Introduction: 3D Printed FPV Racing / Freestyle Drone !
Welcome to my Instructable!,
In this instructable, you learn how to build a 3d printed racing Drone yourself!
Why did I build it?
I built this drone because I like to fly these High powered Drones and in the event of a crash, I don't need to wait days or weeks for my Carbon frame to arrive. Furthermore, Carbon frames usually start from 30$ and up and 3D printing technology is cheaper than ever. Other 3D Printed Drones on the Internet are built like a normal carbon fiber drone but that's a bad decision because Carbon Fiber is much Harder and Crash resistant than PLA or ABS.
That explains the unusual style of the Drone which combines maximum Durability, crash resistance, and sturdiness.
Let's start with what you can expect from this Drone.
The Performance of this Drone blew me away. I am certain it can keep up with traditionally built Freestyle drones.
But let's start with the basic acronyms which will be used here.
LiPo Lithium Polymer BatteryAka LiPoly. It's the most commonly used power source for the RC hobby these days because of its high energy storage density-to-weight and high discharge rate.
1S, 2S, 3S, 4S, 5S, 6S...S = number of cells These numbers indicate how many cells in a LiPo battery. The higher the cell count, the higher the nominal voltage
ESC Electronic Speed Control ESC is used to convert signals from a flight controller or radio receiver, and apply the right amount of power to the electric motors. It also turns DC voltage into AC in order to spin up the 3-phase brushless motor.
FPV First Person ViewUtilizing an onboard FPV camera and wireless connection, to allow a pilot on the ground to see the live video stream from an RC aircraft while flying, through FPV goggles or monitor.
FC Flight Controller The "Brain" of your drone which is where all your wires go
I built it with mainly parts I had lying around but if I would rebuy the Drone parts it would cost me depending from where I buy it ~250$
Are you ready? Let's go!
Step 1: But What Do You Need ?
Let's take a look at what you need:
The Drone Parts example Setup down below
3D printed Air Frame
4 motors + spares
4 props + lots of spare
1. 4 ESCs + separate flight controller Mounting holes are 35x35mm
2. an 4 in 1 Flight controller / ESC Stack
Lithium-polymer (LiPo) battery + spares
a LiPo Battery Charger
FPV Video transmitter (VTX) and receiver (Rx)
Radio Control transmitter (Tx) and receiver
Board camera for FPV feed
HD camera for recording (optional, adds weight)
and a suitable battery charger
Heres is an Example for an Setup that fits
RMRC Dodo r3B
Littlebee 30A ESC
EMAX 2600KV "Red-Bottoms"
FPV Camera Foxeer Arrow HS1190
Batteries: 4s/5S Tattu 1300mAh
Racekraft 5 inch props or similar 5060 props
Screws etc. (you can get these at your local Hardware store.
Electronics Mounting Bolts (4): M3 x 0.5 mm Thread, 30 mm, McMaster P/N 92095A187
Electronics Spacers (8): Nylon Unthreaded Spacers 3/16" OD, 1/4" Length,
Electronics Spacers (4): Nylon Unthreaded Spacers 3/16" OD, 1/8" Length,
Motor Mounts: M3 x 0.5 mm Thread, 5 mm Long, McMaster
Electronics Mounting Nuts (4): M3 x 0.5 mm Thread,
A 3d printer (mine is the Ender 3)
small screws laying around
A Laptop for running Betaflight
Step 2: Start Printing !
Download my files or design your own Frame with Autodesks Fusion 360 as I did. Without this easy to use but very powerful CAD Software, I would have struggled to design my models.
Here are the STL Files: https://mega.nz/folder/DaJCUSQC#RztXSKWSFWI83GcZB6...
Put it in your Slicer Software of choice I used cura but any will work.
The Frame weighs less than 100g total (Lower + Upper) is feasible with good stiffness and durability even when printed in PLA.
For the Lower component, use lots of brims and your best 1st layer adhesion game to prevent warping of the arms. Techniques vary by material.
Printed at 25% Cubic Infill, 0,2mm Layer height.
the print took for me at slow printing speed about 8h.
Step 3: Add the Electronics
Now it's just screwing everything together which is pretty straight forward.
Screw your FC and PDB on the Frame then solder on your motors (doesn't matter how the motor is connected to the FC because it is a Brushless motor)
Just make sure the little arrow on your FC points in your flying direction and have your motors (CW = Clockwise spinning CCW = Counterclockwise spinning) in one of the Variations Shown in Picture 4. CW and CCW motors have different colors which you can identify by looking in the manual of your Motor Package.
And screw the camera and FPV picture 1 (upper part) section on the Flight controller.
Then connect all Components through the Cables included in their Packages with the Flight controller.
Step 4: Setting Up the Software in Betaflight
Setting your Flight controller up in betaflight might be easier than you think.
there are lots of Tutorials on Youtube but I´ll sum it up for you here :
Follow these steps:
1. Bind your Transmitter with your drone receiver. (varies between transmitters)
2. Connect your FC through a USB cable to your PC and connect to it through betaflight
3. Picture 2 Setup your Receiver in the Ports tab
4. Picture 3 Select one the Switches on your transmitter to "arm" in the Section "modes"
5. Picture 4 it is a good idea to make sure your motors are working and are spinning in the correct directions. First, remove the propellers, as they can cause serious injury. Then, connect the battery to your quadcopter and go to the “Motors” tab of the Betaflight Configurator. Enable the “Motor Test Mode” and use the sliders underneath the “Motors” on the left to spin each motor individually. Verify that the motor order and directions correspond to the order shown in the top left corner. If some motors are spinning in the opposite direction, configure your ESC’s (motor controllers) to reverse the direction or swap 2 of the 3 wires connecting your ESC and motor.
6. Picture If you have an OSD on your FC you can set it up now.
Step 5: Trimming and Flying !
Trim the controls to fit your Flightstyle adjust the FPV Channels and now: Fly, Crash, Learn, Repeat!
Your drone is ready!
Even experienced Drone Pilots were amazed by what can be 3d printed these days!
I fly this Drone on 4s and it is really fast the GPS showed a max Speed of 80 mph (129 kph) considering this Frame is 100% 3D Printed is a big achievement because other 3D Printed drones need either carbon fiber Support or are too "flimsy" to reach that kind of Speeds.
Step 6: Final Words and Videos
This project was so much fun! When Flying FPV you really feel like a bird. When getting better at flying you almost feel like you are out of your body and hundreds of meters over your head,a truly beautiful feeling.
I added a video of my first test flight and FPV flight on this Drone.
I apologize for the bad video quality of the second video,my FPV Video recorder is very bad.There was almost no bad signal when flying unless I was behind a tree etc.
I had flying permission in both videos and am aware of my local regulations and rules. (registered drone pilot)
Please look at your local laws before flying and make sure you have the permission to fly and don't harm you or others. These motors have the power to severely damage you and others. Always do Preflight checks and make sure your drone is in excellent condition before flying.
If you have any questions ask! Id love to answer them!
Happy flying and stay safe during these challenging times!
Participated in the
Make It Fly Speed Challenge
1 Person Made This Project!
- Hugemess69 made it!