How to build your own drone

DIY Drone

The number of drones available on the market is ever-increasing, however, you may find that the drones currently on offer don’t suit your individual needs. Fortunately, you can build your own drone from scratch and create a unique, personalised gadget that is tailored to your requirements.

Regardless of whether you’re looking for the ultimate drone racing partner, or a drone that can withstand all the elements, starting from scratch allows you to create the ideal drone for you, and it’s rewarding too! Find out how to build a drone step by step in this guide.

What will you need to make a drone?

The tools you need will largely depend on the type of drone you want to build, however, there are some key components that all drones require. These include:

  • Motors
  • Electronic speed control
  • Flight controller
  • The drone frame
  • Propellers
  • Batteries
  • Connectors
  • Camera (if you want to build your own camera drone)
  • Gimbal
  • A mounting pad
  • A micro SD card
  • An RC receiver

If you’re having trouble finding parts for your drone, websites such as RoboShop and Hobby King stock all the components for drone building, as well as DIY kits with all the right equipment included.

Making your drone

Now you’ve got the parts, it’s time to put them all together! Read on to discover how to build a quadcopter drone:

1. Construct a frame

You can use whichever materials you like to construct the drone frame, just make sure to pick materials which can hold structure and shape, such as wood, plastic or metal. For a quadcopter, you’ll need to make your frame into an X shape, and each propeller will go on each point of the ‘X’.

2. Assemble your drone’s motors

For this step, you’ll need to make holes in your frame for the motors. Then, fix the motor to the frame with screws and a screwdriver.

If you’re building a drone from a kit, you may find that the motors come with mounts that make it easier for you to affix them to the frame.

3. Mount your electronic speed controllers (ESCs)

After attaching the motors, you’ll need to attach your ESCs to the bottom of your drone’s frame. This will free up more space for other components to be added to the top.

4. Attach the landing gear

You’ll need to attach landing gear to your drone to absorb the shock when it lands on solid ground. This will help you to avoid any costly repairs and accidents with your drone!

Be sure to opt for a material that’s both flexible and strong, such as plastic, so that it absorbs the shock and doesn’t break.

5. Add your flight controller

A flight controller is an essential for any drone. This allows your drone to stay stable whilst in flight, and make sense of all the shifts and changes in the wind. You can make these yourself, however, it’s easier to get a ready-made controller if it’s your first time building a drone from scratch.

Once you’ve found the right controller, you need to mount it to your drone. Make sure to attach a piece of sponge underneath the controller to reduce the vibrations coming from the drone.

6. Connect LibrePilot to your drone

The software ‘LibrePilot’ allows you to control and test UAVs, however, you’ll need to connect your ESCs to your flight controller and also connect your drone to the remote control first. You’ll need to find a tutorial online for your specific flight controller for this step.

Once you’ve done this, you can connect LibrePilot to your drone and check that everything is working via the software.

7. Take your drone for a spin!

Now that all the hard work is done, it’s time to take your drone for a spin! Don’t forget to choose an open space free from buildings, crowds of people, and aircrafts to avoid any unfortunate incidents.

Opt for a custom drone case to keep your kit safe

Here at the Case Farm, we stock a range of drone cases for fully-fledged drones such as the DJI Mavic Pro. However, if you’ve made yours from scratch, you’ll also need a protective solution to keep it safe whilst you’re on the move.

Opt for a custom foam drone case to house your drone and it’s valuable components to keep it safe and sound no matter where you go.

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