I have always had a deep fascination with multirotor drones. They look cool, sound cool, and can do plenty of awesome things! Unfortunately in order to get one you either have to be willing to spend a couple hundred dollars, or you need a vast amount of electrical and computer programming knowledge, as well as time and supplies to build one. I have always wanted a drone for myself, but having none of the above things I could not think of a way to get one.
Until I got some K'nex.
K'nex are the ultimate in customizable rod and connector sets, allowing you to build anything-from guns to useful household items- with a little ingenuity. Thus it was that the idea to build a multirotor drone out of K'nex came to my mind. Quite soon I had built a full-scale model of a quadcopter out of K'nex. It did not fly, but it was still a very cool thing to have.
In this Instructable I am going to teach you how to replicate my building process, and create your own K'nex quadcopter.
Step 1: Parts
You will need:
-12 white connectors
-24 blue connectors
-64 yellow connectors
-16 green connectors
-16 red connectors
-56 grey connectors
-4 orange connectors
-8 beige locks
-40 blue caps
-8 blue separators
-40 grey separators
-4 grey rods
-12 green bendy rods
-16 red rods
-8 blue rods
-1 yellow rod
-20 purple bendy rods
-90 white rods
-208 green rods
Step 2: Center: Base Pieces
Take a blue connector and a grey connector and slide them together as shown. Repeat to get eight pieces.
Step 3: Center: Pair Up
Separate the pieces you have made into four pairs, and connect each pair using green rods.
Step 4: Center: Corners
Connect the pairs together to make a square using red connectors and green rods. Repeat steps 2-4 to get three pieces.
Step 5: Center: Stack
Stack the three pieces. Make sure the top connections are facing inwards, while the bottom two pieces have connections facing out. Connect the pieces using green rods.
Step 6: Center: Base; Pieces
Take two grey connectors, and slide them together as shown. Repeat to get eight pieces.
Step 7: Center: Base; Pair Up
Separate the pieces into pairs, then connect the pairs using green rods.
Step 8: Center: Base; Corners
Take four red connectors, and connect them to the pairs using green rods.
Step 9: Center: Add Base
Add the base to the other three pieces as shown using green rods.
Step 10: Center: Top and Bottom
Take four white connectors, and connect them using green rods. Add a few more green rods where shown. Repeat to get two pieces.
Step 11: Center: Attaching the Top and Bottom
Attach the pieces you have just made to the top and bottom of the main piece.
Step 12: Center: Fill In
Fill in all spaces using white rods. Make sure the rods are placed exactly the same way as in the pictures!
Step 13: Center: Purple Rods
Fill in the corners using purple bendy rods.
Step 14: Center: Top "Wires"
Using green bendy rods, create a dome-like structure on the top as shown.
Step 15: Center: the "Antennas"
Take four grey rods, and add blue caps to one end. Next, insert them through the holes on the red connectors at each corner of the main piece. Then, add six grey separators and a blue cap to the top of each rod.
Step 16: Center: Check
The center of the quadcopter is complete! Check to make sure it looks like the picture!
Step 17: Arms
Take eight yellow connectors, and connect them using green rods. Then, repeat to get two pieces. Finally, connect the two pieces using green rods.
Step 18: Arms: Ends
Take two green connectors and connect them using a green rod. Next, attach them to the end of the arm.
Step 19: Arms: White Rods
Fill in spaces using white rods as shown.
Step 20: Arms: Supports
Take two grey connectors, and slide them together. Then, repeat to get two pieces. Connect the two pieces using a green rod. Finally, add a white rod and a grey separator to the bottom of each piece.
Step 21: Arms: Supports; Insert
Count down four connectors from the end of the arm without the green connectors, and insert the piece you made in the previous step. Next, add blue caps to the bottom of each white rod.
Step 22: Arms: Red Rods
Add two red rods to the grey connectors as shown.
Step 23: Arms: Front Supports
Take a red rod and attach it to a green connector. Next, add a purple bendy rod. Repeat to get two pieces.
Step 24: Arms: Front Supports: Attach
Attach the pieces you made in the previous step to the grey connectors as shown. Next, insert the purple bendy rods through the holes of the green end connectors, and add blue caps.
Step 25: Arms: Extra White Rods
Take two more white rods and attach them to the grey connectors as shown.
Step 26: Arms: Rotor Holder
Take a blue rod and attach two beige locks and an orange connector. Make sure the locks keep the orange connector from rotating! Then, add two blue separators to each end of the rod. Finally, add a second blue rod to one end of the orange connector as shown.
Step 27: Arms: Rotor Holder; Attach
Attach the rotor holder to the arm by inserting the top blue rod through the holes in the green connectors on the front support. Add blue caps to each end. Next, insert the bottom blue rod through the bottom of the arm, and add a grey separator and a blue cap.
Step 28: Arms: Rotor Holder; White Rod
Add a white rod and a grey separator to the top of the rotor holder.
Step 29: Arms: Rotor
Take a white connector, and add two green bendy rods as shown.
Step 30: Arms: Rotors; Attach
Attach the rotors to the arm by inserting the white rod on the rotor holder through the hole in the center of the white connector. Add a blue cap to the top.
Step 31: Arms: Check
One arm is now complete! Check to make sure it looks like the picture!
Step 32: Arms: Repeat
Repeat steps 17-31 to get four arms total.
Step 33: Attaching the Arms
Attach the arms to the center as shown. The bottom should be attached using green rods, while the red rods are connected at the top. Fill in any spaces with white rods, and repeat for the other three arms.
Step 34: Mounting K'nex Guns on Your Drone
If you want you can mount a small K'nex gun on the bottom of your quadcopter! Simply flip over the drone, and add a yellow rod to the bottom as shown. This rod can slide out for mounting a K'nex gun (such as my Nerf Jolt model) or can slide in to be out of the way.
Step 35: Done!
Congratulations! You have now built your very own K'nex quadcopter model! Have fun with it!
THE STORY CONTINUES...
After building this, I began to do more research about multirotor drones, and found that not only were there four-armed drones, but there were also drones with three arms (A.K.A. a tricopter).My curiosity peaked, I set out to build a model, which led me to even greater levels of creation and fun! The story will be continued in my next Instructable...
I have only one question left: Is there any way to make this fly? If anyone can make it actually fly (with arduino and whatnot), I'll follow them and give them a patch! (If that's a good enough reward...) Of course you would need REAL rotors...