Introduction: How to Make a 3D Printed Nano Drone

About: ElecFreaks is an open design house founded in March 2011. Our goal is to create rapid prototypes and give small-batch manufacture solution for makers and startups. With over 50% staff as engineers and expanded…

Here we'd like to introduce how to do-it-yourself a 3D First Person View (FPV) nano drone.

First, an overview of the drone - ELF VRdrone

1. Open source.

2. 3D printed shell. (You can access the 3D print files here:

3. Fit into the palm, fly out of the box.

4. Smartphone control.

5. 720P wifi camera for photography and videography.

6. Real-time social share via ELF VRdrone app.

7. 3D virtual reality FPV piloting.

We're now crowfunding on Indiegogo. Check out for the campaign:

Please back us to help this happen.

OK, let's move onto how we can make such a selfie nano drone.

Step 1: Get PCB, Battery, Camera, Motors, Propeller, Components

Solder components, as shown in picture.

Step 2: Flash Program

Connect ELF to PC, open Arduino development environment, click upload.

Note: You must install cc2540 USB driver: copy ccxxxx_usb_cdc.inf to your computer, when ELF connect to your computer, chose this driver file.

Step 3: Open MultiWiiConf.exe to Check All Sensors and Adjust Parameters

3.1 Select your com port and click start, as shown in picture.

3.2 Check accelerometer

Shake PCB and see MultiWiiConf.exe as shown in picture.

3.3 Check magnetometer

Rotate PCB and see MultiWiiConf.exe as shown in picture.

Step 4: Open App(Android or IOS), Check BLE Module

4.1 Send data to ELF, first send ‘24 4D 3C 00 CD CD’ to calibration, second ‘24 4D 3C 00 97 97’ to arm, as shown in picture x.if have return data, then open ELF VRdrone, verify it.

Step 5: Install Motors and Battery

Install all motors, connect battery, and open ELF VRdrone, connect Bbluetooth and arm, change throttle, if all motors is ok, then just try to fly!

Step 6: Try to Fly, Adjust and Debug

If ELF cannot fly, you maybe have not calibrate accelerometer, or you can keep ELF is horizontal before connect battery. Please add throttle slowly. If ELF moves left, you can adjust it to right. If ELF is rotating, you can change motor or rotate or set pid parameters.

Step 7: Add Camera

Connect camera to battery, just a moment, then open wifi, connect target wifi that name is such ‘ZGCS_AAAA0_xxxx’.Open app, scan camera and connect to camera, click start button.

Step 8: Enjoy 3D Virtual Reality

Smartphone connected to ELF and wifi camera, enter VR interface, then install your smartphone into cardboard. Fold the cardboard.

Step 9: VR Principle

It is mainly caused by the virtual distance optical structure, your phone is a flat screen
and fairly close to your eyes, ELF VRdrone app can process the videos into side-by-side screen. By calculating the pre-distorted picture of the phone, and then look through the lens deformation recovery, and then generate a virtual focus. Thus, you can enjoy 3D first person view piloting easily.

Step 10: Social Share

The app allows direct social share in real time, like facebook, twitter, g+. In summary, it helps involve more people in social interaction and share the fun of dronies.

Back ELF VRdrone Indiegogo campaign now: