Oct 22, 2015 | By Benedict

Whilst military drones have been politically controversial ever since their inception, the commercially available drone is the new RC car: an absorbing hobby and an unbeatable Christmas gift. However, copters and their components can be costly, so what better way to augment your vehicle than with the aid of a 3D printer? If you, like us, have been frustrated by the price of off-the-shelf quadcopter propellers, read on:

A talented maker named Anton has built upon the hard work of another drone enthusiast named Landru and created an improved set of 3D printed propellers for quadcopters, drones and RC planes. Anton has detailed progress of his project on Hackaday. The propellers have been designed to fit Sky Viper quadcopters such as the v950hd model.

Although Anton was impressed with Landru’s original propeller design, he nonetheless encountered some problems when using them with his own drone. Not getting the requisite lift from those propellers, the maker went about making some modifications.

Anton explains that it takes him around two hours from start to finish to manufacture a set of four propeller blades with an aerodynamic glossy finish, but expects that time to be halved with the use of a 3D printer equipped with four or more hot ends running in parallel.

To make your own 3D printed quadcopter propellers, the following items are required: a 3D printer, some ABS plastic, acetone (for the aerodynamic finish), and a large glass bowl to act as an acetone vapor chamber. The blades are designed for use with a quadcopter which uses four or six hexagonal propeller inputs with a 6x2.5mm circumference.

The .stl file for the propellers can be found over at Anton’s Thingiverse page. The file is for a set of ‘A’ blades, but a set of ‘B’ blades can also be 3D printed by changed the object's Y-axis scale from ‘1’ to ‘-1’ before slicing. After printing and assembly, the propellers measure 14cm in diameter and weigh 2.54 grams; 0.5 grams heavier than the off-the-shelf equivalent.

Anton used a Solidoodle 3 3D printer and its native Repetier Host software to 3D print his own propellers. He has had success printing the blades in ABS plastic, from a 0.40mm nozzle at 0.17mm layer height, with a 30% infill and a 2-layer shell. The printer's extruder and hotbed temperatures were set at 215 and 112 degrees Celsius.

Once the propeller blades have been printed, the maker recommends placing them in an acetone vapor bath for about 30 minutes, no longer than 40, before leaving them for a 2-4 hour cure period. This process both fuses the layers, making them more durable, and improves aerodynamics. It also serves an aesthetic function, giving the blades a glossy finish.

So there we have it. Need new props for your quadcopter? Give these 3D printed ones a spin!



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



Maybe you also like:


Anton wrote at 11/5/2015 5:15:55 PM:

Hi Benedict, thanks for promoting my propeller design/remix here on 3Ders.org! I've also created an Instructables step-by-step guide on how to make these propellers here: http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-Printed-Propellers/ If anyone has any questions about these props, you can ask them on that Instructables page or my YouTube channel. Have fun!

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive