I Guess I'm into Drones Now

I made a small drone body so I wouldn't feel buyer's remorse for my 8 y/o 3D printer

I wanted to do a quick day project this past weekend to utilize my 3D printer a little more than I already do (which is not at all). I asked my parents for a Printrbot simple metal as a graduation gift after High school. As far as 3D printers go, this thing has proven to be a solid tool. Coincidentally, I also got a cheap drone from radioshack as a graduation gift, and it's not bad for what it is.

Fast Forward 8 years and I have an idea to design print a drone body to challenge my limited CAD skills and fire up the 3D printer again. I started by removing the plastic body off the radioshack drone.

Drone Components

I took the disassembled drone and laid it out on graphing paper. There, I was able to measure out how big it would be. It was so small.. it has a 7 cm width overall. It was the perfect size to be able to print and iterate on. My printer does move slow, even by 3D printing standards, so the smaller the better.


I designed out a body that was light and sturdy, utilizing a voronai generator to remove material from the base. I took a bit of a risk and designed the motor mounts to allow me to snap the motors into them. I didn't know if this would work, so I printed a couple tests to see how it worked. I got to an iteration I was decently happy with, so I went ahead and started printing the full thing.

3 misprints later, I finally got something that was pretty solid.

the 'final' project

the snaps worked on 3 of the 4 arms, which is more than I was expecting. for the 4th, I will have to secure it with some hot glue and zip ties and see how it holds up.