Flone 3.0 Drone Quadcopter




We made and fly open source drones since 2011. Pioneers sharing with people how to fly,

This is flone 3.0: an Open Source Drone Ecosystem.

After the first release of our award winning flone 1.0 instructable three years ago, we made a lot of work.

Flone is a powerful, compact, and smart design of a low-cost quadcopter that can carry easily an smartphone, or a camera in a gimbal, and much more.

The flone ecosystem is composed by:

* SVG files for produce a low cost quadcopter with a laser cutter.

* Android App for control the quadcopter.

* Cut files of a servo gimbal for a camera.

* Instructions and cutting files of atransportation box.

Software is licensed by GPL v3. Frame and the rest of elements are licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA.

The construction process has moving parts, configuration files, brushless motor test, and much more. Let's go there!

If you like our instructable you can follow us on Facebook or twitter.

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Step 1: Adquire Materials

Security First
Making mistakes building or operating a drone is normal, sometimes there are accidents. To avoid them, we must follow some safety rules before starting to fly. Only when you know what you are doing, last element to be placed in the quadcopter are propellers, and check that everything is OK before plug the LiPo battery.

Parts List

The difficulty of getting the components to build a flone is highly variable from one country to another. Overall in United States and Europe can be achieved without major problems, but there are other countries that can be held in customs or lead high taxes.

Download the frame and cut in a Fablab or Makerspace near you, or customize the file using the open source tools you know and love. The best material is 30x30cm 5mm plywood, but you can use also MDF or even 3D print-it. The right size to cut the file is 300x300 mm.

For the electronics you can buy them from different stores like hobbyking, banggod, goodluckbuy or ebay. We share this table as a reference:

Frame Files for laser cut in frame.flone.cc or 3D print files from Thingiverse. $ 5~20

Flight ControllerNaze32 rev6 10DOF with 32-bit STM32 $17.89

4 x Brushless Motor EMAX CF2812 1400KV Brushless Motor $35.04

4 x ESCs SimonK 10A ESC with BEC $20.44

2 x Propellers3-Blade Propeller 6x4.5 (CW/CCW) $4.10

BatteryLipo 1500mah 3S 40C $15.69

RadioLinkBluetooth Module (Level 5v) $8.99

4 x Propeller MountPropeller Adapter (Collet Type) 3mm $4.80

Battery PlugXT60 Male Female Bullet Connectors Plugs $1.19

Total (without shipping cost) $118

Step 2: Mount Airframe

Step time:15 minutes.


First disassemble the pieces and mount the frame following the steps of the images. Glue the legs, and then glue the legs to the main body. After this glue the reinforcement arms to the main frame.Check the video if you have doubts.

When everything is glued, remove the glue from the holes of the motors, check all holes removing the glue with a small stick.

Take a look of the optional last step adding three nuts only in case you want to attach extra accessories, like the servo camera gimbal.

Step 3: Flash and Configure Flightboard

Step time: 15 minutes.
Tools:Computer with Chrome & Cleanflight.

If you don't have, please install first Chrome browser & Cleanflight configuration tool.

Flone can be controlled with, or without any phone on it via our android app with Bluetooth or Wifi (in progress).

Like the rest of the quadcopters, also can be controlled by standard radio control.

Naze32 uses a USB cable to communicate with Cleanflight configurator on the PC. Verify that you have communication.

Accelerometer Calibration

To calibrate the accelerometer to let flone on a flat surface and press CALIB_ACC not move for 8 seconds.

Magnetometer calibration

To calibrate the magnetometer CALIB_MAG press and turn in all directions and axes for 30 seconds.

Place the NAZE32 in the center of the bottom plate. It is highly recommended to glue the board with a sponge to isolate it from the vibrations of the plate.

Connection of serial radio Bluetooth / Wifi

You should wire RX from Bluetooth to TX on flight board, and TX from Bluetooth to RX on flight board.

The out-of-the-box way is by Bluetooth, but you can also connect by an ESP8266 Wifi Module.

The safe range of Bluetooth is up to 30 meters. By Wifi arrives to 100 meters in open sky.

Step 4: Mount Motors

Step time:10 minutes.
Tools: 16 small zip ties.

Before solder the motor wires, first place the four motors and hold them with zip ties to the main body frame.

Zip ties act as a physical fuse in case of crash, breaking it before the axis of the motor, they are cheap, light and makes easy the maintenance.

Step 5: Solder Electronics

Step time:20 minutes.
Tools: Soldering Iron, Heat shrink or tape, 4 zip ties.

Soldering XT60

Solder the XT60 connector directly to the four ESC. Pay attention that the connector has positive (red) and negative (black).

There can not be any contact between the positive and the negative, or a shortcircuit that can blow the battery can occur. Also think about how to isolate the wires, the best is heat shrinkable sleeve, but you can use also tape or hot glue.

Put all black wires on the negative side of the connector XT60 and solder them, do the same with positive cables. When you're done check that it is well insulated, and wires are holded properly and well isolated.

Soldering ESC to Motors

Start wiring the three cables of the motor randomly to the three cables of the ESC, and then check that the rotation direction placed in the arms of flone is the same that the motors. If is wright solder the wires in that order, if not change the order, connect the battery and power up the motor again.

Finally, secure the ESC and the cables from ESC to Motor with the zip tie to the leg.

Step 6: Install Flone App & Pair Drone

Step time:5 minutes.
Tools:Android Smartphone.

The android smartphone used for control flone should have magnetometer, accelerometer and gyroscope in order to read the sensors and determine the movement of the smartphone for send the controls to the quadcopter.

Instead of using the screen as a virtual joysticks like the rest of apps, Flone app uses the inclination of the smartphone for pitch, roll and yaw. Throttle is controlled with a finger on the screen, at any moment you can lift the finger from the screen for altitude hold. Arm and disarm are volume buttons.

The App works on old smartphones from android +v2.3, but works better with new smartphones.

You can download the Flone App from Google Play visiting the link or scanning the QRcode with your android device.

Then, you should pair the radio device bluetooth/wifi with your smartphone and open the app.

Don't worry about calls, the app is a running service, so will work even if you receive a call.

We strongly recommend first to fly a small toy quadcopter, or pilot in a flight simulator in order to understand how to control the quadcopter and physics. There are some nice simulators for Android like Quadcopter FX Simulator.

Step 7: Ready to Fly

Step time:20 minutes.
Tools: Android Smartphone, 80 cm of isolation tube.

Landing Gear

Build a lightweight landing gear cutting four pieces of isolation tube and placing them on the legs.

Mount Propellers

The last step is to place the propellers, only when the configuration is checked, drone is successfully connected to the smartphone, and you know how to safely fly a quadcopter.

Placing the Smartphone

We recommend to make the first flights without any smartphone on the quadcopter, and then when you are confident, you can build the holding system gluing a band of latex to the upper plate for avoid vibrations, and tight the extremes of a textile rubber band with hot glue to the upper plate.

Congratulations, you and flone are Ready To Fly.
Enjoy, connect battery to the XT60 plug and have a nice flight.

If you like our Instructable please follow us in Facebook or Twitter.

Step 8: Bonus: Extra Hacks

We love flone. The community proudly shared some cool add-ons for extend the capabilities of this quadcopter.

For extra hacks check how to:

* Transport flone with the Drone transportation box.

* Add a camera with the Flone Servo Gimbal.

* Extend capabilities with the Spray paint add-on for Flone.

* Drop seeds with the Drop release system.

Feel free to contribute or fork the GitHub open sourced repositories:

* Frame repository.

* Android App repository.

Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016



    • Indoor Lighting Contest

      Indoor Lighting Contest
    • Make It Fly Challenge

      Make It Fly Challenge
    • Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

      Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

    20 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Step 6


    first: thank you for this nice tutorial.

    We bumped into a small problem: we can control our Drone via cleanflight, including all the motors.

    However, with the flone app, we can read the pitch and all other sensor values but we are unable to throttle the motors. They just don't spin up.

    Any idea what we're doing wrong?

    Thanks in advance,


    1 year ago

    Hi, I'm building a Flone, however, the flight board configuration instructions here and in the forum are from version 1.1 of Naze32, however, the current version is 2.1 and it has very different options and I can not make it work the drone. Can someone help me with updated information please?
    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi Francisco,

    The instructions are for naze32 rev6

    You should not confuse between the version of the hardware (Naze32) and the firmware (Cleanflight).

    There is longtime that we didn't update the firmware of our drone, so we didn't tried the new versions of cleanflight, I don't know the changes but I suppose that the main configuration should be the same.

    However, the community is moving to betaflight, that looks is improving a lot. Please if you configure the with this version could you post here your configuration?

    Hope you will arrive to configure properly.


    1 year ago

    hi i am Rinzin and I am from fablab Bhutan.

    can you plz tell me how i need to program it?

    and what else i need in-order to make it fly?

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi Rinzin,
    Everything that you need to order is in this post:

    Is in spanish but below you have the table with all the links.

    Is easy to install the firmware, is a standard cleanflight installation.


    2 years ago

    Hello, I have an IPhone, is there also an app available to fly the drone from an IPhone? Thanx!


    2 years ago

    Is Flone still in business? The last video, comment, or code update are from 2014.


    2 years ago

    is there any way to make this drone follow you?


    3 years ago

    Could you please give more details on installing software, tuning, etc.?


    3 years ago

    very nice guys.love it!!


    3 years ago


    We had the frame cut for 6mm thick plywood, but the files we used turned out too big! The whole board the pieces were lasered from measured 37 x 37cm. We scaled this down to 30 x 30cm and then it was alright. Looks very nice, only the piece to hold the battery connector does not fit and we can not see in the instructions how to mount.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Yes, sorry, depends of the software when you open it can change the dimensions, you should always check the right scale 300 x 300.
    You should glue it below the frame, placing inside the xt60 connector.

    If you have more questions please use our forums:



    3 years ago

    hello this is lakshman raj ,you can call me as raj .I am in India ,a state called tamil nadu

    were i live in ,for this drone you made we should have any phone on the drone .please

    reply as fast as possible.Can i have your gmail ID for information about the drone

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hi Raj.
    You don't need to put any phone on the drone, only if you want to take pictures.

    For future questions, please ask in http://forum.flone.cc


    Andres MauricioF

    3 years ago

    wouu that's a super project, I would like to know, what is the max distance that the dron can fly. Another question, you connected the two smartphones via Bluetooth and then the smartphone in the drone connect to the bluetooth that control the board?


    3 years ago

    The best project Drone World !!!


    3 years ago

    Very nice work! Thanks for that.

    Just missing some words about Bluetooth hack and PID tuning.

    But in general appreciate a lot of great work behind. Congrats.


    3 years ago

    Thats awseome!!! bring on a laser cutter...:)

    OP bob

    3 years ago

    This is pretty interesting. I wish I had a laser cutter though.