Building a Quadcopter with a CNC Mill and a 3D Printer

Quadcopter

Quadcopters are a ton of fun to play with, and even more fun to build. [Vegard] wrote in to tell us about his amazing custom DIY quadcopter frame that uses a commercial flight control system.

Building a quadcopter is the perfect project to embark upon if you want to test out your new CNC mill and 3D printer. The mechanical systems are fairly simple, yet result in something unbelievably rewarding. With a total build time of 30 hours (including Sketchup modeling), the project is very manageable for weekend hackers. [Vegard's] post includes his build log as well as some hard learned lessons. There are also tons of pictures of the build. Be sure to read to read the end of the post, [Vegard] discusses why to “never trust a quadcopter” and other very useful information. See it in action after the break.

While the project was a great success, it sadly only had about 25 hours of flight-time before a fatal bird-strike resulted in quite a bit of damage. Have any of your quadcopters had a tragic run-in with another flying object? Let us know in the comments.

Comments

  1. Groovenstein says:

    Trying to fly synchronized with another quad to emulate swarming quads resulted in some props touching! Ultimate ended in disaster. I was amazed how many times we got away with it! Naza for the win! Ok it might be locked down but if you want minimal faf then Naza is a great place to start.

  2. jasper says:

    Uh, not a hack.. building a quadcopter with a toothpick and a nail-file would be a hack, building one with a cnc mill and a 3d printer and a plethora of manufactured parts is engineering..

    • Matt says:

      Shut up. No one wants to hear it.

      • Matt says:

        Besides, if you want to take the name of the website so literally, I’m sure one of the other 5+ articles they’ll post today will be classified as a ‘hack’ in your mind, filling the one hack per day that their domain name specifies.

    • Leithoa says:

      The HaD article makes it sound like they designed their own parts. If creating your own 3D models isn’t hacking why cover 3D printing at all? Just because they have cooler toys than you doesn’t make it not a hack.

      Do you want some toast for all your jeally[sic] ?

  3. sam says:

    you can do this with a fretsaw. boring 3d printer.

  4. EGHM says:

    Poor bird.

  5. echodelta says:

    I hope it was a pigeon or starling. There is a scene in the Jetsons when George is having problems and flying low. He swoops down on some walking birds who complain about the sky not being room enough for us. Invasive species look out! Flying combat that’s fun and good for the environment. Or autonomous on board recognition and zapping.

  6. Matt says:

    In other news, that is one stable looking platform. You have some awesomely clear video recorded off it. Kudos.

  7. Chris C. says:

    I always wondered why some form of prop guard isn’t more commonly used. Do they all significantly affect efficiency?

    • Z00111111 says:

      I always wondered the same thing. All comes down to weight I guess. A decent guard might weight too much, although I can’t imagine a 1″ strip of plastic with a couple of spokes to make a cowl would be a significant weight gain.

      • peanutbutterjellytime says:

        When you put a 74g gopro3 on there and discover the machine moves much slower, you’ll know why no one wants extra stuff on the copter. Besides weight and the already jokingly short flight time, I bet I would’ve broken any cowl or guard for the blades in at least half the crashes I’ve had.

  8. Biohazarus says:

    Should have put a parachute on it.
    On his defense, I would probably not have thought of it until my first lost!!!

  9. levesque says:

    Am I the only one that feels a euphoric tingle in the brain every time I see an HD quadcopter take off hover video. Hooked. Like when flying in a dream.

    Too much?

    • AndyT says:

      Yes, you’re the only one.

      Embracing military and surveillance technology as a fad to desensitize the public is nothing short of BS (brainless sheep)

      +1 for not calling it a drone or tagging that word, HaD

  10. Alexey says:

    How do you know it was a bird? I had rctimer ESC, two of them burn in the midair.

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