If you’re interested in owning a drone, you may be wondering how difficult it is to build a homemade one. In this article, you’ll learn about the main challenges of building a homemade drone, how long it takes, and the cost of building a drone compared to buying one.
You’ll also learn about the benefits of building your own drone versus purchasing one. In the end, the choice is yours!
Challenges With Building A Homemade Drone
While building a homemade drone is a fun activity, there are some challenges to be aware of. First, you’ll need some technical skills to complete most drone builds. Drone building is, essentially, a combination of different skills such as electrical work and mechanical troubleshooting.
While plenty of tutorials and YouTube videos can guide you through the build process, many of these projects can be time-consuming and involve a significant level of technical skill to complete successfully.
There’s also some risk involved with building a drone as you may run into problems along the way. For instance, you may need to rewire a motor or controller, or you may need to troubleshoot wiring issues.
While it’s not uncommon for people to spend months on their drone builds, it’s helpful to understand up front that this process can take time to complete.
Troubleshooting skills are also essential. Let’s run through an example:
- You may need to swap propellers or adjust the motors if your drone doesn’t fly. Check the propellers for loose wires. The propellers should be blowing air down like a fan. The drone may spin backward if the propellers blow air up or down.
- If this is the case, you’ll need to reverse the motor wires or swap propellers from one motor to the next. Ensure your battery pack is also attached to the drone’s motors.
- Next, you must determine whether your homemade drone has enough power to fly. Brushless motors require three out-of-phase voltages to operate. If you’re planning on building an actual drone, you should connect the battery and the transmitter.
- Once the transmitter is powered, flick the arm switch and move the sticks to check for power. You may also need to check the disarm switch in case of a mishap.
You may find that during the build process, especially if it is your first, you must troubleshoot your drone several times before getting it right. The good news is that with practice, you’ll become an expert at troubleshooting your drone and completing your build projects successfully.
How Long Does It Take?
The time it takes to build a drone depends upon several factors, including your skill level and the materials you use to assemble your drone. Building a drone from scratch can be a lengthy process that can take anywhere from a few days to a few months.
Planning things out and having access to quality parts are essential factors for building a long-lasting drone, mechanically speaking. In our experience, it can take anywhere from a couple days to a couple months for a beginner to build their first drone from scratch. The faster you build your first drone and the more you research while you build, the easier it will be to build future drones for your collection.
Building Vs. Buying A Drone
When it comes to quadcopters, building vs. buying has its advantages and disadvantages. Building a quadcopter requires more knowledge than buying one. However, building a quadcopter might be for you if you have a passion for aerial photography and videography. Below are the pros and cons of each option. Listed below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of building vs. buying.
Learning to build a drone is a great way to understand the device’s inner workings. It will also teach you a new skill: drone repair. Repair services are notoriously expensive, so learning how to fix your drone can save you a lot of money.
Building a drone requires several considerations: price, materials, and time. Learning how to assemble a drone yourself is an excellent option for beginners who want to get deep into the hobby.
When it comes to building a drone, the cost is sometimes higher. But you get more customization options, a sense of accomplishment, and the ability to repair or upgrade your drone as you learn.
Moreover, building your drone means more control and precision in its assembly. It will also help you improve your piloting skills. The cost of building a drone will depend on your desire and need. But don’t let this deter you!
Several companies have entered the drone space, offering everything from software to drone hardware. Some offer complete support packages, complete with ready-to-use 3-D models. Still, some companies don’t work as well as others.
A recent Fortune article reported that software doesn’t work as smoothly as it should. Autodesk is getting into the drone industry, buying 3D Robotics and Skycatch, two companies with drone-related services.
Building a drone yourself is an excellent way to learn about drone technology. Alternatively, buying a drone kit is easy to get started if you’re not confident about your drone-building abilities.
Building An FPV Racing Drone
First, knowing the tools, you’ll need to build your FPV drone is essential. You’ll need:
- screwdriver with a Hex Key (or regular) head
- heat shrink and double-sided tape
The PDB or power distribution board is the central hub for your drone and can be mounted in almost any direction. The mounting choice will depend on where you plan to mount your USB connector and battery.
You should mount the PDB using rubber or nylon standoffs that fix through the drone’s frame. If you’re planning to build a more complex drone with many features, you’ll need to use a PDB.
Propellers are the next major component in a racing drone. They determine how fast a drone moves, and a gyroscope or accelerometer will help you control the drone’s angle.
You’ll also need a radio receiver, an FPV camera, and a flight controller. A beginner drone builder can get away with using less expensive propellers, but it’s best to use higher-end ones as you get more experienced.
DIY Drone Kits
A DIY drone kit might be the perfect gift for yourself or your children if you enjoy building things. DIY drone kits can cost anywhere from $200 to $500, depending on what you need to buy. Some kits include a flight controller and brushless motors for under $100 each.
More advanced drones can cost upwards of $1000 or more, so you’ll need to invest time and money to build a great drone. And remember, there are always improvements and new features to be made, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have much experience with drones.
Here are a few recommendations:
- HJ 450 Multicopter 450F nylon Fiber Frame Airframe kit Strong Smooth for DIY RC KK AMP2.8 MK MWC DIY Quadcopter plane
- Colored arms for orientation to keep you flying in the right direction, and large mounting tabs on main frame bottom plate for easy camera mounting.
- 30A Brushless ESC Speed Controller For RC Quadcopter Hexacopter. Before Producing, The Manufacturer Have Set Up The Program:Simonk Firmware, The Esc Do Not Need Additional Program.
- HJ 450 Multicopter 450F nylon Fiber Frame Airframe kit Strong Smooth RC KK MK MWC DIY Quadcopter plane
- 30A Brushless ESC Speed Controller For RC Quadcopter Hexacopter
- Flysky FS-i6 6CH 2.4G AFHDS 2A LCD Screen Transmitter iA6 Receiver Mode 2/1 Radio Remote Control System for RC Heli Glider Quadcopter MultiRotor
- Before Producing, The Manufacturer Have Set Up The Program, The Esc Do Not Need Additional Program.
- This ESC Do Not Have The English Instruction