I've always wanted to build my own quadcopter having previously built a number of remote control airplanes, either from plans or kits.
It is a great feeling to build it from start to finish. In this tutorial we'll show you how you can build a frame for the quadcopter without a kit and some basic materials.
See the finished product below. While not as beautiful as a custom-moulded high end drone kit, there is a certain level of satisfaction from creating your own drone out of simple parts.
The full list of materials you'll need for the diy quadcopter frame are listed below. They comprise of relatively simple items as this is a straightforward design.
Wooden board is at least 280mm by 140mm in size. Mark out two 140mm square pieces for cutting on saw.
Cut wooden board vertically to create two halves of size 140mm by 140mm
Sand the edges of your wooden boards until there are no splinters and is nice and smooth.
Place the wooden boards side by side to check for straightness and size.
Mark each board as to front and back.
Draw diagonal lines from corner to corner which is where the arms will sit eventually.
Mark a distance of 28mm and 70mm from the centre for drilling the holes for the aluminium arms to be attached.
Using your clamps as in the image above, securely align the two boards and drill the holes as marked in the step above.
Drill the 8 holes with a 3.5mm - 4mm drill bit at the points marked on the diagonals from the earlier step. This will allow the 3mm screws to fit more easily.
Mark the mid-points on the side edge. This will be used so you know how to align your two boards.
Draw another line just below the 28mm hole to use for marking where the controller will sit.
Mark the holes for the controller board as per the image above on the front board.
Check that the proposed holes will align with the controller board.
Drill the four holes on the front panel to allow you to mount the controller board once construction is complete.
Ensure your twelve holes all line up and are clean. Get rid of any excess wood with sandpaper.
Measure out 250mm on each aluminium square tubing, clamp the tube and cut to required length. You need four arms for your quadcopter obviously.
Each arm will have four holes, two on each side. These holes will be 15mm from an edge a second hole 42mm from the first hole. The diagram above illustrates the measurements.
Using a hammer and metal punch gently mark the aluminium arms at the required distances for the holes. This will assist you to drill the required holes.
Using the vice to clamp the aluminium arms, drill four small 3mm holes in each arm, two per side.
Using a countersink bit on your drill deburr the holes you have drilled.
All four aluminium arms should now have four holes each.
You'll need 8 3M screws in order to connect the arms and boards together.
Count out 8 screws and 16 washers to be used for the frame assembly.
Push through 8 screws with a washer on the outside through the bottom board. Connect each arm to two of the screws as per the image.
Place the second square board on top of the arms lining up all the screws.
Place your 8 washers on the outside board as per the image.
Place a nut on each screw above the washer.
Tighten all 8 nut and screw sets slightly till the assembly is held together.
Using your square tool check that all the arms are at 90 degrees to one another. This is important to have any sort of stability in your quadcopter.
If anything is not square, correct and remeasure.
Fully tighten screws once square
The frame is now complete, check that all the screws are nice and tight and that your quadcopter is suitably strong by placing pressure on the frame.
Your quadcopter frame will weigh more than a moulded plastic frame, but is very robust. This deisgn is around 240 grams. It could be made lighter by using 2.5mm to 3mm wood instead.
The aluminium tubing, being hollow, also provides great tensile strength due to being square without adding a lot of weight.
Thanks to Experimentaltechnik for the great tutorial, you can see their complete video below and also more videos to make your own quadcopter from scratch.
Further cool projects are on his youtube channel here
Do you like our introduction to building a simple DIY quadcopter frame? Leave us some comments below and any tips or suggestions.
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