Introduction: Preview...

i start this project inspired by DJI mavic drone, so any drone can be like mavic.... just like this beautiful drone who made by John plunkett...

Once again, Many many thanks to John plunkett who have remix it and make it so premium and willing to share this photo with us... check it on

Step 1: Printable Foldable Quadcopter, DJI Mavic Clone Frame

Inspired by DJI Mavic, i create printable fordable quadcopter 3D model...

using spring mechanism for locking front and back arm into the place...

feel free to download, mix it or add anything on it to make it better...

PS: for the gimbal is still beta testing.... (instructables for gimbal will follow soon)

Step 2: Download Printable 3D

u can download from first model (see Orange drone picture above)

or my first remix (see yellow drone above) (remix alternative larger body for larger battery)

or my second remix --> recommended (see blue drone picture above) (bigger body compartment, bottom plate for accessing from bottom, GPS box, longer arm support for higher clearance but smaller space for gimbal / camera) --> all part are tested...

Step 3: Bone in the Axis...

Put 3mm diameter screw (with long as long as the axis or close enough) to the arm axis hole...

this screw act as a bone so the rear arm axis have a higher endurance

PS : i use 3 x 34mm screw but try to find a longer screw than that...

like this

Step 4: Spacer

put in the spacer to the rear arm...

PS: u can sandpaper it if the spacer and the arm not loose enough...

Step 5: Glue the Spacer

Glue spacer to the body with a strong glue like plastic glue or else...

Step 6: Rear Arm Angle

put the glued rear arm into rear arm hole...

before the glue is dry, try to find the proper the angle of fold position and hold it until the glue dry...

Step 7: Rear Arm Lock Mecanism

insert the spring than secure it with clamp...
Spring Specification... Coil: 1.0mm, OD/ID: 9/7mm, Height 22mm, 6 laps

PS: I using 3D printer spring... cut it as u need... don't too long (it will be hard to fold and unfold) but don't too short either (it will shake the arm while flying)

after it finish do it for both side...

Step 8: Front Arm Lock Mecanism

put the spring into front hole and continue with the bullet...

Same with step 6, i using 3D printer spring and cut it as i need (if too long will be hard to fold and unfold, but if too short it will be unstable while unfolding)

Step 9: Front Arm

put the front arm into the arm hole... and try fold and unfold it...

do it for both sides...

Step 10: The Marriage

merge between the body and the head ...


Yes it will be a little bit difficult to fold and unfold but it will be safer... (Thanks Traxxas&Reviews for sharing the video)

secure it with the screw from top and bottom...

Step 11: Bottom Part

Place the the body separator plate (divide between battery compartment and electronic compartment)

and close and lock bottom access door with screw...

Step 12: Top Compartment

close the head section and secure it with screw from top...

u can place the GPS module, gimbal module or camera module in the head section...

than u can close the battery compartment with battery cover and lock it with the clamp

Step 13: Electronic Part

This only basic quadcopter explanation guide, for more detail u can search for other guide on internet...

picture above is some example from different FC (Naze32, Pixhawk, APM 2)... witch one u will pick is up to u...

but generally what u need is:

  • 2 x CCW motors and 2 x CW motors (u can use 2212, 2312 or 2213 with 920kv or higher)
  • ESC (recommended using mini opto ESC 20A)
  • 22 Silicone AWG, 18 Silicone AWG
  • Flight control (u can use APM, Pixhawk, Naza, Kiss, CC3D, KK or else)
  • Radio Control RX
  • XT-60 female conector
  • power distribution board
  • BEC
  • Lipo battery 3S - 4S 2000mah to 5000mah (using open battery cover for large battery).. for me, i'm using 2700mAh 3s lipo...
  1. put CW motor to the front left and back right arm, and CCW motor to the right front and back left arm
  2. connect all 3 cables to the ESC output (don't worry if u miss the cable order)
  3. connect your esc input to the FC (it's depend on the FC u pick --> see your FC guide for details)
  4. connect your FC to the BEC for power out
  5. connect your FC to the Radio Control RX (it depend to the Radio control RX type and FC --> see your FC guide for details)
  6. Connect your Radio Control RX to the BEC power out
  7. connect your ESC power direct to the battery via power distribution board
  8. connect your BEC power to the battery too
  9. connect your battery to the power distribution board using XT-60 conector
  10. Setting your FC as u need (see your FC guide)
  11. and try to power on all motors (WARNING..!!! MAKE SURE U NOT SET ALL THE PROPELLER)
  12. if the any motor with wrong direction just switch place 2 from 3 cable and solder it again
  13. after all electronic done u can try for first fly....

for more detail electronic installation guide u can search on Youtube with this keyword "quadcopter build"

Step 14: Feel Free to Remix It...

I really want to have a good platform for folding drone, but I realized that I could not do it alone ... so here is my work so far, please feel free to download and remix as u would expect ... but I hope after u design it better, u can share it too ..

PS: The files that i share below is my second remix in 3dsMax scene file (see the blue one at step 1)

PPS: next if i have update this design i will post it in here too...

Step 15: Here Some Flying Test Video (but It's Not Me)...

Thanks for making this video...

By PsManiaHeroes

by johnp256

by Traxxas&Reviews

by Øyvind


Eric Brouwer (author)2017-08-20

Well done. Excellent Instructable!

광록김 (author)2017-07-26


How should I build electroic parts?

Διονύσης-ΕμμανουήλΠ made it! (author)2017-06-10

I have made my own DJI Mavic Clone, thank you very much for the building instructions. I added also a camera base, with out a gimbal unfortunately, two blue leds and two red leds. I use the SP racing F3 Flight Controller and i think it is very good, and the flights are very stable.

mrworf (author)2017-06-03

I've printed it and bought 2212 kv920 motors... Now, where I can find foldable blades for it?

MusaW (author)mrworf2017-06-06

yes u can... there is a lot of fold able blade in the market, or some people modified original mavic propeller for it...

HorseBinky (author)2017-05-16

Fantastic work!!! One question to the gimbal: do you have an impression so far if there are vibrations from the drone motors in the video footage?

Thanks for sharing your work!!

MusaW (author)HorseBinky2017-06-06

i still remake the gimbal for better result, i put smaller motor and dumper rubber for reduce jello effect...

gimbal version 2 is on going...

the3dprintlab (author)2017-05-15

can i use the motors in the picture below??

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 20.22.13.png
mikeyjr666 (author)2017-05-04

Can I buy one from u

pooranimator (author)2017-04-08

Hi Musa, what are the electronic components needed for this? Sorry I am new to quadcopters but I really want to make this.

MusaW (author)pooranimator2017-05-03

i put the electronic generally, because it's depend with what u need... personally i use naze 32 because it's small and good enough for me...

ChoKFunK (author)2017-03-15

Hi MusaW,

Great desing !
Wich modeling software are you using ? Fusion 360 as preview on top ?



MusaW (author)ChoKFunK2017-05-03

all model using 3dmax...

Timothee Gillier (author)2017-04-08

Very nice project.

ŁukaszP34 (author)2017-02-19


Can you please share the stl files for the leg extensions? I would like to place a standard gopro gimbal and need some extra space below the model :). Another question - where did you put the ESCs and through where do the cables from motors go inside the chasis? Can you add some photos of the printed model with all the electronics installed?

Anyway, great job with the modeling, I hope that soon I will share the photos of my printed mavic clone :)


MusaW (author)ŁukaszP342017-02-26

sorry, for the late respond... but the extension arm i have is not modified with the last modified arm. maybe after i update that... i will post the extended arm...

MusaW (author)MusaW2017-02-28

try this

EnriqueS41 (author)2017-02-26


The first thing I say k seems spectacular, but I have a question, why stick with glue the piece that secures the back legs of the dron, and do not design it directly with that attached to the chassis to be more resistant?

MusaW (author)EnriqueS412017-02-26

hey thanks for the question... there is some reason why i design it like that...

1. i found that really difficult to make a prefect circle horizontally, so every time i print the "body_bottom" include "spacer" in it, the arm not really fit in it...

2. i think i need more dense for the "spacer" part to make it stronger (100% infill) but i don't need the whole "body_bottom" same with it (i just need 50% infill).

3. in some case (like your drone crash very bad) usually this lock part is broke because it hold the rear arm when it crash. with make it separate part like this i can replace it partially, no need to print the whole "body_bottom" again.

That's is some reason that make my design like right now... i hope it help u understand the reason behind it...

papajohn88 made it! (author)2017-02-06

Here are some photos of the Mavic Clone Frame I am working on from this instructable. I have printed all of the parts and assembled most of the frame. I am waiting on the springs to come in the mail, I am also waiting for the motors, ESC's, batteries, radio and propellers. There are a couple of parts I am going to reprint only because I made some mistakes or want to change the color. All in all it has been a very easy project so far even with some of the prints running as high as 18 hours. I am pleased with the overall design and will be flying this for quite a while because it is so compact when folded up.

papajohn88 (author)2017-02-06

Sorry for bringing up two problems I am experiencing here however I think this needs to be discussed. I have printed the body_bottom three times, the last time was printed right side up just to make sure I did not have any issues induced by printing it upside down. The attached image shows the 2mm gap between the front of the body and the head_bottom piece. This gap is the result of the opening for the front arms not being tall enough for the 14mm arms. The other issue I have, which was solved with a file, is the 10mm diameter pin that mates with the body_bottom front arm mounting area is too long at 3.18mm for the 2.378mm deep recess it is supposed to fit into. The top pins fit into the head_top just fine as the recess there is deeper than the ones on the body_bottom. I have printed the 20mm test cube which came out to exactly 20mm when measured is all directions.

papajohn88 (author)2017-02-04

I printed the rear legs last night, all turned out well. Since I am here in the United States it is not easy to locate metric wood screws. I found a source on ebay however the shipping is way more than the cost of the screws. I did some research and determined I can use #6 x 2 (50.8mm) so I went to the local home center an bought a pack. They work well and fit just fine. I did however learn to make very sure the hole for the screws is clear and ALL support material has been removed. I didn't get one of them cleared out completely and broke the pivot pin. Lesson learned, I had to print another right read leg.

I am now on my third attempt today at printing the body top. For some reason they keep failing about an hour into the print with portions of the support structure coming off of the table. It is a lot of support material since I am printing it right side up, maybe I should turn it upside down. Any thoughts on this?


SamP155 (author)2017-02-01

Has anyone attempted this with a hubsan h501s yet?

D_gunawan (author)2017-01-30

good job. very detail i like this thanks

MusaW (author)D_gunawan2017-01-30

thanks... nothing is prefect so it's still on going improvement...

co'reilly1 (author)2017-01-30

Do you have iges or step files of these parts I could use to make some modifications with?

papajohn88 (author)2017-01-30

I am 4 hours into printing the body bottom, I have completed the head top and head bottom. The estimate for printing the body bottom is 19 hours so it will be done in the morning. So far so good, the parts are looking good.

erik_montesdeoca (author)2017-01-30

I'm really impressed for your work, it's very nice the people like you that shares what youy made, i know the time that you takken for make a good instructable.

beautiful proyect!

WilliamR195 (author)2017-01-28

I cant find the 3d print files for the gimbal!!

MusaW (author)WilliamR1952017-01-29

MusaW (author)MusaW2017-01-29

but it's still test some improvement...

JackT92 (author)2017-01-21

very nice work! I've noticed the rear motors are lower than the front motors, why does this not affect the balance of the copter?

MusaW (author)JackT922017-01-27

no, as long as the weight is in the center.... when u put your gyro it's must in the center of gravity of the drone.... and don't forget to do auto tune if your FC have it...

PS: mavic have a lower motor too for the rear motor...

JackT92 (author)MusaW2017-01-29

Ok, thanks very much! keep up the good work!

LéoD19 (author)2017-01-25

hey men, incredible tutorial, printing the front left arm right nao :p... When will the gimbal guide come ? This is the last thing i'm waiting for to order my components...

MusaW (author)LéoD192017-01-27

soon i will post another instructable... i still built another prototype for it, soon when it's done i will post it...

papajohn88 (author)MusaW2017-01-29

Great, looking forward to it. I am printing parts as I post this. It will take me longer than I thought but worth the time.

LéoD19 (author)MusaW2017-01-28

yay ! thanks :)

papajohn88 (author)2017-01-28

I received my 3D printer this week, it is one of the Prusa Reprap clones with 220 x 270 x 230 build envelope. I have it assembled and working. After printing the test file I jumped into printing parts for this Mavic Clone. I am printing the head cover now. So far so good I am thinking it is going to take several days to print all the parts.

Wonderboy021067 (author)2016-12-05

Eletronics list please!

MusaW (author)Wonderboy0210672016-12-05

i just added, but it's just basic installation... because it will depend on FC u pick for it...

sonubhai (author)MusaW2017-01-18

Where do i fine the electronics list my friend, I just started printing your design and is my first time doing it. Thanks again for the great work.

MusaW (author)sonubhai2017-01-27

i recommended u to use FC like naze32, because it's pretty small and easy to use and install... there's a lot of tutorial u can follow such as this video

papajohn88 (author)2017-01-16

When you print your parts do you use solid infill or something less than solid? I have been playing with cura and slic3r. I need some guidance before I send the files off to the 3dhub I am using to have them printed. I suppose my best choice in the long run would be to buy a 3d printer for myself.

RossM52 (author)2017-01-12


What size are all the screws:

What is the length of the "bone" screws in the arms and also what are the length and diameter of all the other screws that need to be used as I need to order them.

Thanks, Ross

MusaW (author)RossM522017-01-14

basically i just use 3 type of 3mm screw and u can easily find it in any hardware store: 34mm long, 19mm long and 12 long... my suggestion try to replace 34mm long screw with longer than that for the arm "bone" (if u can find one)

i think like this one...

MusaW (author)2017-01-14

Just finish First version Mini Gimbal... still tweaking the BGC configuration...

Instructables for this will follow soon...

MusaW (author)2017-01-11
papajohn88 (author)2017-01-11

Hello, I have a question for you. What do you recommend for 3D design software to draw parts to be 3D printed? I have used CAD/CAM packages for years but never any 3D. I am going to get your design printed perhaps next week, it has been submitted to someone for printing. I think I would like to try my hand at designing some of my own stuff.

bolsoncerrado (author)2017-01-09

Can i supply u measumenents of an ARDrone i have getting dust so you can try to adapt your design to its electronics/motors? :D i also think there are a ton of ARdrone users out there with theirs "getting dust" :D

Good work anyway!

About This Instructable




Bio: Designer, Artist, Engineer
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