Customising FPV drones with 3D prints
I don’t know about you, but I like to customise my FPV equipment.
I have made some changes to my DJI goggles, some upgrades to my TX16S radio, and of course to my drones.
Customisations can be functional or just aesthetics, but I have found that the most important part of this customisation process is 3D printing, and in this hobby you can do a lot with a 3D printer and some TPU.
If you don’t know, TPU is a kind of flexible filament used when you 3D print. It’s quite resistant to crashes, and since you crash a lot in FPV, this is the best choice.
There are a lot of 3D printers, and since I knew nothing about 3D printing when I started this journey, I decided to buy one that had a lot of community support and didn’t break the bank. So I went with the Prusa mini when I started on this new world.
How does this work? Well, the simplest way is to find a STL file on the internet, on a place like thingiverse, download it and print it. If you are lucky and the design fits your needs, then is just to click on a button and wait for your final product.
But you can be unlucky during this process, maybe because the part doesn’t fit completely your needs, or because your printer doesn’t do what you want it to do.
Despite the fact that 3D printers have improved a lot during the last years, they are still not for everyone. You need to like fiddling with it, and be prepared to do some repairs, upgrades, and changes.
A few weeks after I received the Prusa mini I started to get under extrusion, that is when the printer doesn’t push enough plastic out of the nozzle to do your prints. I spent many hours trying to troubleshoot it, with help of friends, and Prusa remote technical support, but after a couple of days I was ready to throw the printer out of the window full of frustration.
Luckily, a good soul read about my frustrations in one FaceBook group and offered some help. This person’s name is Olof Ogland, who again, just by luck, lives in the same city as me, and knew quite a lot about this printer.
Olof is an artist, with music and with 3D prints, has helped companies like Bondtech with parts designs, and is very generous with his knowledge.
At the end the guy not only fixed my printer, but did some upgrades that he has designed which made my printer much better.
Olof is starting his youtube channel which you can find here, and is part of many 3D printing communities in the world. Big thanks to him!
If the part doesn’t fit your needs, you will need to design it, in a program like Fusion 360 or Onshape or any other CAD program. Not many have this skill set, but it’s extremely useful when put together with 3D printing.
I’m not an expert at all, in fact I’m not even a beginner in this area, but I’m learning, and I’m already doing parts that I’m proud about which can help me with holding my antennas in the right place, at the same time that gives a good look to my drones.
Remember, if you need some help printing a part you design or find on the internet, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly help you print your part!You can also find a video version of this blog entry here: