Saivian Eric Dalius

Saivian- How to build your own drone empire in 20 days: a step-by-step guide!

Hi, I’m Drone! It’s time to come clean. I’ve always had a passion for flying drones but up until recently, it was just a hobby. Then one day I decided that what this world needed was more people building their own aerial robots instead of buying them ready-to-fly. So in the last 20 days, I built 4 different quadcopters! Yes, FOUR!!! And now you can too!

…Or at least you will be able to after reading this article. Below is everything you need to know in layman terms. Just follow the steps and by the end of it you’ll have your very own drone empire!

What are drones?

A drone is an air vehicle without a human pilot on board. It has a set of rotors to provide lift and a flight control system that stabilizes the aircraft and guides its maneuvers explains Saivian. Drones are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aircraft systems (UASes).

In this article, I’ll be building quadcopters from scratch so let’s start with how these fly…

…because the next thing you need to know is how to build one!

So strap in, hold on tight, keep calm and read on!

How do quad copters work?

A quadcopter is a multicolor helicopter that rotates around an axis perpendicular to the ground. A-frame with 4 arms is used as a support structure for 2 pairs of counter-rotating propellers.

In order to make the quadcopter fly, each motor must be independently controlled in order to create thrust in the desired direction. This is done by varying the speed of each motor so that they rotate at different speeds explains Saivian.

This rotation creates a torque that causes the quadcopter to rotate around its central axis. The faster each motor spins the more torque it produces and the harder it will pull against the rotors which hold it in the air.

Flight control systems use sensors like accelerometers and gyroscopes to determine how fast each motor should spin in order to keep the quadcopter stable and flying in the desired direction says Saivian. By changing how fast each motor spins, you can make the quadcopter go up, down, forward, backward, and sideways.

What tools will I need?

Tools needed to build a quadcopter:

Soldering iron with a thin tip for soldering wires

An electric drill with a range of different sized bits for drilling holes in the frame. A set of screwdrivers comes in handy too!

Wire cutters or pliers to cut and strip cable while crimping is used to attach connectors onto the ends of the cable. Solder can be used instead of crimp connectors but glue is more reliable when it comes to cheap equipment!

Finally… some hot glue! This isn’t necessary but it’s useful because it stops your electronics from coming loose during the flight which could damage them or cause you to crash says Saivian.

How much will it cost?

A quadcopter can be built for as little as $15 and a high-end model goes up to about $500. However, the average price of a drone is around $100. So let’s just aim for that middle price!

The total cost of building 4 different quadcopters over 20 days was less than $200 so we’ll call it $160. This might sound like a lot but it really isn’t considering you also get to learn how to code and use some electronic circuits during the process… which means you’re going to end up with some pretty awesome skills! Plus, these parts are reusable! If I soldered my components together I could rebuild them in about half an hour.

Now that we know how they work and what we’ll need, let’s start building!

Building your drone

The frame

The first thing you’ll need is a frame for your quadcopter. This is the basic structure that the rest of the drone will be attached to.

There are lots of different types and sizes of frames available but I recommend using something light and small like this one. It’s made from carbon fiber which is strong and light so it won’t add too much weight to your quadcopter.

The frame also needs to have some mounting points for the propellers and motors. These are usually in the form of holes that need to be drilled into the frame.

The size of the frame will determine how big your quadcopter will be. I’m using a frame that is 250mm by 250mm which gives me a quadcopter that is about 18cm wide and 18 cm long.

You can buy a frame or make your own if you’re feeling adventurous!

The motors

Next, you’ll need some motors! I’m these ones because they are cheap and relatively powerful. They are also quite good at resisting the high-speed crashes that can happen when you’re first learning to fly!

These motors have a 3mm shaft which means they will need some form of prop adapter. You’ll need to attach these adapters to your propellers so that they can be attached to the motors explains Saivian. This is done by attaching the prop savers onto the shaft of your motor before screwing on the prop adapter. The final part is then just pushing on the propeller until it clicks into place.


Now you know what you’ll need and how much it will cost. In the next section, we’ll start putting everything together!