Oct. 15, 2014 | By Alec

Our readers might have noticed that Quadcopters and drones are hot items nowadays. Just in the last few weeks, several cool designs and projects have appeared online, such as the 3D printed Hovership, the ELF Quad and a Kickstarter project for the Quad Racer. And now a new one has appeared on Instructables that you can easily recreate yourself with its useful tutorial.

Unlike its competitors, it lacks a flashy name, but it more makes up for that. For this quad can be relatively easily constructed yourself, so you can save yourself a nice bit of money. And this particular quadcopter is also a bit larger than the Hovership and features a cool square design that is capable of housing all electronics within its 3D printed frame. This cool Arduino-powered contraption can be controlled with both an android app or with a more traditional R/C controller, thus catering to everyone's needs.

This particular design has been built by a four-man team going by their Instructable names Nolan5454, BobBurghart, CoreyOrlovskey and RichardP4. While little is known of these four friends, Nolan 5454 is only 17 according to his account, and if that's true he's really created something spectacular. As he explained, they have begun work on this aerial machine in December 2013, looking to create a drone that is completely of their own design.

All various components have been designed using the popular Autodesk Inventor and printed using a Makerbot 2x Replicator 3D printer. They recommend always using the printer's high quality settings and a bed heated to 100 degrees Celsius and an extrusion head heated to 240 degrees Celsius. As for filament, they explained: We used PLA plastic instead of ABS because the PLA printed from our printer was found to be more durable.' However, similar results can also be achieved on just about any regular FDM 3D printer.

And true to the spirit of open-source making, all of these files have been supplied in STL format free of charge, and they welcome everyone to work with them and 3D print their very own quadcopter-drone.

Their design was made with easy-assembly in mind. Each of the long arms is nearly 9 inches long, and are designed to fit together using three four inch long screws. The frame consists of solid pieces to which everything connects, to limit movement and crash damage.

Obviously, quads of any size require a host of parts. As the guys explained, their design is centered around a 'ArduPilot 2.6. In addition to this, we have one power distribution board, four speed controllers, four motors, and an FM receiver that must stay safely on the copter.'

Fortunately, they provide links to affordable web stores where you can find all of the items necessary to recreate their machine. And significantly, their design has been shaped to safely hold all of these parts – with the exception of the GPS and FM controller – inside the frame. 'They will not be vulnerable to crashes.' All in all, expect to spend about $500 on constructing your very own quadcopter.

This project is thus fun and relatively easy to do. Simply download their files here and follow the comprehensive tutorial to assemble your very own drone-like flying machine.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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