by Firefly1504, published

Firefly by Firefly1504 Aug 6, 2015


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Update 15/08/15: The build instructions are finally ready. It was a lot of work to get everything together so have a look at http://www.firefly1504.com to find all info and parts you need for this build. If you have any problems don't hesitate to give me a shoutout or pm me.

You can find the build instructions on my website at


Feel free to follow me on instagram and twitter to get latest infos about this and other builds.




Flight controller:







Another option if you choose to use the dys escs. A combination of the flight controller with on screen display and PDB. Also makes for a pretty neat build







With Escs you got 2 different options. If you choose the 4in1 Esc you won't need a pdb anymore since the 4in1 esc has a bec (5V voltage regulator) to power your flight controller.
If you use the slim escs from dys you have to add a PDB to add a voltage regulator and to distribute the power to the escs. Nowadays I would recommend to take the 4in1 it makes a cleaner build, reduces costs and also ist the newer option in terms of performance and software compatibility.






As said if you use the 4 in 1 Esc you don't need the PDB.


Video Transmitter

There are many different flavours of vtxs out there here are some options in different price ranges. In my opinion they all work well.






FPV cam





Radio Receiver

This is also just an overview. These are products that I have personal experience with and which I can recommend. There are tons of other transmitter and receivers out there but these are in a reasonable price range. I am personally flying the Flysky TH9X with the Frsky XJT module and am very pleased with the overall performance.







Radio Transmitter










Here are a few bits and bobs that you better don't miss out when buying stuff for your quad.



This is some foam padding to put unter your lipo. Maybe put it on your quad with double-sided-tape.

Rubber Dampeners:

These are just two very different options for lipos. One is more or less the lower price end but still a very good lipo. The smc one is more of there top end in pricing. You can read through tons of lipo reviews and find what you like the most.
Stay in the ballpark of 1300-1500mah and don't choose a lipo that has less then 35C


If you buy stuff over my links it helps me out alot.
Thanks to everybody and happy flying.

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I printed the frame and so far everything good! One note on your motor suggestions:


This motor type has M3 screws for fixings so they can´t be installed on default motor mounts. I don´t know if they changed the motor type but I ordered these and now I have 4 spare motors. Maybe I will use M3 motor mounts from remixed versions or order new motors.

Anyway, thanks for the frame and effort!

WOW i really LOVE this design.
Im still printing the parts.

I was lucky ordering all required parts at Banggood Sale and got up to 11% Discount on almost every part:


Thank you soo much!

Hey Firefly! I was wondering if you had any experience flying the quad with either the printed arms or with a 3d printed rod of the same dimensions? Did it hold up in crashes? As i am having a real hard time finding carbon fibre rod that doesn't cost a lot for shipping haha

I never used any of the printed arms. I purchased my carbon tube on eBay.

You could buy this tube from bang good:


or search on eBay for a tube. As I mentioned earlier 500mm should be enough

where are the arms stl ?

Jul 25, 2017 - Modified Jul 25, 2017
Firefly1504 - in reply to cfink61

Take a look at the guide you are supposed to use carbon fibre for the arms.

You could use:

or something like this:


It depends on your location you should always be able to find carbon tubes on eBay. 500mm should be enough that will keep down the shipping costs.

or where would you get the carbon arms at

May 18, 2017 - Modified May 18, 2017

I've seen the question asked before, but what GPS unit would you recommend for the Firefly? I ask because I'd hate to lose my GoPro. Also, what's the approximate overall print time? I'd use a Makerbot Replicator+ 5 with the recommended high percentage infils.

If you are looking for a copter with gps this might not be the right one for you. This isn't made for hovering around and getting cinematic shots and fly hundreds of meter away from you.
You should solder a buzzer to the fc if you fear you won't find it in tall grass or something.
However you can do whatever you want I just can't recommend a specific gps module (I never used one on a mini quad). Maybe get a small one because space is limited in these frames.

How can one estimate your printing time without knowing your print speed or how many parts you print at ones and so one...

Have a nice one

Really nice work thumbs up! is there a version of the motor mount for m3 screws?

Comments deleted.

is there screw holes to secure the electronics

It has screw holes to secure the flight controller and slots to fasten everything else with zip ties.

Awesome design! Is there any way I could get all the parts(motors, esc, flight controller etc) for around $150? I used your recomendations but when adding up the cost, it was about 250. I don't really care if it doesn't fly as fast since I'm new to racing drones. Thanks!

If you aren't even having a radio then I think it will be pretty hard. I will look into it and send you a pm if I find something.

Could I print the tubing when I do the rest of the drone or does it absolutely have to be carbon fiber?

I'd say you are better of using carbon fibre but there have been a version of printed arms for the firefly.


Vortex Arm MoD with Clamps
by MoD_Doc

I am having trouble finding the prop size both in the guide and both of the firefly pages. So what would be the best prop size for this drone?

How much % infill should I expect to use on the print? And what is the motor to motor?

I used a high infill percentage on the body parts around 70% and the motor mounts where printed in 100% infill. Motor to motor span is 280mm if I remember correctly.

Hey Firefly, I can figure that you have built many of these copters and have tried multiple set-ups, what have you found to be the best overall setup? Like what motors/escs's/flight controller/etc.. Any help would be nice. Thanks

See the parts list in the details for product links that I can recommend.
I'd use 1806 motors, an f3 or f4 flight controller and racerstar 4in1 20A esc for the power system.
The frame can only hold a small cam so get there fatshark 700tvl v2 and as a video transmitter I would choose one with at least 200mW. You can buy one of the cheap ones or get something more expensive which has benefits if you are flying with several people because they interfere less with the other 5.8ghz channels.
And thats it nothing more to a quadcopter in general.

where do you get the carbon rods

They can be bought on multiple online sites like amazon and ebay.

can you use a spectrum controller and receiver

Jan 23, 2017 - Modified Jan 23, 2017

Any chance you'd be willing to make a camera plate similar to this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1790935

but with a nut retaining side similar to this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:373257

I printed the first one and run it on my 285 with a gopro hero5 session, but it wasn't designed for the gopro so it's slightly off.
You can see mine here: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:291938

Thank you!

Blackbird V2 3D FPV Camera mount and case for Vortex 285
by nnorem
200 QX GoPro mount
by mwm
Blackbird V2 3D FPV Camera mount and case for Vortex 285
by comber

If you are still interested: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2222101

Firefly GoPro Camera Mount Plate

can it lift a 2axis gimbal+gopro camera?

That interests me too

Jan 22, 2017 - Modified Jan 22, 2017
Firefly1504 - in reply to Oiram

Yes you could lift a gimbal with a gopro.
Oscar Liang has a post about the topic on his blog.

It may be a good idea to use 22xx motors if you want to give it a try.
However I don't know if it is a good idea in general :D

Hi Janik,

I really like the design / layout of your drone! Especially the fact that the firefly is foldable is awesome!

Since you sound 'a bit' skeptical in the post above, I just wanted to ask if you know or recommend a 3D-printable design which is foldable (e.g. like yours) and designed for a gimbal application (e.g. like the Crossfire 2)?

(I know there are some dji mavic pro clones out there, but they don't look quite sturdy/robust...)

Crossfire 2
by MikeyB

can you tell me what printer you used? also how do I tell how much of each piece I need to make ? feedback is appreciated greatly!

Jan 5, 2017 - Modified Jan 5, 2017

I print on my selfmade XY-Core printer which has a 200x200mm build area.
You will need
8x cliplock
4x motorstand
4x motor mount plate
4x motor mount bottom
4x motor mount rev2
4x arm hinge
2x side
1x camera plate
1x bumper
1x lower plate (There are two versions. Choose one to your liking)
1x top plate rear
1x top plate front
1x camera mount part1
1x camera mount part 2
1x carbon cutting jig to cut and drill the 12mm carbon tubes

There is no "camera mount part 2" :(

It's actually labeled "motor_mount_part_2", by accident I'm sure, but that's the second part of the camera mount needed..

I cannot find the instructions for the electronics or a list of the electronic components, you should post a guide on your website.

Jan 5, 2017 - Modified Jan 5, 2017
Firefly1504 - in reply to GremFreng_i4

I added the updated components list to the main page under post printing. I hope that helps and gets you in the air as soon as possible.

Hello! I was wondering if you could tell me what the overall length of the largest printed component for the Firefly is? I am new to quadcopters but would really like to try my hand at making this one and want to make sure that I can print the components. Thanks!

All the parts should easily fit on a 190x190mm build plate.

Comments deleted.

This company said that this ARF was inspired by your design. Not bad for $149.99 Nice job. Check this out They said this was inspired by the Firefly. http://www.hobbywow.com/en-mana-295-foldable-racing-drone-pnp-with-800tvl-camera-32-bit-flight-controller-p241922.htm?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=EDM&utm_campaign=20160914

couldn't find any reference but have seen the frame too.


If you really want to buy one they often have coupon codes for rc equipment.

I knew Banggood was stocking it also. Actually its really a good deal considering the integrated components. I wonder if it follows the firefly screw pattern and not the Vortex. Really tempted to pick one up. I could not find a tear down review.

Comments deleted.

What could you expect in the way of flight control and lift if the arms were twice as long????

Sep 24, 2016 - Modified Sep 24, 2016
Firefly1504 - in reply to Dhenle101

would you increase the prop size too? if not the lift would be the same. you would have to increase your rates to get a similar behaviour as with shorter arms I guess.

Hi I was wondering what additional parts you would have to buy can you please leave a list

I am having an overview of the hardware in the build guide on my website.


If you are talking about electronics I made a list in the Instructions section of the Thing Details.



Probably a dumb question, can't find a good online seller for the screws and such. Any recommendations?

https://www.fastenal.com you can get everything you need for about 5 bucks if you get Stainless Steel Chinese head screws. They look really nice and are cheap.

check out eBay you'll find everything you need

Jun 24, 2016 - Modified Jun 24, 2016

What company are your props from?

These Props are diatone 5030s but they are pretty bad. If you want good props at a reasonable prize get yourself Dal Props 5040s
Or 5045 triblades. If you want the best performance people are saying that HQ props is the way to go.

Are the DragonFly motors you're using brushless? They probably are because you're also using PDB.

Comments deleted.

Hello mate great work! any chance if you can release the Stp files or solidworks file for it please? I just need reference to modify a few things thanks

Check out this clone kit full carbon for $34.00 All you need to do is print the side plates and front bumper.


Mar 16, 2016 - Modified Mar 16, 2016

New equipment to make your builds a lot easier. 3/16/2016 New RCtimer F3 FCU with built in OSD. http://rctimer.com/product-1527.html also matching PDB board. http://rctimer.com/product-1528-index.html

https://youtu.be/q__qSBw8RQ8 New Kiss FCU.

3/6/2016 New alternative FCU are out with built in OSD. Perfect for this build. Also new DYS ECS's that fit in the 12mm tube arms.

http://www.emaxmodel.com/fpv-controllers/emax-skyline32-osd-flight-controller-advanced.html FCU


Excellent quad, thanks.
Just one problem I see is the front bumper does not work good with the new bottom plate. The 2 front escs openings are closed off with the bumper and I cant use small cable ties to secure the front escs.
Or maybe I`m missing something?

no you are totally right. You could mount the escs first and thgen screw the bumper onto the cable ties until I fixed this problem.

Thanks man

This is sexy! One of the nicest, best looking quads I've seen for a long time. I'd love 16mm boom version!

yes 16mm tube version will be great!
its hard to find the 12mm tube

really cool! I'm going to do one! which electronics did you used? and about the firmware where can i get it?

Feb 13, 2016 - Modified Feb 13, 2016

You've done a really good job with this. I have been searching for printable replacements for my vortex just in case i run out. Printing this right now, thanks a lot.

P.S, what red filament are you using, looking to buy some to keep the color theme, thanks again.

These aren't replacement parts for the vortex. At least its not meant to be.

But I can give you a few links to, at least to my knowledge, drop in replacements.

Lower plate:

Arm hinge and c-clips:

Motor mounts for 22.. motors:

However some parts of the Firefly will fit the vortex I assume. Like the bumper, maybe the motor mounts. The Firefly is a bit shorter then the Vortex so Top an bottom plates won't fit. The C-Clips are made for M3 bolts so these won't fit either.

I hope the links help and happy flying.

Vortex lower plate
Immersionrc Vortex cf boom clamping parts
Immersion RC Vortex 2204/2206 Motor Mounts
by Xeostar

Thanks for links, thinking of printing one for a friend :)

would this work for the carbon arms? :) http://rctimer.com/product-1614.html it looks really like the fireflo too. http://rctimer.com/product-1585.html

I bet they won't fit. Maybe buy one and test it but its really not that hard to make your own arms.
That link looks like a pretty bad interpretation of the vortex :D who needs GPS and Compass support on a mini quad?

any link where to buy the carbon rods? :) haha. well alot of old timers in our airfield likes to strap on their nazas and other gps FC in their miniquads. haha. maybe there's a small market for those. :)


I have all the parts printed and carbon tube cut, my motors just arrived and they're 3mm mounting, is it possible to do an alternate mount for 3mm? the spacing is also different so it doesn't look like I can just ream out the current ones larger. They're Cobra 2206's


The mounts I made won't take anything bigger than M2 screws. Maybe one of these is something for you...



Sorry for the late reply.

Immersion RC Vortex 2204/2206 Motor Mounts
by Xeostar
Brushless Motor Tube Mount (12mm tubes, 22xx & 18xx type outrunners)


Thanks for the links, looks like they might be the solution. I did try and rebuild your design in Fusion to take 3mm motors but it just taught me how rubbish I am at designing. :(

Hi, firefly.
Nice work.
Sorry to bother you. But where did you get all the hardware? Some of the sizes are hard to find.

I got all the hardware from eBay and some screws I had laying around. What parts do you mean in particular, maybe I can help.

thanks. i fund all the hardware i needed. but what size of Rubber Damping Ball?? did you use. thanks and Merry Christmas and a happy new year!!!

This is awesome! I've got a quick question though. How close is this to the original? As in could I buy a case made for it and have this fit in it? If I bought some of the crash kit parts would they fit on this? Thanks!

The firefly will fit the vortex case. If you want to use parts of the crash kit lets say the motor mounts you need to drill holes in the arms that fit the mount. The C-clips have smaller screw wholes. the hinge mechanism has also a different whole pattern. I guess the sides should fit.

have fun flying

Is it possible to tilt the motors just by rotating the tubes?

I did not test this myself but I guess its possible just drill the wholes in the right angle and it should work but I can not make any guess if this would be good for the flight characteristics or not... If you tilt the motors forward, the thrust will also be angled to the outside at front and to the inside on the back. I never tried tilted mounting but I would be really interested in hearing if it worked.

Yeah, thats what i thought too and why i am asking. I think it would have a negative/inefficient inpact on the flight characteristics.

Tilt mounts seem to have gone out of favour quickly with the racing guys, not many use them now.

First off let me say I'm very happy to see the Vortex model online for printing. It's a very nice drone and I'm happy I can now print it, allowing me to make replacement parts myself. One question however, I saw in the videos that the flight was a bit shaky. At no offense to the pilot, I'm wondering whether it is due to piloting or strong winds, or if it has something to do with the frame being printed. Thanks again, cheers.

The video in denmark ist pretty shaky because of the wind. The wobble you see in the video is due to my flight skills which aren't the greatest and to the lack of pid tuning...
I am trying hard to take myself more time to go out and fly so the next video will me locked in

Since my last post, I have actually purchased a Vortex. I like it a lot although taking it apart can be a pain. I am considering printing the Firefly as a comparison and to fly together with some friends who do not own their own quad. I did have a few additional questions. First off, do you own a vortex? If yes, how does the 3D printed one compare? Furthermore, I assume you printed your version in ABS but I'm looking to print one in PLA (personal preference). Do you think the PLA will able to handle the temperature of the electronics, or would you strongly urge ABS use? And lastly, I can somewhat tell from the Guide on your website that you use the same T-navigator motors that the vortex uses, I assume you kept most of the other parts the same (?); If that's the case, do you think you could publish a part list (and I apologize if you already did but all I could find was the guide with instructions and screws required but no electronics). I know these questions are very specific so no worries if you can't answer them. Once again thank you for taking the initiative to make this model, I think it's absolutely awesome!

Nice to hear that you can call a Vortex your own. I personally don't own one I actually never seen one in person :D. The Firefly is a bit shorter then the Vortex and the screw diameters are different. The rest of the quad should be quite similar. Some parts are even interchangeable.
I choose abs for the fact that it is a little more forgiving when it comes to tolerances. The heat should be no problem in my opinion. Right now I am using a plan lower plate and all seems to be fine.
The motors I am using are
-dragonfly MC1806 2300KV,
-cc3d as flight controller charged up with beta flight
-and a really nice PDB with voltage alarm and many more features by Matek.
You are right I should finally make an electronics section on the website but I am really short on time in the last weeks.
If I can help you with links to the parts I used. send me a message. I hope I did answer all your questions.
Have fun flying and building !


First time quad builder here ;)
What type of battery would you suggest? Don't really know what size the battery should have? (dimension wise)
Thanks in advance :)

HI ChriZer happy to hear you are joining the community.
For this build I would recommend a 1300mah 3s/4s up to 1500mah 3s/4s any of these should give you good flight times up to 10 minutes of moderate flying. Always have a look at the C ratings. I would not recommend anything under 30C.

I got LiPos in 58x37x32mm which works ok.

Thanks for the quick response!

I ordered two 1300mAh 4s 50C Turnigy Lipos. Now I'm patiently waiting for the parts to arrive!

Hi, I'm having trouble viewing the parts list image on the website, especially on mobile. Can you provide a static text list, or a downloadable PDF version of the instructions?

I changed the image size and appearence in the guide. It should be fine now. You can now also click on some of the pictures to get a bigger view of them.

The mobile site is still a desaster I am definitely no expert and everything is a big mess. Sorry for that. You can now see the pictures in the mobile version and also click them for a bigger view.

Thanks - much better!

if you want the dxf just take the stl into soldworks but import as a solid body. Then export as a dxf. If you need them though I can put them up.

Can you please me do it and send me e-mail

[email protected]

Yes I want to please the DXF files

thanks that worked

On your website how can you get each picture of parts to go full size so you can see what is written at bottom.

hmm maybe its shrunk on your screen. you could try to press strg and - or on a mac cmd and -
I am having a look at it.

Sep 28, 2015 - Modified Oct 5, 2015

Would you have the DXF files????

Yes I want to please the DXF files

I have the working DXF, please contact me.

Can ypu please send me the DXF files [email protected]

Can you send me the DXF files via mail!?!

[email protected]

How long of flight times have you gotten with a GoPro on it?

Like something around 6 to 9 minutes on a 1300mah 3s Lipo

Nice. What's the max prop size?

6" if you are not using a gopro. But you could make the arm longer and fit both on there.
It is made for 5" Props and its working great with them.

I just finished my Firefly and need help on the PID settings. Can some one please post a screen shot of your clean flight PID settings please.


Sep 23, 2015 - Modified Sep 23, 2015

Can you add motor guards on the motor mounts to protect the motors from impact.
here is an example http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:984836 except those are for a qav250

I am having a look at it

thank you, you are super keep up the good work

Please can you upload a dxf of the top and bottom plates, so we can cnc ... thanks

So I did not upload the dxf files because I will possibly sell them in the near future. If you want parts of the firefly in carbon fiber or different material there will be parts available soon.

Don't want to be rude again but don't you think that selling almost exact copy of immersion RC vortex is to say the least unfair for immersion. I know that without bottom plate as PDB it will be cheaper but just please don't be just a copycat and improve oryginal design. Yet still to be perfectly honest you can extract bottom plate DXF from files and refine them to be able to cut them. So that is just saging copying your design for 15min top. Is not like i'm going to sell your design just sayin.

Sep 18, 2015 - Modified Sep 18, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to olekdh

They are doing it themselves with the crash kits. If you want the completed frame there are many stores selling the bottom plate for the vortex without power distribution. I designed and uploaded the Firefly because I love the design and made it for myself. I am sharing these files with everybody.
Also I said maybe I will sell them and if I sell them it is more a contribution to the work I putted into this not a commercial thing with 100s of units.
If its not a hassle to extract the files then do it yourself.

Never mind lets just go on and do something useful and go flying or upload the mounting options for the bottom plate.

Sep 18, 2015 - Modified Sep 18, 2015
dubtec - in reply to Firefly1504

I do not wish to sell this design, FINAL... and I don't suggest you do.!

If you want to sell this design I'm sure you should discuss this with the original designer of the Vortex - Zeeflyboy http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread.php?23724-Developing-the-ZQ-M-quot-Vortex-quot-quad

I also sugested to you that if you wish to sell this as a kit, you would also need to make a serious amount of changes to the design, so that its not a clone.

Thingiverse is a community, where we all share information so we can print and be creative, not profit.

I simply asked for DXF files so I could make mine stronger.. thats all.

I have now sourced my own DXF files , and will be sharing with the community. ;)

For those looking - here is a DXF of a "similar" top plate, will need to alter the hinge holes

Frame_Top ImmersionRC Vortex

wow, people like you need to seriously find another hobby outside of the maker community. That was the biggest snake move I've seen on thingaverse ever since the "just 3D print it" fiasco.

Seriously, think about this for a moment. How much work do you think it took this guy, to make this all come together as well as it does? And then to share it with the entire community, and be here to answer all the questions best he could.

But that's not good enough for you.

You really need to re-evaluate your thought process. I find it hard to believe that someone with a mental capacitance like yours, is capable of even operating a CNC.

Put in your own work instead of trying to blackmail and bribe others. What have you contributed to the community besides "remixes" of others work? A battery case? Good job, but Firefly has contributed one of the best quad copters in the FPV community and I, myself, am one of the many, many people who are very appreciative of that, and find it extremely disturbing when people like you try and snake others out of their time and work.

Firefly, thank you so much for this. I'm in the process of printing out the 3rd frame kit. I plan on mix matching the colors (grey, neon yellow, and black) to have 3 multi-color kits. One for myself, and one for each of my nephews to build. Then we are going to bring them with us on our trip to the Florida keys this summer and get some awesome footage to share. Keep up the awesome work, and don't feed the trolls ;)

Interestingly you were the one asking me if you could sell this on your eBay store. I don't want to discuss any of this but if you tested the file you just recommended than you would know that its doesn't fit.

And as you said this community is about sharing and 3D printing not about all of this.

I have the right to share what I want I don't need to justify that.

I think that is Dubtec idea is to sell the parts also. LOL

I could post the messages log with dubtec but I am not farting around with this stuff.

nope, just want my frame stonger

Mind releasing a version that uses fixed 10mm square cf booms?

Id like to use these arms.

That would be a completely different thing.. I don't have such booms so I can't really test the functionality of the Cliplock which I guess will be problematic with square booms. Why do you want to use these booms?

I think you misunderstood me. what i want is two solidly mounted square tubes, just so you don't need the cliplocks (that i hate on my real vortex)

If one has access to a 3d printer that can print in cf reinforced, you might even be able to print the entire boom durable enough.

Ill see if i can modify the stls myself, though doing that in sketchup usually results in a mesh with more holes then a swiss cheese.

Ok now I got you. Do you need this for the vortex itself or the Firefly? Because there are minor differences between those two.

Both would have been nice ;)
But i'm primarily looking at the firefly for the regular naze32 and dys20A/cobra 1960 i have extra.

I was hoping to eventually use the firefly with the interlaced 3d camera&attitude v3 from fatshark.
That however will need a a new protection cage in the nose, as it looks to be as wide as a gopro (only a single picture released on their facebook page).

Ok I made the mounting parts for the square boom I will upload them on my page in just a second. Can you print them and the send me a message how well they fit?

hey good job with the frame, I have a lot of those 10x10 square boom can also have the files I can print some really quick for testing

Here you go.


Upload a picture when you are done

Firefly square boom mount

got the square boom part printed fit nicely, need to print full quad to see how it will fit

awesome I'll print it when I get back from work later today

hey dudes, great job :)
Any place to know how to deal with the electronics parts?
Fly Controlers, GPS, camera, motor drivers , blah blah blah :) thanks

You mean how to get everything inside or what to put inside?

You mean how to get everything inside or what to put inside?

it would be great to be able to modify the files, especially bottom and to plates, to add mounting holes for FC, PDB, and ESC's it would be great if you could post a DXF files of bottom and top plates

Big brother

who deletes those replys?

I asked the poster to delete the reply. Only you can delete your own messages.

Ok, got it, but why did you asked somebody to delete answer for a DXF files? while you don't take time to answer to me that you don't want to give them on this site. I'm not beeing rude i just asked for them to get FC inside, you know doublesided tape is rather bad solution for quad that you will crash all sorts of ways. I wanted to change camera mount because right now is very fragile and most vortex users don't like it. Anyway keep it up it's a cool looking quad.

I asked him to do so because he uploaded dxf files extracted from my STLs on another side in a way that doesn't follow the licensing. He was kind and deleted the post.

I am working on the lower plate with mounting options as well as on many other projects. I upload the version with the mounting options maybe today or tomorrow. A constructive way to help me would be to give some information.

What electronics are you using what sizes are your ESCs, is anyone using an OSD if yes what OSDs are you using etc.
Also double sided tape can be a really good solution if you are using it right.

I did not update the camera mount because its working quite good for me.

ok, im using Afro 12A esc (27x7x19,7) baby beast motors mounting M3 (19/16 spacing) open pilot CC3D FC (30,5 square spacing), D4r2 fr sky reciever. Fatshark 250mW transmitter (too big for this, going for aomway 200mW), BT hc06 module for setting my quad via phone or laptop no cable (still waiting for delivery), i have minim OSD but i think i'll need to go for Micro minim OSD (16x16). Model BT module is on http://www.3dcontentcentral.com/ (reciever was deleted or i got it from other site). taping FC is bad idea if you can't reach for it and if it twists a bit quadcopter can Yaw or if you try to fly in attitude mode you will have hard time getting your craft level. Im also thinking that it's hard to fly quad w expensive recording camera on top and eventually crash it.

Ok so I currently have the lower plate with mounting options for 36mm PDBs and FCs as well as the Micro PDB from hovership. Also 4 spots to mount the ESCs, yours should fit in there. OSD etc are yet to be looked at. The minimOSD is a bit big I am having one too but it doesn't want to go in there really.

Comments deleted.

Any chance you could upload the camera_mount_part_2 ?
Just finished my build and had the first test-hover! Yaaaay!
Will upload some more pics soon...

Both parts of the mount are uploaded

Are you using the electronic board from the Vortex?

Sep 12, 2015 - Modified Sep 14, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to Ace01

No I posted on instagram that I bought one but I am currently not using it. Am testing what I can do with it but currently have no plans for implementing it in the design.

Firefly1594 can you post a photo of your electronics bay and how you mounted your ESC's and FCU? Looking for more ideas.


Everything is now all is well. Thank you.

Sep 7, 2015 - Modified Sep 7, 2015

hmm, the bumper seems to not be a manifold. At least not with slic3r.

edit: cura also doesn't load up the bumper.

Sep 7, 2015 - Modified Sep 7, 2015

Thats weird I just downloaded the file from thingiverse and its working fine. I will check if there are any errors and reupload.

I fixed the mesh and will reupload now. Can you tell me if your problem is solved with this new version?

Yep! all good now!

The program does not accept file bumper , tell me what to do. You can change the file ? that would insignificantly

You can repair it at https://modelrepair.azurewebsites.net until the source is fixed.

Today was the maiden flight of my firefly. And i'm very happy with the result. I must say thank you and congratulations for this awsome thing!!

I redesigned the lower plate for more reinforcement.


Firefly splitted lower plate

can you split up the top plate like this for me? I have a tiny printer :P

I need to modify the lower-plate since my build area is insufficient. Any chance on a split lower plate with a seam which can be sufficiently re-enforced?

Hi, Such a cool project!, Any chance you have the "plate" files in .dxf or similar format? Have started printing parts but would love to do a version utilising my router for the plate parts. Thanks

Sep 5, 2015 - Modified Sep 5, 2015

Anyone working on a rear LED plate? I noticed that the slots are already there to support a LED plate in the rear of the quad. this is a video of what it could look like. https://vimeo.com/130847623

This was my next move !! I'll try something soon and let you know how go...

Is anyone having strenght problems with the motor mounts? Printed in ABS the layers brake very easily, printed un PLA they came out stronger . I was thinking in make a remix with stronger motor mounts. This design is beautiful and I can not wait to make this thing fly.

I designed my own motor mount as i had issues with the other i've tried, either bulky or fragile: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1025343

Minimalistic single screw motor mounts

Cool, looks simple and sturdy. The original motor mounts broke on every single crash. I will give your design a try since I have to replace three after flying earlier today.

I am printing a set in 230 Nylon So far they are very strong and think they will take a lot of abuse.

Sep 1, 2015 - Modified Sep 1, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to tindavila

As I mentioned earlier. Get your printers set right. Right temperature so forth. Only print one motor mount part at a time. You print more then one at a time it will definitely make the parts brittle with no proper layer adhesion. I printed 4 at a time and they literally fell apart the moment I tried to bold them onto the other peaces. this is important for the lower part of the motor mount and the upper part of the motor mount. the plate and the stand are not worth mentioning.

I hope you get these prints right and have a lot of fun with the firefly. I am currently working on a stronger version of these mounts because in a harder crash they break.

With all the parts for the firefly I tried to maintain the beauty of the design and the details as well as make them as best as possible in terms of strength and for 3D printing. Most of the parts had several versions that I have been all testing in real flight situations.
I am working on an even better version of the mount but this is definitely not a job that can be done in a few hours or one day.

If you don't care about the design aspect and the beauty of this quadcopter in its entire concept. You could take different motor mounts.

Thanks for the tips. I played with the printer settings and finally got it right. The mounts came out much stronger. Nice to know you keep improving the design. The design is beautiful and I'm going to stick with the originals mounts. Thanks for this great job man.

Great to hear that. Send some pictures of your build when you get it done and hope everybody has as much fun with this quad as I am having. Tonight I am traveling to Denmark and will take the Firefly with me (of cause) to take some more footage. Looking forward to make a new video.

Printed in PETG and no issues. You can additionally use another motor mount http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:784914/#files

Brushless Motor Tube Mount (12mm tubes, 22xx & 18xx type outrunners)

I have no other option in my country, just PLA and ABS. Already printed that motor munt, looks very strong but the motor position is not the same as this one.

Hi guys
I wanted to thank everybody for the comments and support. The firefly just reached the 1000 downloads mark.

I would not let anyone sell these commercially.

That is great news. I was wondering if you could post the raw CAD files so that we can all collaborate to make this design better. Its a real pain to reverse engineer STL files. What CAD package are you using to do your design work?

I'm thinking about making one but first i need to know what electronic parts to use.

Comments deleted.
Aug 29, 2015 - Modified Aug 29, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to Izoc11

I guess I can recommend some parts.
So as you might have figured out yourself it is a really small quadcopter so the electronics should be relatively small.
4x 1806 motor I recommend Drangfly 1806 2300KV or any other with this specs
4x DYS SN20a these are very small and should work perfectly.
For the fight controller their are several options. CC3D, CC3D nano, Naze32 or any other in this size.
For the FPV setup use the Fatshark 600TVL or better the 700TVL Fatshark cmos camera which has way better specs. You can also use another cmos camera in this size.
I used a 600mw mini 5.8ghz transmitter like this one.
I had no space for a power distribution board. But you will need a bec if you are using ESCs without one inside.
I am using 1300mah lipos.

stunning build ! what size props you using?

Are you running 3s or 4s?

This is nice design, similar to my and I have reused some of your ideas. But what I'm missing is a bit customization on the side plate. I would propose you to do USB cable gap in the middle of the plate.... I have it and it rocks. Naze32 has the usb in the middle, FLIP32 in 1/3 of the board. I will post my build pictures soon.

If you really want a USB gap in the side of the Quadcopter than add it. I did not do it because it is pretty ugly. If you want an open frame than choose an open frame. This one has closed sides not only for stability reasons. If you want to have the usb on the board always accessible you could get creative. I am thinking of an USB extension cable maybe.

Just went to flight it a couple times, just love it !!
Well as you said the bumber breaks a lot, and I had a good crash that broke a little the lower plate, but a bit of abs juice and it was like nothing happened !!
I think I'm gonna try to build the lower plate in carbon, and I think it will be just perfect. Thanks again, was going to buy a frame but I'll stick to the DIY...

Aug 27, 2015 - Modified Aug 27, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to papagayo69

Good to hear you are having fun with it. I've been thinking about the same thing. cutting the plates from carbon fiber would be awesome I just need to get/build a cnc mill :D

But so far it went pretty well.

Just another feedback... Sure it flies well, but I'm having trouble with the motor mounts, so far they've been the weaker part for me. Would you suggest anything that I can improve ? Do you have the same troubles ? May I ask you for an inforced version ?

Also and most important when you print the motor mount parts print them one after another. If not the structure will be way weaker caused by the cooing layers.

Ok thanks !! Do you think it could be better to make them out of PLA ? It seems it has stronger sticking betwen layers and people seems to use them more on gears and stuff... Sure it melt at lower temp, but should be good for it ?

You can try it out n post us your results. I personally have no pla laying around maybe i find some in the basement... But I can not recommend printing the motor plate in PLA. Motors are getting hot and PLA tends to get soft when temperature is applied :D
I see if i have some PLA left somewhere and test it too.

Aug 31, 2015 - Modified Aug 31, 2015
Ace01 - in reply to papagayo69

If I have issues with the motor mounts I will print them in Nylon and test and also try these http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:784914/#files

Brushless Motor Tube Mount (12mm tubes, 22xx & 18xx type outrunners)

stunning mount

Aug 30, 2015 - Modified Aug 30, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to papagayo69

I broke a few you are right most of the time when I crash sideways/backwards. I am having a look at it to improve the weak points.
Edit 19:34:: I now removed some more edges of the top mount with should improve stability. Testing it as soon as possible. On the lower mount their is a thin area that will be reinforced. The were the places were my motor mounts broke most of the time.

Thanks guys !! I'm gonna try those solutions, but the nylon printing maybe a good hint... Just need to find some now !
I'll stay tuned for the new files, and If you need help for anything just let me know...
Thanks !!

Could you post the list of non-printed parts?

You can take a look at the guide I have made every step of the build and also the materials you need are published there.


You will only need screws, dampening balls and 12mm carbon tube.

Aug 25, 2015 - Modified Aug 25, 2015

I second the request for a split version of the lower plate, because my bed is only 15cm.
I made one in OpenScad, but can't seem to render it, probably because Openscad is still very picky about imported stls.
Here's the modified lower_plate, hope someone can fix the errors, so we can use it.

P.S. You need to have the original lower_plate.stl in the same directory you open the scad file and rename it to lower_plate_repaired.stl. Sorry for that!

I uploaded the splitted version of the lower plate at


I hope this helps.

Firefly splitted lower plate

Thanks a lot! Managed to split it in netfabb and was just glueing the halves together when I stumbled across your upload! :)
Already love this frame. Will post pics tomorrow. In black and green it looks awesome.

Aug 30, 2015 - Modified Aug 31, 2015
Ace01 - in reply to gojibogyo

I split the lower frame also and also made a doubler to glue with ABS slurry. Supper strong bond.http://www.thingiverse.com/Ace01/designs Also added it to remix

Perfect send us some pictures when you are done.

Aug 25, 2015 - Modified Aug 25, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to gojibogyo

Oh excuse me I did forget about the lower plate. I will upload a splitter version as soon as possible. Sorry to everybody who was waiting for this.

I made a really simple version of plastic arm here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:980817
Not tested yet (tomorrow probably) but the first two one I made fits the thing and seems ok for a no crash fly... I warn you you still have to drill them...

@Firefly1504 I'll be really happy to give you my starting point or just for you to add my files to your project. I did them in a minute, I'm really a beginner in 3D designing, so did had the time to fit the correct hole on the arm.

Simple arm tube and inforced tube.
Aug 24, 2015 - Modified Aug 24, 2015
Ace01 - in reply to papagayo69

I updated the arm hinge to work with your new printed arm. Class 1 fit with no play. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:981222
both the arm and hinge are printed in ABS. You will need a lot of force to break it. Also going to print an arm out of Nylon.

updated armhinge
by Ace01

hey buddy. These arms look good so far. Test them out and post us your experiences with the printed arms. If you can confirm that they are durable enough for crashes I will add them with wholes inside.

Yes will do !! Probably this afternoon my first firefly flight !! I'll let you know how I go...

@Ace01 As for the arm hinge, the original one work for me, you have to twist a little to put them in place, but it look ok...

I'll try yours as well when I can to see the difference... How do you make some out of nylon, special plastic ? Did you think about trying the carbon injected one ?

Congrats for your build.
Upload some pictures in the make section before you damage it :D

Have a nice flight.

And you may have to rotate it for an easier printing...

Aug 23, 2015 - Modified Aug 23, 2015

FYI when I printed the Arm Hinge dated 8-10-2015 and measured the inside diameter it is 11.52 mm Can't get a 12mm tube to fit that. Can you do me a favor and measure the outside diameter of a 12mm carbon tube with calipers and let me know what you get please. You should add a forum to your website.

Aug 23, 2015 - Modified Aug 23, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to Ace01

Hey I am still working on the side. Thanks for your suggestions. The hinge is a tight fit for sure try to file them down a bit thats what I did. I will have a look at the files and upload a new version with customized tolerances.

I resized the arm hinge to 13 mm ID and also printed an arm that is 12mm OD. The 12 mm arm fits nice and snug in the clip and a real nice tight fit in the hinge. Strange I had to increase the hinge to 13mm ID to get the right fit printing ABS?? Only issue is when I increased the arm hinge to 13mm it increased in size by a 1 mm so I might have to file it down to match the clip.

Aug 22, 2015 - Modified Aug 22, 2015

Another suggestion. Can you design arms so that we can print, that have the motor mount part of the arm or provide STL file to just print the tube arms? Thanks

I have a request. Can you split the bottom plate in half so we can print it on a smaller printing bed? If you could modify it so we could add a doubler to increase the strength also. This is an awesome design?

What size printer bed do you need to print this?

Aug 23, 2015 - Modified Aug 23, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to Ace01

Your printer bed needs to have a length of 190mm.

that won't work for smaller 3D printers. I am going to have the bottom plate cut out of carbon. Thanks for the reply.

This looks pretty sweet, I'm hoping to make one soon!

Hi, nice design!
Can you tell us what size of motors are compatible?

I am using Firefly 1806 motors the hole spacing is about 12-16mm in diameter and the holes are for M2 screws.
I was thinking about something like an adapter plate for bigger holespacing and screws but wasn't sure if its necessary.

Is there any chance u can upload the file for the front struts the are on both sides of the fpv camera? I lost one of mine and neither crash kit 1 or 2 come with them. Thank you.

I recognized this problem too. Non of the crash kits provide them but these are regular spacer I have chosen to make the 22mm long. I guess that should be the same for the vortex. These are just regular spacers you can buy them online on eBay or elsewhere. Just search for M3 22mm spacer and you will find a shop for sure.
If this doesn't help i could upload something like a printed spacer but i would not recommend using it because they will be brittle and break relatively easy.

If you print the spacer out of Nylon they will not break Use Nylon-230 from www.taulman3d.com Its a low temp nylon at 235 c

Oh sweet thank you. I've already emailed immersionrc to ask them about them. I will definitely look those up. Thank you again.

Thanks for posting the rest of the files... I had one of the earlier downloads... :)

You are welcome. Leave some pictures of your build.

Hey !!!
Awesome work man !!! Starting printing tomorrow ;-)
I can notice a small holder for the FPV cam but can't find files for it ?
Can you help ??

Thanks a lot !!

Aug 16, 2015 - Modified Aug 16, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to papagayo69

Yeah sorry thats my fault I made this little thing but its really nothing I am proud of... its just quick and dirty I could upload it for now until I come up with a better one.

Yes I'd love to see it even if you think it's not that good !!

I've got another question, do you think it will feet if I get one of those "crash kit" ? That way I'll get a solid structure, and all the other part can be printed ?

Thank again and again for that awesome work !

Aug 17, 2015 - Modified Aug 17, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to papagayo69

The Crashkit will not work you could use the Arms of it. Maybe if you drill the the wholes of the topplate bigger it could work but I am not sure. Try printing it and test it out it is really rigid. The only thing that's weak is the bumper but I am working in this one too.

And another quick one : is it 14mm for the exterior diameter of the tube ?

Aug 17, 2015 - Modified Aug 17, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to papagayo69

Check out the website I made for all the information you need. just click on guides in the navigation bar. On this site you will find a button thats labeled Firefly Guide.

The outer diameter is 12mm

Aug 17, 2015 - Modified Aug 17, 2015
papagayo69 - in reply to Firefly1504

Wow sorry for the mistake I'll be more carefull next time ;-)
May I ask were you get yours ?? I'm having hard time finding some 12mm one ...

Aug 17, 2015 - Modified Aug 17, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to papagayo69

No worries I got mine of eBay. The guy i got it from sold it in one meter long peaces. But I found a similar offer on amazon. Maybe try to google it. I found a few small shops that sell different kinds of carbon products maybe one of those is located in your area.

Aug 23, 2015 - Modified Aug 23, 2015
Ace01 - in reply to Firefly1504

Also I think printing the tubes out fo Nylon-230 from Taulman will be strong enough. Low temp Nylon material 230 C Could you design the tubes as a STL file and I will print them in Nylon-230 and let you know if they are strong enough.

wow. you are my hero amazing buddy great work .....

Really great job, the tolerances are just perfect!

Thank you so much for these files :)

these parts are Awesome... great job... many thanks for sharing...

This is a must have, Looking for a 3D hub around Sarasota Fl.. there just so expensive...

im in miami working with 3d hub but i can ship . anywhere.

How much to print the frame, I'm in Sarasota FL...

u need to go 3dhub and upload the files the system will calculate the price for you. and for the shipping is only like $6 dollars ok

I already stated I don't want to use a HUB, I will find a private printer thank you..

Nice to hear that you like it. Make sure you get some spares.

Ouahhhhhhhh, thanks guy. Really good job

Already printing. Great job man

looking forward to the release.

This looks pretty sweet ! I was looking at the immersionrc and was hoping to print it. This looks just like it. Cant wait for the release ;)

Sadly all i have is pla. Why would you not recommend pla ?

It is stiffer then abs and you can only glue it. With abs you can use acetone to "melt" two peaces together. You can google for more information about the properties of abs and pla their are also downsides with abs but for parts in this size I can only recommend it. You can also melt broken peaces back together. In most cases you don't even see the melted spot.

Hey man, I'm so excited about this project. Congratulations! it looks awesome. Thanks for shearing!

Thats nice to hear @tindavila. If you want to be prepared for the release get yourself some ABS and Acetone or if you are printing with pla which I can't recommend get yourself some strong crazy glue.

Hi !!
I was looking a design like yours !! Would love to see it complete, but isn't it to close from the famous one ?

Aug 8, 2015 - Modified Aug 8, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to papagayo69

I would say yes its close to the famous other quadcopter but definitely not the same and of cause could never be a competitor. This other quadcopter has features that a 3d printed one can not have. If you found what you are looking for be happy with that ;)

Don't get me wrong it wasn't a complain at all !! For sure it cannot be a competitor, and the original one is probably unbeatable, but's so cool to have that "racing" touch.. All the other designs I could find are quite "basics" (but still nice, I'm flying an mhq2 and love it !), this one looks awesome !!

Aug 8, 2015 - Modified Aug 8, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to papagayo69

No worries I have been flying the MHQ 2 too for the last 2 month but constantly crashed the bumper balls out of the frame which got pretty annoying from time to time when I forgot to bring tweezers.
So I reached out and had a look at different frames and this one was the most appealing to me :D
I got some other designs in the making for bigger quads too so stay tuned.

Are you making this by yourself ? Nice for the bigger ones, I'm currently thinking going bigger so I'll stay tuned for sure !! If you need any help, or beta testing just let me know !! Thanks anyway for your work, do you plan to release the other parts soon ?

Aug 9, 2015 - Modified Aug 9, 2015
Firefly1504 - in reply to papagayo69

Yes I am making this by myself. I will release everything in the next week so I guess in a few days I just could not fly fav with it yet and I still need to crash it a few times to make sure that there is no awfully weak points.
It won't be to long.

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