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How much does it cost to build a quadcopter

how much does it cost to build a quadcopter

How to build a quadcopter from scratch

Building your own drone quadcopter is a rewarding experience. Personally I just like flying my quadcopters and as such buy them ready to fly (RTF).

However, I have build a few remote control airplanes, including a trainer and a decent glider from a kit. I do understand the fascination with how things work - as such building a quadcopter from scratch can be great to get an excellent understanding of the components and their importance. It will also assist you when you need to inevitably debug any errors in your quadcopter's performance.​

How to build a quadcopter/drone at home

The cost of building a quadcopter is detailed as per the table below based on the various components. You require:

  • quadcopter frame, built from plastic, carbon fibre in RTF kits, or even from wood and metal
  • 4 motors
  • 4 sets of propellers
  • quadcopter controller (receiver) to push instructions from transmitter to the motors
  • Transmitter
  • (Optional accessories) cover for the drone, cameras, FPV goggles

We've already detailed the process to build the frame for the quadcopter.

To build your own quadcopter, I reckon you could start off relatively cheaply with a wooden frame and arms, using an Arduino controller, a transmitter, and a few motors. It will still cost more than the compact under $100 or under $200 quadcopters reviewed on this site.

The reason for building your own quadcopter are more to focus on 2 aspects, namely the fun and interest that comes from building your own quadcopter as an enthusiast. It is always interesting to know how things work if you are that way inclined.

The second reason for building your own is to get involved with FPV racing. You can then build a racer that fits your specifications, easy to repair it and also to tweak it competitively. In this case building your own is really required if you want to win as everyone else has access to the same standard quadcopter builds available.

Below is just an indication of the cost of building a decent quadcopter 250 FPV racer to give you an understanding of what is required. Prices as at time of writing.​

Additionally you'll need a decent supply of batteries, chargers, and memory cards for your camera if you want to save replays.

Building your own quadcopter from scratch is not cheap, but is definitely the way to go if you want to race in leagues or customise your own kit. 

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