How to Build a Cool & Cheap 3D Printed Mini Drone
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How to Build a Cool & Cheap 3D Printed Mini Drone

October 19, 2019


Radio-controlled drones are extremely popular
and you can them in all shapes and sizes. And today, we’ll show you that 3D printers
and drones are a perfect match. 3D printed drones are light, agile, fast,
customizable and above all: easy to fix The props and electronic components are well
covered, so when you crash, you will usually need only some extra 3D printed parts. And you can easily print plenty of them! Also, drones in stores seem to be cheap, but
important equipment is often missing – like the RC transmitter, so the price is usually
much higher than what you see at first. So let’s print and build a small 90mm drone
that fits in your palm, but it’s powered by a 2-cell lipo battery, so it has a nice kick
and can be unbelievably fast. Equipped with FPV camera and Racerstar 1103
motors, this little beast is suitable for both indoor and outdoor flying. Plus, with all important accessories included,
we’ll squeeze the costs just under 160 USD. We’ve selected a reasonably priced setup,
however there are tons of different brands and parts, so feel free to pick a different
configuration, but keep in mind the weight and dimensions. FPV is optional and you can buy it later,
if you want. Let’s start with the frame. It’s our own design and we printed it on the
Original Prusa i3 MK3 with PLA Prusament. It takes less than three hours to print everything
and the assembly is super quick. Take four short pieces of filament and insert
them into four holes in the lower body The ESC board has three soldering pads for
each of the motors. You can solder the wires in any order you
want, because we can invert the motor rotation with a software tool. Then solder the JST connector for the battery. Place the ESC onto the printed frame, the
arrow points towards the front of the drone Wrap the motor wires around each of the arms
and secure the motor with four screws Before you connect the flight controller to
the ESCs, add four small spacers. Keep in mind that the header has to meet the
pins. Also, double-check the directional arrow. It’s time to add the camera. Our camera has four wires – 5V input, ground,
video in and video out. Check the instructions for your camera to
learn which cable is which and solder them onto the flight board Now let’s move onto the RC receiver. Take a 3-wire cable and solder it to the receiver
pins according to the manual. Locate the RC input pads on the Flight board
and solder red, black and yellow wires from the RC receiver Use a zip tie to fix the receiver in place To bind the drone, press and hold the binding
button on the receiver and connect the battery Then enter the binding mode on your RC transmitter When the light turns solid, it means the binding
was successful Now we can finish the frame. First, attach the camera holder to the top
body with a zip tie Carefully push the camera through the central
hole and insert it into the camera holder Take two zip ties and push them through the
lower and upper body, but don’t tighten them completely yet. First, add the battery holder, make sure everything
sits in the right place and then tighten the zip ties. If you want, you can secure the battery with
a sticky velcro or you can use a different method of your choice The last part is about configuring the software. Connect the drone to your PC with a microUSB
cable, then download Betaflight tool from Github and run it. First, place the drone on a leveled surface
and calibrate the accelerometer Then, go to configuration and change the ESC
protocol – in our case, it’s DSHOT600 Next, set the Receiver mode to serial and
the provider to SBUS or IBUS We need to enable the receiver port, it’s
usually UART1 After saving the values, the transmitter should
now communicate We will use the 3-position AUX1 switch to
set up arming and flight mode switching. However, you can set arming to one switch
and flight mode switching to another one, the choice is yours. We have to make sure the motors rotate in
the right direction. Two clockwise and two counter-clockwise If any of the motors spin the wrong way,
download BLHeli config app. Open the app, connect the drone and change the direction of the selected motor Don’t forget to save the values. Then run the motor config again. Finally, attach the props. There are two different kinds – clockwise and counter-clockwise propellers. Install them in the correct order and you’re
all set up! Happy flying!

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  1. Awesome build, little disappointed the propellers were not 3D printed as wel making this project 100% 3d printed but perhaps there was a good reason. None the less I may have to build myself. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Fine work, great design! One of these days I need to get back into drones. I decided to pursue other interests when I felt my lack of a 3D printer was limiting my ability to pursue my ideas…but here it is nearly four years since I got a printer, and it's basically the one thing I haven't done since!

  3. Thanks for the awesome video! I am trying to find the best material for printing drone parts. Is seems polycarbonate (PC) is widely used for props, canopies, and even frames. Can you add profile for PC in future updates of Slic3r Prusa Edition?

  4. That's Really cool, after MPCNC I'll jump onto this, that part with the mini Jo on the drone it reminds me of MIB 2 Jarra

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=mib+2+jarra&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=105nazBa4MZhuM%253A%252C94Nd4dtT8PeAxM%252C_&usg=AI4_-kRD6m21pphelZbtmM0xuonCXQaHQg&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiI08fVu_3eAhUNR6wKHeLkDJMQ9QEwBHoECAAQCg#imgrc=_ flying around just need an armada of Little Jo's.

  5. Nice video good to see prusa came with more thing for 3d community , ideas too , i just recived my prusa mk3 i assambeled perfect thnx to manuel 📚 Keep going prusa

    By the way you can’t use reciver frsky xm+ with transmitter flysky 😉 gg

  6. Hezké ,ale škoda,že také občas nenatocite i pro starší generaci,která bohužel Aj neovládá. Hold asi na svoji vlast kaslete jako podnikatel podnikající tady v ČR. Jinak vám fandím,ale v tomto velké zklamání 🤔

  7. Be Josef. Invent Prusas. Revolutionise 3D printing. Fast Forward a few years and your employees are flying a mini bobhead of you in a 3D printed drone. 😀 #goalz

  8. Very cool. Another idea along this one might be a tutorial on how to 3D print parts to up grade the fpv headset for better fit or functionality. Keep this type of content coming and great job.

  9. I have to say this seems like a great build and all but, get the emax whoop for 99$ and use those components to build this! cheaper

  10. Question; How does one create threads for real-life item. I have a paint pole extender with male threads and I don't know the specs on these threads. Is there a way to create female threads to fit the male threads on the pole?

  11. Very nice! I actually got started with 3D printing to create things to enhance my quadcopters. I liked 3D printing so much, that most of my hobby time is now devoted to 3D printing!

  12. Great Video, but won't PLA melt on a hot day, or when the drone is left in a car on a hot day?. Does Prusa have any filament that would be better suited, and can be printed on the Prusa. Afraid of using ABS or NYLON due to the fumes produced.

  13. Great project, but the Tello drone from DJI is still better. The Tello can run much better FPV as well, but you need a controller. The best part is that it has a 13 minute run time, can hover in place unassisted, and is programmable for around $80-$100 (extra for remote). The only thing that is poor about it is the speed, but with some firmware tweaks, you might be able to increase the speed.

  14. $164 / $244, I could literally buy one that has a flying time of an hour with that much, and one that is much larger.

  15. Really cool to see u guys promoting FPV !!! It was also the reason i got into 3D Printing back then to print parts for my drones :).

  16. Some people really doesn't know the joy of making things by yourself. Yes, diy things like things takes a lot of fixing and tweaking but the experience and knowing how things work and why they work are more than the money can buy.

    I like the vid by the way. XD

  17. Hey Josef PRUSA, Your work is awesome, please check out my channel about a small endeave for CAD learning.
    Thanks!!
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC81xv4E444VEODfYrDXgSDA

  18. I wonder if it would be possible to add a HD recording camera like the Caddx Turtle V2 / RunCam Split Mini 2. I guess the motor mounts / prop guards would need to be adjusted?

  19. You know what's hilarious- I'm choosing to binge this video, and an ad comes up before the video. It's the ad from you guys introducing the MK3.

  20. The FS-RX2A Pro V1 has 4 wires, there's an additional beige wire in addition to the red black and yellow. Where does it connect to on the receiver?

  21. The video is wrong if you buy and use the recommanded part in this guide :

    FS-RX2A Pro V1

    FS-I6

    HGLRC XJB F413 Omnibus F4 Flight Controller

    When in Betaflight, you wont be able to get the Receiver to communicate.

    I found the anwser buried in some post on Reddit : https://www.reddit.com/r/Multicopter/comments/7nbc1z/no_radio_input_in_betaflight_hglrc_xjb_f428_fsa8s/

    You need to solder the IBUS wire of the FS-RX2A Pro V1 (which should be yellow) to the RX6 pad(which is on the othe side of the board, not the same side as the 5v/ground/sbus/ppm).

    Then in Betaflight : in Configuration, its IBUS, and in Ports its UART6.

    This solution worked for me.

  22. @06:40 If I had a company this would probably be how I'd check on my staff… A small drone with a SD Doll of me sitting on top xD

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