3D printed F450 type quadcopter

by villamany Dec 17, 2015
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thank you very much for this, i'm printing the last arm now, i will reprint the plates since they quality of the print wasn't that good and then the legs, i sould have listened to you and not print the arms with supports since they're not needed and are a pain to remove

Thanks for the awesome work!!

I had a minor problem during my first flight. The PLA in two legs separated near the flight controller. This was likely a problem with my print settings, but I have an idea to improve the strength of the frame greatly.

Instead of pressing brass inserts into the legs, I've run a 1/8" (3.2 mm) drill bit through the two long holes in the legs. An M3x0.5 50mm bolt fits between the top and the legs perfectly, with room for an M3 locking nut at the bottom.

I've kept pretty good notes on my build -- if anyone is interested in a detailed bill of materials, let me know and I'll post it.

I've ordered the inserts, but I'm assembling the quad by just using M3x18mm bolts and allowing them to "self-tap". into the arms. I'm guessing that they'll be as strong as the inserts because I don't entirely trust the idea of heating inserts and press-fitting them. Will experiment with both approaches though.

that's a great idea of running a bolt the whole length as opposed to using the nutserts.. You should remix the legs to be through holes rather than nutsert spots and publish them.

I'm planning on doing a complete homebrew MultiWii build, and I have a bunch of different chinese sensor packs on the way and a few different arduino packages. Hope to see your BOM soon.

Update: I just scrolled down and there it was.. :D

I am thinking of printing this quadcopter, so please share your BOM when you have time :)
Thank you!

Sorry... saw your notice, but it got lost in my inbox for about a week.

To start, I printed in PLA. Red, white, black. I don't have the totals, but the figures produced by Cura for each part were very accurate on weight (arms were about 40g each, for instance). The whole drone - with my monster battery (see below) weighs in at around 1200g.

An OmniNXT F7 flight controller. I decided early that I wanted to run Cleanflight (I'm a software engineer and can relate to the project!), so this was the latest compatible board I could find. Understand that the F1 boards (such as the Naze) are deprecated by the compiler, so there isn't going to be much support for them going forward. The F3 and F4 are "current", but for a few dollars more, the F7 is a far more capable chip.

MakerFire FCHUP-6S PDB (power distribution board).

4 x Crazepony (marked "HAKRC") BL-HELI32 35A ESC (electronic speed controllers). These are oversized for my motors -- I think I could have gone with 20A and been fine, but I wanted DShot support. They're priced about the same as the 20A.

4 x EMAX MT-2213/935KV motors. These were sold as a set with two CW and two CCW. I'm not sure why it matters since it seems you can swap a pair of wires at the ESC to reverse the motor.

A receiver. I have a Spektrum transmitter, so I got a SPM-4648 (quad race receiver with diversity).

A battery. I went with a 3S 6000 mAh monster, though I should have probably gone with a 4000 to save some weight. This battery has an XT90 connector. Be sure to make a note of the connector type so that you can match it to your PDB.

An XT90 connector to be soldered to the PDB.

Lots of M3 bolts. I know I used eight M3x50 and eight M3x12 to connect the top/arms/bottom. If you can, get M3x60 instead of the x50 since the x50 aren't quite long enough to attach the legs. Another sixteen M3x12 bolts are used to connect the motors to the arms. About 48 M3 washers (two at top/bottom of each screw through the arm, one for each of the bolts connecting the motors).

Sixteen M3 nuts with nylon locking rings (sold as "locking nuts"). I had problems with regular nuts falling off, but the locking nuts hold tight.

2 ft (approximately) each red and black siliconized wire, used to connect the PDB to the ESCs. I believe I used 16 gauge.

8 x banana clips, sized for your PDB/ESC connections. This allows you to disconnect the arms from the drone to do repairs. If you want to solder the ESC/PDB together so that they can't be removed, you can skip these.

I did use a few extra M3 nuts and nylon stand-offs to mount the PDB and FC, but it's an odd setup and I don't want to tear it down to get the specifics. It's not hard to figure out once you have the hardware in your hand.

A large bag of Raycorp 1045 props. I lost A LOT of these early because I tried using LocTite on the nut -- LocTite eats this plastic. I haven't had any trouble since I quit using the LocTite.

Lots of patience :)

Thanks for the parts list! I have legs from an Alien 450 already. I'm hoping the holes line up with the top and bottom plates.

Motors sets will often come threaded with two CW and two CCW so that the motor spin direction "tightens" the prop nut.

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Hi villamany.
I made an full electronics enclosure to keep the drone clean. Hope you guys like it :)

F450 Drone Electronics Housing
by b14ckyy

Nice!. Thanks for sharing

Hi, I wonder what were your printing settings, because there is two little parts on the motor zone on the arms that are completely hang horizontal. I mean from a certain layer to the next there is printing on vacuum. Thanks, regards.

I print @ .25mm layer height without issues.

can you please tell how much mm are the mounting points apart ? i am trying to find some 3d printable frame for my quad parts. but no one states the mounting hole distances.

Also is it posible to mount the motors on the bottom side ? how thick is the arm at the mounting point ?

What a nice job!!!!
I have another F450 quad and I really like your legs (Big one) but my quad have 25mm between mounting hole. could you upload a stl with that change, please?


Just downloaded your files, I will be starting to print them soon and add a few things as I move along. Thanks for the great work!

Hey, love your work, I got a question though its my first time building a drone of any sorts

After printing the bottom part of the quadcopter I realised that the original comes with a built in circuit for you to solder the ESCs to. But i had already ordered a DJI Nava-m with gps and got myself a set of motors and escs. How do i put everything together?

I was told I need something called a PDB and I connect everything to it, and connect it to the LiPo battery. Which PDB is suitable for what i have?

Would appreciate the help, cheers.

Yes, you can attach the PDB on the bottom part. Use some plastic washers as spacers for leaving a gap between the PDB and the plastic.

The self contained holes fits many PDBs, but if doesn't fit, you can drill them.

Thanks for the quick reply.
Can you recommend a PDB i can order? Or how do i know which one suits my needs for this?

Probably most of them are ok. Go for one that fits your needs. Ie: mounting holes distance, built in 5v regulator or APM power module...

The lower wiring, the lower fails and a more clean assembly.

cheers mate, thanks

Hi, what is the name of the part you insert in the video? (colour gold)

They are theraded inserts. Search by "plastic inserts"

How many and where were the plastic inserts used?


Can you tell me exactly how many of each type of screw and washer you needed? I'm doing this for a school project and need an exact amount of everything for our parts list.


All depends on you personal build (precision pressing threaded inserts, motor type...) . On mine mostly are 5mm but the botom ones. It is not an exact number.

Basic build maybe:
16pcs M3x5 for the top plate
16pcs M3x5 for the motors
8pcs M3x8 for the botom and legs plate.
4Pcs M3x8 for the power distribution board.

Washers are optional, i use them only on the motors, so i use 16pcs M3 washers.

The best is to assembling one and then go for the rest of parts.

Thank you so much! This will allow me to go further into the project with basically exact amounts!

Hello, i love your design, but i want to make an hexacopter. Do you think you could do an hexacopter frame, like the F550? Or maybe share the sources?


SolidWorks Sources added. Please take care some files are "imported and remake" from external STL files" and may be a little darky.
Share your mods. :)

Cool, i will see what can i do. Thanks!

Thanks for the design. Just about done printing mine. I did make a remix on the legs to embed Lumenier LED strips and route the wire thru the legs. As well as made a shelf for my PDB

Nice! thanks for sharing

Great design! I am almost done printing it. Where did you get the blue rubber APM dampers?
Hope to be in the air soon with pix. Thanks!

Thanks. I get them from Hobbyking but probably you can get also from sites like Ebay or Banggood.