Spyda 500 Quadcopter

by Gyrobot Oct 5, 2013
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I'm thinking about printing this but where do i find information about the hardware i am gonna need for this to actually fly too? :)

Have you designed a FPV camera mount for RunCam Split Mini 2 for this frame? I want to tell you that this is an awesome design and setup options that you have designed here. This is the second drone build i have attempted first being the "Mavic Clone" design. I quickly found out that i needed a more stable platform for photography and this design seems to be flying a whole lot better. I am new to 3d printing, cad design, and FPV/photo drones and I LOVE IT! Any help with this RunCam mount would be appreciated, for now i am designing one myself.
Thanks man

Is there a how to on how to build this?

Did you printed it in PLA? how it endures heat from ESC and motors?

Comments deleted.

What is the best way to screw the frame together? Run a screw all the way thru the arms and body and use a nut or just screw into the plastic of the arm? It seems like it could pull out of the plastic but running a bolt thru will make it hard to get to the center of the quad. Any insight would really be appreciated . I am having visions of my quad coming apart on me!

I am using M4x30 screws and nuts, I think nuts are the best solution in this case. Good luck!

List of materials?

Great desgin, been looking fo rone that can fly high up :)

Is there any chance i could get the parts list of the electronics this is designed for?

What software did you use to make this? Cheers.


Hi everyone,
For those of you flying with the kk2 boards you must change the motor layout in the mixer settings. But first make sure your control board is always centered over the center of gravity, indicated most of the time by the rear center hole on the plates. Because the motors are not at 45 degrees to the frame you must tell the board where they are.
My settings are:
Channel 1
Aileron: -77
Elevator: 64

CH 2
Ail: 77

CH: 3
Ail: 77
Elev: -64

CH: 4
Ail: -77
Elev: -64

These are the correct values for the mixer editor but regular tuning is then also needed. You might have to tweak the mixer editor settings if you modify the original design or change the center of gravity. Or you might have to adjust the throttle and rudder settings to suit your needs. To modify the settings or just verify my findings, this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--xTRlx7GK8 explains how to measure the angle of each motor and also how the kk2 settings work. The link to the spreadsheet in the video will also help you with any other asymmetrical multirotor builds.

I hope this helps anyone with a crappy flying quadcopter!

When I print the DeeJayEye arms the outer shell portion prints with a hollow gap in between the two print lines , is this normal or just my printer config? I have it printing at solid infill.

Using ABS and the CUBE PRO

Any chance you could give me a list of hardware used to assemble your quadcopter? If possible, please try and provide a list of EVERYTHING used. Thanks :)

Hello, I'm printing the DEEJAYEYE_ARM_STRONGER_V3 / SPYDA_DEEJAYEYE_QUAD version. What screw sizes do I have to buy? Thanks

I believe they are 2.5mm as standard, but you could drill them out and use larger.

Hi Gyrobot,

Thanks for a great design!
I am printing the DEEJAYEYE_ARM_STRONGER_V3 version.

I don't know which parts (motor, controller, remote) should I buy (and from where) to this design.

I would love to get help with this.

I still use the original Alien F500 v2 Frame witch the spyda was modeld after. The Frameplates should roughly weight the same, mine are still Glassfibre but they are longer.
My Setup is:
FC: CC3D (switching to naze32 10 dof soon)
ESC: Dys 30A Simonk (i know they are overkill)
Motors: Dys 2212 920KV

@3S depending if i want flighttime, max Lift or Flight speed i used 1038, 1238 or 9047 Props mostly with 2200mah Lipos
@4S i use 9047 for flight speed, or 1038 for Endurance, on my 10000mah i get about 20-25 min flight time, about 15 on my 4000mah one

if that helps anyone

how does everyone find the weight on this thing? I seem to feel that the body is pretty heavy.... I switched to 4S 8045 setup and it like I am missing some much needed power over the 3S 1045 setup??

Interesting, what size props are you using, it is generally found that 10" is best for 3S and 8" is best for 4S setups, YMMV though.

I get about 12mins flight time from a 3S 10" prop setup.

Also to note that as "standard" the APM flight controller variants are much less responsive than DJI controllers but then the APM's can be tweaked infinitely to achieve the user responsiveness required.

hey Gyrobot thanks for the design on the spyda 500 im in the middle of printing everything out. but do u have a hardware list on what i need so i can order online or find in store without taking a 500mm quad to homedepot lol


Looks great,
could you tell us how much it weighs empty ?

Hey, I can't understand what frame plate should I print if I have a DJI flamewheel copy(q450). The Deejayeye or crossfire?

I don't know what hole pitch you have on your copy of the arms. I would print the Deejay eye version and if your arms don't match then you can print out a set of arms that do.

Nice quad design :) Wish I had just a bit larger build area to make the frame. I have a DJI 450 coming this weekend and was looking for printable arms which you've made however at 45% infill and .20mm it's going to take 4ish hours an arm :( is there a way to make a simpler version to help reduce print times? Like removing the lips on all cross members of arm to get rid of need for supports

Would you by chance have a list of components?

hi if i wanted to make one how much do all the parts cost?

What are the bolt holes on the motors that were used? I have 16mm x 19mm motors and are wondering if they will work.

The 4 holes are dia 3mm for an M2.5 screw.

Two holes are 16mm apart and two holes are 19mm apart.

What gain numbers are you using?

So I am new to this stuff.. I am building my first Multicopter... I am constantly going back and forth about a Tri Copter or a Quad. I love this design its look and performance seem amazing.. The tricopters while thy function lack a certain pazazz... and room for devices.. Does anyone here think that if I modded this base structure for use as a Tri copter if it would work? Has this been done before.. I just assume moving one of the arms center to the rear... or just add holes for a rear mount.. any information would be helpfull..

Hi guys, I have 3 arms already printed, and they seem to be quite light - 32g per deejayeye version... Nice ;) I will post my frame shortly.

I am almost finished with my print. Thank you for the great design. I am curious if someone could help me with a remix of the Deejayeye version 3.0 arm. I am making an underslung gimbal and would like to lift the copter a few inches higher with 10mm carbon fiber tube I have laying in the shop. On the bottom of the arm foot on the motor mount end, I am curious if someone could add a bullet shaped 14mm tube holder with a 10mm hole 15mm deep for the tube to set in. Thank you in advance for any help and I will share my make with my other alterations and remixes. It is a great copter and I am looking forward to getting it in the air.

What direction would you like the tube holder facing, along the axis of the arm, or vertically pointing to the ground?

Vertically towards the ground. This will give it a little height to place an underslung gimbal. I will send you the gimbal files if you like when you see the I made pictures. Thank you.

Great work, thanks.

Does keeping the arms on the same 500mm circle mean that the mixer settings need not change from as per plain vanilla square?


Hi, great write up, many thanks. I am not entirely sure how your flight controller is configured. If you can get the centre of gravity close to the centre of the 500 diameter circle then this is the best balance option. This depends on where your mount batteries camera etc. The centre is defined by the small hole in the plate (see drawing). However, wherever the COG is positioned, as long as the flight controller has accelerometers, it will still adjust to give a steady and stable flight, it's just that some motors will be working a little harder than others and flight time might be compromised.

Hey there. I'm interested in building this but what type of electronics, specifically what kind of flight controller and receiver?

Hi, I used the receiver that can with my Turnigy 9X transmitter. The controller is An Ardupilot APM 2.6. Other makes have been used though.

Great model!

Can you share with us the motors name?

Hi, they are the standard DJI Brushless Motor, 2212, 920kv

we are using the Walkera 5200mAh 3S Lipoly Battery Pack but it does not seam to be giving the quad copter enough fly time any suggestions?

What flight time are you expecting? I get about 10-12mins from a 2200mAh Turnigy 3S that you see in the above pictures.. Your battery is certainly a big heavy unit, maybe a smaller lighter battery would give more flight time?

Awesome design! Can I ask what size motors and props you are using?

It's the stock 10" props and motors (DJI 2212 ) from the DJI F450 quadcopter.

Looking, good I have printed out one using our Felix 3.0 printer. I will post some images shortly in Made, although I did use some other parts for the top plate (to use the APM2.6)

Would this frame be considered an X-frame or V-Frame, the APM 3.2 software has a v-frame that looks more like this than the X-frame. I'm battling bad jello on video and trying to find the best config setting. Thanks

I have used the V frame setting.

My Jello effect has gone away since using the Super Simple Flexy Gimbal. So some vibration isolation is a good idea, foam ear plugs??

what are the dimensions?

Please see the drawing in the images above.

Gyrobot, can you tell me what motors you used and all of the electronis please. I printed this out already and now i don't know what to buy :l

do these body plates work with standard OEM DJI arms?

Of course, it's stated at the very beginning in the first bullet point.

I'm about to print it; may I ask you any suggestions on fill density, shell thickness and wathever?

Hi, I used Slic3r with the following settings :
; generated by Slic3r 0.9.10b on 2013-10-05 at 11:11:42
; layer_height = 0.2
; perimeters = 2
; top_solid_layers = 2
; bottom_solid_layers = 2
; fill_density = 0.5
; nozzle_diameter = 0.35
; filament_diameter = 1.75
I did not print the arms because I had some spare stock DJI ones. However Andycap printed the arms with 40% infill and they seem fine.

Anyone who uses a KK 2.1, can you please let us know what all of your PI and mixer settings are?

Did you see the comment by AtariJeff further down. He quotes the settings for KK 2.1

Gyrobot, first off, thanks for the awesome design here. I've got mine built and I'm loving it. The only thing I'm having trouble with now is the video has a bad jello effect from vibration. I watched your video and it looks great. Are you using any kind of camera dampeners?

Hi, sorry to hear that, I guess motor/props print settings can all lead to frame resonance, which will be difference for everyone. I will say that the Spyda is better than my previous DJI 450 for jello, but I may just be lucky. Try putting a piece of foam (e.g. ear plugs) betweed the rear of the GoPro and the fram, this may help. Over the coming weeks I should be designing a gimbal attatchment based on the Super Simple Gimbal.

Thanks for reply. I'll definitely try the foam ear plugs and look forward to your new gimbal release. I saw in an earlier comment that you asked someone about printing arms at 100% infill. Is that what you printed yours at? That may be my problem with vibrations. I think I did 40% and I was using your spyda thicker arms not the deejayeye. On another note, my APM glitched tonight and sent my quad into a hundred pieces so I'm printing the deejayeye right now.

Could not find the dxf-files...
Can you upload the dxf-files for cnc or laser cutting again please ?

Whoops sorry, my bad, now uploaded.

Can you provide a list of the electronic components for this quad and where you found them??

Are the arms the same that come with the DJI F450? if so i would love to be able to print myself replacements in the event one breaks during a crash

Hi, they have been modified to make them printable but they can be a replacement for the originals.

I would love to get one of these but don't own a 3D Printer. I'm thinking of going to Shapeways to have one of these printed. Has anyone used them before to have one printed and what would be the cost? Also, I'm not 100% clear on what type of filament to ask for and thickness. Also, what is the difference between the Crossfire board and the Deejayeye? Which arms are the better of the ones listed?

Glad you like the design, maybe try 3Dhubs first (http://www.3dhubs.com/)http://www.3dhubs.com/) there are a few printers localish to yourself. The Crossfire is also a fully printable Quad which was release before the Spyda, and the board in this thing will accept the arms from the Crossfire (which I have included). The Deejayeye board will accept the stock arms that you can buy from a quad manufacture called DJI, in case you wanted to do an upgrade to my Spyda design from a DJI 450. However I also include a model of a printable Deejayeye arm incase you wanted to also print this too. Which is best, I am really not sure I have only built my quad with the shop purchased (actually Ebay) DJI arms and these haven't broke yet. And there is also the Spyda Hexacopter too ;-) http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:241977http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Spyda 500 Hexacopter
by Gyrobot

Thank you very much for the reply and information. I checked both Shapeways and 3dhubs and the later is the most inexpensive. Albeit both are not economical. Both are over $150 not including shipping. Maybe someday I will own a 3D Printer and can my myself one of these wonderful copters. Thank you again and be well.

I've got a 3D printer for sale ;)

This is a great design. I printed the DJI ribbed plate and it barely fit my print bed with 5mm skirt. The plate seems way too thin and flimsy though. What should the finished thickness be? I may have had a problem with my slicer.

It is thin and flimsy on its own, but when you attached two plates together with the arms it becomes much more rigid. Just like an aerospace structure should be.
It has 3mm thick stiffening ribs with the webs at 1mm.

Hi! Have just printed one of those! Great design! Thanks!
I will assembly the arms with the plate with inserts, but i need to know the size of the holes in the arms and the maximun size of the hole!
So my question is, what size are the holes(V2 THICKER) and what do you think is that maximum size of the hole that i can make!

hi, I was wondering if you had a parts list (outside of 3D printing) if so that would be helpful. thanks!

Did anyone managed to fly this quad with a KK 2.1 Fc board?
If so, please, can you share your PI settings?


The motor locations are not at a neat 45 degrees so I have to tweak the mixer settings. I would be curious to see what others are using for PI settings.
cm or inches
kk2 value

I'm not sure I make sense of your PI settings above... Is 1, 2, 3, 4 referring to the mixer settings for channels 1-4?
I've got settings on it now that get it up into the air and stable, but am always looking to make it better!

Slalomracer, can you post you mixer settings as well?

Hi. This is an awesome design. What software did you design it with?

What is max prop. size to this frame? I want to use 12'' prop, is it possible?

You can use 12" props yes, there will be about 20mm gap between the front and rear prop. There is a dimension drawing above for you to confirm this to yourself.

Ok, thanks a lot. I see the picture and I calculated about 35cm between motors so 12'' could handle it and 30-40mm of gap could be there. Thanks, I'm printing one for me and one for a friend!

I'm not sure how you arrived at 35cm? The dimensioned picture above states the distance between the front and rear motor is 325mm, which leaves 20mm between the tips of the blades. There maybe a bit of wing tip turbulence mixing but physically the 12" blades will fit fine.

I bought the blades today, so I will tell you. I m finishing to print the frame. But yes, it's near 310mm- 320mm.

What is the fill Density? 20%? I can use ABS? Thanks =D

can you pass me a good electronics setup for me?

Awesome stuff! I just started printing the frame and excited to try flying a quadcopter. Do you have a write up you can share on your setup? I am also interested in FPV :) any help is appreciated! I plan to print the arms with color fabb clear filament and wanted to insert LED's into the arm. can you draw or upload one with holes to insert an LED on the flat side please

I was wondering the same thing about the setup

??????, ?? ??? ????????? ??????????...


Hey Gyro, can this be successfully printed with ABS without warping? my Makerbot replicator 2x cannot print PLA without issues so for now i'm limited to ABS. I use the Acetone mixture on my build plate when printing larger objects to reduce warping and for better stick but i'm not sure if that's enough to stop the DJI arms from warping. LMK what you think

I would like to give you a positive answer but I have no personal experience with the Rep2. I do have a friend with one who solved his warping problem with the use of Makerware's helper discs. I use the brim feature in Slic3r and also a there is a plugin for Skeinforge that gives this option to stop warping. Good luck and post results/solutions for others.


Hi, great frame, I'm thinking I'll print it soon,

One question, how do you screw the arms to the frame? are the arms threaded? or do you "thread" them when screwing the screws for the 1st time?

Never had a dji arm so I don't really know how they work

The stock DJI arms have a brass insert to accept the DJI fasteners. If you are to print your own arms then you can screw a self tapping screw into the arms through the plate first. There are holes in the models to guide the position but you may need to open them out with a drill to suit your own screws.

Good luck.

I just run a M3 tap through the mount holes and then use M3 socket head cap screws to mount the arms.

Hi, great job, looks amazing!

can you make a plate to allow 6 arm, like dji f550? thats be great!!


I can but the plate will be 212mm x 193mm and the caveat is that you can only use 8" props. Any smaller and the props will hit each other, Any larger and it will probably be laser cut only for all but the largest printers. Or we could print longer DJI style arms if we want smaller plates or larger props, too many options..........

hi thanks for the reply, that then you would propose to use 10" props? i think the most interesting option would, print longer arms (printed in diagonal could be extended up to 3cm or more in a printer 20x20cm) and a smaller plate, printable on 20x20cm printer. and maybe with some reinforcement rails for the plate?

I really like this model, but I'm new to the drones have begun with ar drone 2.0 second hand last week, but now after some research I want to make a brussless gimbal for my mobius actioncam HD1080 to do fpv and I would choose ArduPilot (like i read you are using) and my interest for an hexacopter is to be safe in a possible single engine failure, that is the reason to i want hexacopter, its right?

Them if you plan to make some adaptation, just tell me know and i just wait to release to start ordering components :)


Message me with your email address and I will email back the profile of the design that I had in mind. It is in the pipeline for me to upload for others to make, although I doubt I will be building one. Too costly and it doesn't give me much more than what my Spyda quad currently offers (other than cost).

On other way, where i can find any shopping list for this build of spyda 500 if exist? and how many fly time i can get with that? i want to mount a mobius action cam for just 39 gr, but i want to mount a brussless gimbal for that camera, and a fpv kit like this http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=11976&Product_Name=900MHZ_200mW_Tx/Rx_&_1/3-inch_CCD_Camera_PALhttp://hobbyking.com/hobbyking... then i need to lift some cargo, but less thant go pro with the same brussless gimbal i planned.
What you recommend, flight board, battery, motor, propellers... some other accesoris like gps,..

I was thinking of trying to remix one of your top plates and merge it with the base to @Tastywheat 3RD AMP Anti vibration mount http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:160655http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... I post the results soon. I hope it saves some space and takes down the number of printed pieces.

Omnimac 3DR APM Anti Vibration Mount

That sounds good. I will be uploading an accessory pack soon which will contain all the extra cases, mounts etc that I designed/collated during the course of my build. However, everybody chooses to build their quads differently, sourcing parts from various suppliers etc so it may not be useful for most. One of the items in the pack is an anti vibration add on case for the Ardupilot APM 2.5.

Thanks for your interest in this design and I hope to see your build soon.

Thanks for the accessory pack! As promised here is my remix http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:225801http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Spyda 500 Quadcopter w/ Anti Vibration Mounts

Could you post an STL file for the Go Pro mount you used in the pictures?

Would it be possible to get a step file for the plates? I'd like to laser cut them. :)

Hi, I have uploaded DXF files for both types of plate for laser cutting.

Are the screw patterns on your arms the same as the DJI arms? Have an existing frame that takes FlameWheel arms and would like to use your design with the cross-hatch openings vs. the one you link to which is solid. Would you share your design fill so I can modify (have OpenSCAD, SketchUp, and Rhino OSX Beta). Thanks.

Hi, the arms that I originally provided with this thing are the Crossfire arms. If you really want to print a copy of the DJI arms then I have uploaded these for you.

With the thicker plates there is no more flex in my chassis than it had with the DJI frame

any plans for a thicker plate without the webbing? I would really like a beefier set! nice work, I have 2 plates and will post pics of it when its done... thanks!

Hi, requested stl's uploaded, enjoy.

Can you not scale the stl in Z to suit in your slicing software? I use Slic3r and Skeinforge through Repetier to achieve this requirement. I guess you are printing @ 100% infill also? Message me through Thingiverse with your email address and what thickness you would like and I will send you an updated stl.

that is one clean quad! nice work!

Which Flightcontroller did you use??? :) Looks nice!

It's the open source Ardupilot 2.5, positioned on the top deck to keep away from any power distribution interference, which is on the lower deck.

Nice work ! I should print one for my futur Quad ! :)

I've tried them but they are a little bit crappy while printing them.
Finally, I've decided to creatt my own plate, with your arms witch are very weel done.

Very nice work !
My problem is that I'm can't print the crossfire plate on the replicator 2 (size is too big)
So if I print the dji one..then the arms does not fit!
Do you know how to find the rights arms for your plate?
As you may see, I'm newbee in this domain ;-)
Many thanks

If you print the DJI plates then print the DJI copy arms from here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:99957http://www.thingiverse.com/thi.... I already had some DJI original arms therefore I hope the ones in the link above are ok.

dji Firewheel quadcopter arm

whats screws size did u use?

The standard ones that came with the DJI arms are M2.5x5. I think the Crossfire uses M4 with backing nuts or the imperial equivelent.

I believe for ABS, an acetone with ABS dissolved juice mix and print directly onto heated glass is quite common? I afraid my knowledge is only printing PLA, Nylon and Arnitel (flexible).

Started printing but had to stop because of warping. i am printing whit ABS on a glas plate whit kapton tape has any one a tip on how te prevent warping?

try to increase your chamber temperature around 55 celcius

Great work, Suggestions:

  • your nested birdhouse could be modified and used as a canopy for electronics covering.
  • add an extra lightweight plate mounted over silicone bobbins for vibration dampening (mount electronics on top).
  • using the bottom arm screws a simple landing gear could be added.
  • add an extension plate on front for GoPro or Brushless gimbal, there are existing projects that could be remixed.
  • using the front top arm screws a fpv camera mount could be added

Cheers, great suggestions.

Hopefully this is just the beginning of this design path. I'm sure others will start from this and mix in flavours that suit their particular needs / interests.
Unfortunately, I have no requirement for landing skids, as I will be using the stock feet on the DJI arms. The servo based GoPro gimbal that I am designing for this quad will push the camera forward to something like what you see in the CAD renders, so it will not be under-slung. The battery mounted at the rear should counterbalance this.

I love the idea of a nested canopy to enclose the electronics, thank you for the suggestion. Although for me, I will have all sorts of modules, receiver, Ardupilot, GPS, telemetry, FPV transmission, the sort of stuff that I want to space all over the place for balance and interference reduction, so we shall see.

Keep the ideas coming!!

Just a quick question:
Did you print it in ABS or PLA? Did you have any problem printing it, like corner curling?


I printed it in PLA on glass with a PVA wash solution. No warping, need a level bed too.

Awesome stuff mate. Looks great !!!