How to 3D Print a Drone

Beth Huston Profile image

Written By:

Updated July 26, 2022

Some of the best drones out there are created through 3D printing. Whether you’re looking to make a quadcopter drone or even parts for commercial drones, the 3D printing industry has you covered. Today, we’ll go over how to 3D print a drone yourself.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The time it takes for 3D printing drones to happen successfully varies wildly from model to model and depends on the printing software you use.
  • You can find files for 3D printing drones online, especially in communities dedicated to the topic.
  • You’ll need to understand how drones work before you can create one successfully at home, including their software requirements.

How to 3D Print a Functional Drone

Whether you’re looking into custom racing drones or aerial photography, 3D printing your drone can be a great alternative to buying premade options. You can make drone parts for larger drones or even print entire smaller models. The sky is the limit!.

Of course, you’ll need to understand a bit about drone and 3D printing technologies before beginning. Try reading up on how drones fly, how 3D printing works, and overall drone costs.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Time Required: 3 hours
  • Total Steps: 6
  • Tools Needed: 3D printable drone frames, 3D printer

Building a Drone from Scratch

First, you’ll need to figure out what type your 3D print drone should be. Larger drones will take longer to print, while you can get a complete drone in just an hour if you choose a smaller size.

Insider Tip

Drone racing is a fun activity that even hobbyists enjoy and caters to a wide range of drone enthusiasts.

You should also look into how to build a drone with a Raspberry Pi. This will help you learn how to connect your drone with flight controllers and get it to work.

Guide for 3D Printing Drones

STEP 1

Find yourself a suitable print filament for your 3D design. You’ll want a lightweight, non-flexible material.

STEP 2

Next, you’ll need to find the print files for the drone models you’re interested in. There are several websites with files for 3D printing drones.

STEP 3

Load your print file up and use the 3D modeling software to make any desired changes. Looking into how to design a drone will help you with this stage.

Warning

Ensure that you keep all landing gear clear of debris after flight time, or you may have a rough landing next time.

STEP 4

Now that you’re done with your software tool, it’s time to print. You’ll follow the 3D printing instructions for your specific model.

STEP 5

The time to get a complete drone varies wildly depending on a few factors. However, you’ll have a fantastic 3D drone once you’re finished, no matter how long it takes. On average, this will be a couple of hours.

STEP 6

You should also look into how drones should look at night. You can install LED lights to avoid collisions with other objects and other drones.

STAT: In 2019, consumer drones wholesale sales in the United States were estimated to amount to 1.2 billion U.S. dollars. (source)

F.A.Q.S

Can anybody 3D print a drone?

You’ll receive an alert, or it will appear on the home screen of your drone’s mobile app.


Is the drone boom over?

It may seem like you aren’t seeing as much about drones lately. However, drones are still very much popular forms of entertainment and even factor into commerce.


What kinds of batteries do drones use?

Most consumer and commercial drones use the following batteries:

  • 1S LiPo Battery
  • 2S Li-Po Battery

How can I extend the life of my drone?

First, don’t make a flight attempt in extreme conditions. You want to ensure that your drone won’t get blown away by the wind or damaged by wet weather. Also, clean and maintain it regularly.


Beth Huston Profile image