Building a custom Quadcopter from scratch

A couple of years ago I started looking at what it would take to make a quadcopter.  At the time, I only had the limited tools at the Austin hackerspace available to me (which I don’t think even has a space anymore).  So I shelved the idea since I didn’t see a time effective way to make any of the components.  Fast forward to a few months ago when I joined the TechShop in Austin.  Now I have no excuses to not make a custom Quadrotor.

This project isn’t about building the electronics, senor hardware, or control software.  In fact, we’re using the Ardupilot to drive the copter.  Instead it is a collaborative effort with my friend,Mike, where we are focused entirely on the hardware aspect.  We’re using practically all of the tools in the Techshop in order to make this Quadrotor.   Prototyping is being done with a Shopbot (CNC Rotuer), 3D Printers (Makerbot), and Laser cutters.  The final components will be made with a metal CNC (Tormac), Waterjet, and probably the 3D printers and laser cutters.

Software like Autocad Inventor, Vcarve Pro, and Illustrator (all available on the computers there) are being utilized as well.

You can checkout the project page for the Quadrotor for an overview.  As I learn more about how to make the parts and such, I’ll writeup posts tagged with Quadrotor.

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