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andyeb
(@andyeb)
Active Member
For anyone struggling with Prusa 3D printed drone

Hi everyone,

For anyone else struggling to complete the 3D printed drone project featured on the Prusa blog back in late November:

https://www.prusaprinters.org/how-to-build-a-3d-printed-micro-drone/

Here are some tips:

- if you are wanting to do this project, be aware it can take up to 6 weeks to source the parts from Banggood - everything was shown as In Stock when I placed the order, but parts have arrived in dribs and drabs. 6 weeks later I have enough to get the drone in the air, but I'm still waiting on the FPV headset. If you are in a hurry, you might want to source parts locally.

- the motors come with the required mounting bolts

- you'll need some zip ties for assembly. the ones left over from building my i3 mk3 were perfect.

- the radio receiver featured in the video different to that listed in the parts list. The suggested parts list suggests a FlySky transmitter (tx) and receiver (rx). Note that FlySky is different and distinct to FrSky. These two should not be confused!

- the binding process to link the transmitter and receiver is different for the receiver listed on the parts list - follow the instructions given on the banggood product page for the receiver.

Be aware that if you bought the FlySky FS-i6 transmitter on the parts list, there will be no acknowledgement of the successful bind on the receiver, contrary to the instructions which came with the transmitter!

- the video shows the receiver being connected to the Flight Controller SBUS input. However because the receiver on the parts list speaks IBUS, the yellow data cable from the receiver actually needs to be soldered to the DSMX input on the Flight Controller. If you can't get your transmitter to show input when the Flight Controller is connected to BetaFlight, this is probably the reason.

- you need to select the IBUS serial provider in BetaFlight when configuring your flight controller (this is mentioned as an option in the video, without further explanation)

- it seems to be OK to have the battery and USB connected to the flight controller at the same time, and this will be required to test the motors. This was not made clear in the video.

- when testing the motors in the BetaFlight interface, theres a little safety toggle switch that needs to be switched on before the motors are activated. I don't think this was shown in the video. If you can't move the motor sliders, this is why.

- the grey cable connecting the receiver can be removed - it is not required.

- it might be prudent to thread-lock the bolts mounting the motor

- I had no use for the servo cable which was on the parts list. Not sure what this was intended for.

- buy lots of batteries. There are probably better quality options available.

- while you are waiting for parts to arrive, order a USB dongle for your transmitter and practice FPV drone flying while on your computer

- print your drone frame in a light coloured PETG. I just used what I happened to have around which was translucent dark blue. This does not show up well against grass when flight line-of-sight.

- the FPV camera mount is flimsy and will probably be the subject of my first mod for this.

- the drone could use some legs. This will probably be the subject of my second mod.

For the curious, here is a bit of background between the differences between SBUS and IBUS:

https://oscarliang.com/pwm-ppm-sbus-dsm2-dsmx-sumd-difference/

(Had I read the above before assembly, I probably would have got it right first time!)

What did you learn during the process of assembling your 3D printed drone?

And if anyone from Prusa is listening - please open source the CAD files for this project!

Kind regards,

Andrew

Posted : 09/01/2019 9:38 am
rob.l6
(@rob-l6)
Honorable Member
Re: For anyone struggling with Prusa 3D printed drone

Can't wait for some news on test flights, perhaps even a vid or two. 😎

Posted : 09/01/2019 10:07 am
Pierre
(@pierre-2)
New Member
Re: For anyone struggling with Prusa 3D printed drone

Thank you very much, Andrew, for your help with this great article. This solved a lot of my Problems... Now I can connect to my drone.

Best regards,
Pierre

Posted : 11/01/2019 12:24 am
rkayakr
(@rkayakr)
Trusted Member
Re: For anyone struggling with Prusa 3D printed drone

I've had the same experience with Banggood. I'm still waiting for parts I originally ordered on December 12th, 2018. Twice I've had the experience of ordering a part listed as in stock, getting notice weeks later that it is out of stock and asking if I want to wait or reorder.

Any suggestions for simulator hardware and software?

Posted : 23/01/2019 6:45 pm
Milos V.
(@milos-v)
Prominent Member
Re: For anyone struggling with Prusa 3D printed drone

Hi Andrew,
have you already worked on some mods? 🙂 I am quite unhappy with the legs, or better with no legs. There are ends of the zip-ties in the botton as well as motor wires. Because of this the drone is not sitting leveled on the floor, also it is not possible to use accelometer calibration in BetaFlight because of it. An I am scared to damage the motor wires during hard landing (which I realized during my very flrst flying is quite often).
I am testing now with some preliminary landing gear ( https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3448034 ) I made very fast, but I would like to have something more soft to soften the hits during landing.
If somebody has got some mods, share with us 😉

Thank you for the tips for building, I would not realize the different bus typ and would spend a lot of time with troubleshooting. One more comment, attached battery is necessary also for receiver / trasmitter testing, not just for motor testing. And on the trasmitter you have to define channels and switches in the menu to trasmit the signals from the switches (menu comes after holding OK).

Milos

Posted : 23/02/2019 8:32 pm
culbear
(@culbear)
New Member
Re: For anyone struggling with Prusa 3D printed drone

IS anyone good with working on gimbals? seems to me all the gimbals are super expensive(i have a typhoon h)

Posted : 01/03/2019 1:40 am
PunyPaladin
(@punypaladin)
New Member
RE: For anyone struggling with Prusa 3D printed drone

Hi folks,

How did your drones turn out?  

I'm looking to make a FPV drone like this. Reading through the comments on the original blog post and here, it seems this isn't exactly a simple "buy, print, build, fly" project. Several of the parts are discontinued.  

 

Would you recommend this project for someone new to drones?

Posted : 21/12/2020 10:44 pm
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