Introduction: Firefly - Printable Racing Drone

Ever wanted a cool looking 3d Printed racing drone?

With this instructable you can build your own fully featured racing quad with folding arms and superb flight characteristics.You can download all the necessary STL files from thingiverse:

I hope you are having as much fun as I did building and flying it.


For the build you need a whole bunch of screws. Check out the picture for all the details. You will also need dampener balls for the camera plate. You can get them in many different colors and strengths. Choose them depending on the weight of your camera.


For the main frame you will need to print the parts below.

Print the main frame with 25% infill. The sides and bumper are best printed with 50% infill. However the bumper will be heavily penetrated in a crash so you better print a few spares.

Step 3: Starting the Build

Use 4x M3x10MM to secure the bumper together with the lower plate.

The next step ist to attach both sides with 4x M2x10MM screws each.

Step 4: The Arms

The next point on our build list are the arms. You need to print out all the parts below to get startet. And you will also need at least a 400mm long carbon fiber tube with an outer diameter of 12mm.

Step 5: Cutting the Carbon Fiber

To make sure that the motor mount and the arm itself are sitting snuggly in place and are not wobbling arround or twisting we need to drill a few holes in the carbon fiber arm. Therefore we start cutting the carbon fiber tube to a lengh of 100mm each. You can scratch the carbon fiber tube at 100mm and then put it into the jig. Start sawing carefully with a fine metall saw blade while slowly turning the carbon fiber tube.

Step 6: Using the Drill Jig

I made a drill jig because the hole alignment is really important with tubular arms. If the holes are off center your firefly will have jaw issues. To prevent that, make sure that you allign the jigs perfectly flat against their side also make sure you pressed them onto the carbon fiber tubes really hard. If necessary use a hammer.

Now drill two 4mm holes and one 3mm hole. Turn the arm around and drill another 3mm hole. Metal drill bits worked the best for me. When you take the jigs of try to twist them while pulling.

Step 7: Arm Assembly

Now that you prepaired the carbon fiber tubes, its time for the assembly. Clean up the motor mount parts and the hinge very well.

First of all you have to secure the motors on the motor mounts. The motor mounts are designed to take motors with M2 screws. To secure the motors in place take your motor, 1x Motor mount and 1x Motor mount plate stack them onto each other and scew in 2x M2x8MM. Make sure that the motor wires are facing the right side.

Step 8:

The next step is to add the motor mount bottom. Press the motor mount with the motor onto the carbon fiber tube. The pilot holes show the exact position.

Now add the bottom part of the motor mount an secure everything with 4x M2x10MM screws. Screw them in a bit at a time and go slowly. You do not want to break them before your first flight. Now you can add the motor stands. You dont have to screw them in just press them in. Allign the arm hinge with the 3mm holes on the other end of the arm.

Step 9: Clip Lock

To finish the arm mechanism use the 4x M3x10MM in the bumper to screw in 4 clip locks at the front. Use another 4x M3x10MM in the back to do the exact same thing.

Step 10:

Now just clip the arms in place and make sure that the hole for the hinge is alligned with the corresponding hole on the bottom plate.

Now just clip the arms in place and make sure that the hole for the hinge is alligned with the corresponding hole on the bottom plate.

Step 11: Securing the Arms

To secure the arms in place take 4x M3x32MM screws and start screwing them in them in from the lower plate. Once you reached the top plate. Take the M3 washers put them on before you screw on the 4x M3 self locking nuts.

Step 12: FINISH IT

Now just squeeze the bumper balls into the designated holes and install the camera plate.

Now you are done. I hope you have a lot of fun with this little quad. Print out some spare cliplocks, bumpers and motor stands and you should be well equipped for the field.

3D Printing Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
3D Printing Contest 2016

Make it Move Contest 2016

Participated in the
Make it Move Contest 2016