (author)2015-07-16

Can I use this radio transmitter?


Thank you!

LautaroR (author)2015-05-26

Which cam you use?

Apurtuce (author)2015-05-19

I accidentally bought 1000kv, will it still work with the recommended props?

treyes4 (author)Apurtuce2015-05-19

it sure will :)

JesseF4 (author)2015-05-07

cool DIY. i am building one for the first time. what props did you get?

xiudong (author)2015-04-15


treyes4 (author)xiudong2015-04-16

谢谢 ;)

hdiabo (author)2015-04-02

Great Instructable! I tried to 3D print it and I noticed that the quadcopter white "arches" for standing are missing. I would appreciate it if you could update the parts.rar.

Thanks again for the nice work.

Nikeran (author)2015-02-15

Hey! Can I controll it just with te Bluetooth? IS there a programm for android?

treyes4 (author)Nikeran2015-02-15

You cant, the bluetooth is for wireless tuning and telemetry "in case you are able to make a program for bluetooth i suggest you stop it, bluetooth communication is slow and limited in range

Nikeran (author)treyes42015-02-15

So if i buy only the blutooth module cannot I controll the drone directly by the app on the phone? I don't care about slowness and range

treyes4 (author)Nikeran2015-02-16

the slowness will make the quadcopter lag and cause a crash trust me i've tried and its like a 1-2 second delay

AfIqS2 (author)2015-02-07

Hey sir, can i get the details about this project. I want to make my own helicopter. Please do email me.

gerardog2 (author)2015-02-01

good proyect I like it , but this can be fpv?

treyes4 (author)gerardog22015-02-04


NinjaBoy12 (author)2015-02-03

What do you use to program the copter? And if it's an arduino can you post the code into the instructable?

treyes4 (author)NinjaBoy122015-02-04 follow my ible i am no longer using this flight controller... i use the flight controller called ardupilot mega ... and yes its arduino but one does not simply post a complex code here you will have to research more into it

Ikusa (author)2015-01-29

Awesome build, any chance i can get the 3d files would like to tweak afew things? or drawing files for hole dimensions and so on. (author)2015-01-07

can anybody tell me the dimensions of the largest part? How do I convert the .rar to .stl? I cant view the model so I cant find the dimensions for myself. thanks!

clazman (author)

A rar file is only a "zipped" (compressed) file. WinZip is one of many that will extract the compressed files.

treyes4 (author)

please open the .rar file with winrar extract it and use a 3d modelling program to open the STL files

clazman (author)2015-01-08

Very nice.

Have viewed many designs on Instructables, especially those that soar through the air. Those designers appear to indicate that they are concerned with the vehicles weight. Why? With flying vehicles weight can be a detriment, reducing flight time, maneuvering ability and crash inertia.

Why, then, does the designer not pare more useless weight from the vehicle?

Why not relocate four of the standoffs so that one of the rotor arm screws can be used to mount it? That would eliminate 4 screws and nuts.

Why not utilize sheet metal screws, thus eliminate more nuts?

The designer here has found by chance that only 2 screws are needed to mount the arms. Yes, that marginalize the integrity, in that if one screw comes loose there is only one screw remaining.

Why does the the base have protrusions at the arm mounts? That is excess weight. Also, increased rigidity could be gained by locating the arm mount within the extremities of the base. Yes, the rotor motors would move inboard a corresponding distance. This could be beneficial by reducing the vehicles, polar moment of inertia.

I do like the use of density changes. This concept, unobtainable in a molded component is a very nice capability. It allows the designer to create a "hollow" cross section with "internal" ribs. I mention ribs, for they allow the molded component to transfer loading from "hard points" to the rest of the structure.

What am I saying? It is all in the section modulus. Controlling it via the material density control found in 3D printing rather than utilizing ribbing and thickness.

The idea of section modulus was stumbled upon in this design. It was discovered that 2 panels separated by an amount, greatly increased the rigidity. This is the concept of section modulus. An excellent example is the hollow drive shaft or comparing the rigidity of a 1/2 inch pipe and a 5/8 solid rod. The material in the center of the cross section is little used in torsion or bending. It only becomes necessary in shear loading or compression.

Section modulus increase with the cube of the cross section dimension.

About This Instructable




Bio: Hello There! My name is Timothy and I am 18 years old and I love biking, Rc, arduino ,gadget hacking and 3D designing. I'm ... More »
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