It can be overwhelming, especially if you want to join in on the drone-driving party. Now, one group of Greek engineers have a challenge for you, that will scratch that DIY itch and give you ‘I built a freakin drone’ bragging rights. Developed by Andreas Gad, John Sioulas and Haziq Ismail, the X01 Project calls for people to construct their own coaxial UAV using 3D printed parts.
Inspired by Masten Space Systems’ 715lb Xombie B-class Type A lander, the X01 replaces a proprietary regeneratively cooled isopropyl alcohol and liquid oxygen rocket with a couple prop mounted motors–brings cost down a bit. The Masten Xombie qualified for level one of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge X Prize in 2009, and later qualified for first place with their Xoie lander.
In contrast to the Marsten vehicles, the X01 Xombie body is fairly simple, consisting of 24 printed parts no bigger than 150mm and printed with a 35% infill. So, you don’t need a large print bed for this project. A minimum bed size of 15 x 15 x 15 cm is recommended. The attraction is the unique design and ease of build. The claim is an estimated price of $150 and loads of functionality. What’s even more unique is how you attach the pieces together. There’s no need to buy special adhesive. It all clips and snaps together–3 cage parts, 2 base parts, 4 vanes and 4 legs. All parts from battery to controller are readily available and available to order online.
Anyone interested in starting their own build can visit the official site for step-by-step instructions, all the STL files, a list of needed parts, support and future updates for €29 (scroll to the bottom). They recommend using a local source via 3Dhubs if you don’t have your own 3D printer.
In the future they plans to add camera gimbal and telemetry, gps and more sizes. The team is looking for feedback, tips, and suggestions from makers and drone aficionados since this is their first project. If you want to get in on the action, print out your parts and get familiar with the basic electronics, this build is a good start outside of buying a coaxial copter at the local big-chain department store. Plus, you’re supporting some independent engineers in Greece in the process. Give them a visit.