Dirt-cheap throwaway cargo drone


I'm looking for a design (parts list, assembly diagrams & instructions) for a dirt-cheap DIY quadcopter or octocopter cargo drone. 

Because of the environmental conditions that it'll be facing, it's not expected to survive more than a few flights. I expect the drone to last a few weeks to a month at most.

It needs to carry a 5 kg cargo package of environmental sensors reliably from point A to point B and back under operator or software control in bad weather.

This is not a racing drone!  It's fine if it flies at only 35 km/hr for 20 minutes and has a range of only 5 km.

Because the drone has a short life, the design should use the cheapest parts available.

Any tips on design, parts and assembly diagrams and instructions will be much appreciated!



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  • I can't 3D print the motors, wiring harnesses, webcams, and digital/RF boards, therefore I need to find them cheaply. If we can't find inexpensive ready-to-use frames and arms, we may opt to 3D print the frame and the rotor arms. Eli, I appreciate your response. https://monkeyfarm.io/
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  • I am new here, but have you looked into 3d printing a drone or the drone parts?
    • The motors, wiring harnesses, webcams, and digital/RF boards are what I'm looking to source cheap, and they can't be 3D printed. The frame and rotor arms can be 3D printed and we might do that if we can't find cheap ready-to-go frames and arms. Thanks for your reply, Eli!
      • Depending on your time frame, you could look at Aliexpress. Takes a while to come here, but the prices are good.
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