Introduction: Flying DVD's Quadcopter DIY

About: Love taking pictures as Photographer and technology enthusiast. My background from web software developer but my dream is combining between art and technology to create awesome projects. Im fans of Apple/Mac w…

Do you have unused DVD/CD's in your home? it can fly by adding standard components for quadcopter. We won't use FPV equipment like camera or transmitter. This project is for fun and only toys, please use with caution and fly this with LOS (line of sight). Drone's is very popular now after there is lot of RTF (ready to fly) drones but it also not hard to make it by ourself.

Step 1: Components Required to Fly

This project will be using relatively cheap and simple. The main component is listed here:

  1. 10 Unused DVD's or CD's, you can get this item in your house unless you're living in the jungle :) - price: free !!
  2. 4 Propellers with carbon composite material, in this example im using 4 blades HQProp - price: 6.6 usd
  3. 4 Motors 1806-2300kv Rctimer - price: 48 usd
  4. 4 Little Bee ESC 20amp - price: 48 usd
  5. 1 Flight Controller CC3D 6 DOF Acro - price: 25 usd
  6. 1 Receiver HobbyKing OpenLRS 433mhz - price: 20 usd
  7. 1 3S Battery 2200mah price: 7 usd
  8. 1 Foam Tape, battery strap and spacer including nuts and bolts 3mm and 2mm
  9. 1 Acrylic sheet 3mm. We will use it to mount motors to the center of the disc

for transmitter you can use cheap Turnigy 9x with 9channel with price tag around 60 usd and transmitter 10 usd TX OpenLRS

these are the minimum components to make a quadcopter, we're not using camera and video transmitter yet because it will make more complex and it's used for experienced pilot.

Total budget for this project: around 154.6 usd without remote control or 224.6 if you want to buy with a transmitter.

Step 2: Building Center Top Frame

It will be easier if you have cutting mat with a grid so you can easily line up the arm and body. Make 2 hole with a drill so each arm will be connected to center plate of our quadcopter. This CD's material is easy to bend but after we add the bottom center plate it will be strong enough to fly. For now just make a hole and make sure every arm is symmetrical. Precision is very important in this DIY projects and you will be glad if you have digital caliper to help in this step. These holes using 3mm drill head and we will be using 3mm bolts.

Make sure the distance between each propellers is not hitting each other or our project will be ruined.

Build 2 center plate. One will be on the top and the other is for the bottom part. You can also make a spare plate just in case the original is damaged and must be replaced with the new one.

Step 3: Make 8 Arms

For each arm we must use 2 CD's to make it strong enough when it fly. To cut through these discs you can use mini grinder with carbide. To make it easier you can draw the lines on these discs before cutting it. From top view, you can see that the shape of these arms blended with the center plate. In this steps these arm still very light and easy to bend, just wait until we put the bottom plate.

For each motor we can use acrylic then using 2mm bolts. 3 bolts is required to make the motor stay still in the center of these disc.

Step 4: Bottom Center Plate

There is no much components in this section. I only put the battery 3S 2200mah and OpenLRS receiver. To connect with top center plate use these holes and put 8 spacer. For safety battery strap is used for both side of the battery.

I also test with 2700mah 3S battery and it still fit in this frame.

Step 5: ESC, Motors, 5Volt Source, and Putting Flight Controller

Each ESC must be connected to all 4 motors and 5volt source im using tiny board to supply the power into the receiver and flight controller. This tiny board take 12v from 3S battery and just a simple power source.

Create a hole big enough to insert our antenna on the center of the drone. Extending the antenna cable from the receiver is very flexible so we can put the antenna anywhere we want.

For Flight Controller, place the CC3D Flight Controller on the top center plate. For a little fancy quadcopter we can also flash it with Cleanflight then use some RGB Led. The LED is very customizable and it can be simple or complex configuration, you choose.

Step 6: Put Everything Together

Please double or triple check the electricity and make sure each polarity is correct (negative to negative and positive to positive). You don't want all components fried just after you connect the battery.

To make sure i always use multimeter checking there is no short circuit between positive and negative.

The frame is quite strong after 4 crash. This frame is lightweight class and if you ever hit some hard walls and concrete it maybe not strong enough to survive especially the arm section. The speed and responsiveness from 4 blade prop is great and i like it very much. The total weight for this quad is 465grams including battery and the flight time is around 9minutes for mostly hover and could be less for agressive flying.

When testing the frame i landing too hard and the CD of the bottom part is broken, well it's easy to replace that, just take the master then make another one :) that's why i like DIY. Goodluck and give me message if you have any questions.

Maiden flight with this frame is included in this page. The frame is lightweight and not bad for a beginner racer class :)

Make It Fly Contest 2016

Participated in the
Make It Fly Contest 2016