Ducted Fan Design: Is It Worth It?


A few of us are wanting to make our own ducted fans out of either carbon fiber or kevlar. We want to make them modular and easily installable on the currently manucatured quad or hex frames sold by DIYDrones. This is a very preliminary shot at it. The idea being that you accomplish two things:

1) You eliminate tip losses from your rotor which increases efficiency and flight time.

2) You offer some protection for when you crash and burn.


Has anyone tried this before? What are your thoughts?


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  • So I was playing around with CAD and Shapeways,  Came up with a quick L shaped ring.  I am going to get the 9 inch one and the cheaper of the 10 inch designs to see how they line up.  I tried for .5 inches of clearance on the propellers.  If anyone can tell how much their white sintered plastic weighs.  The 9 inch one is 15.94 cm³, 10inch v2 is 19.30cm³ of the 10 inch v1 is 31.3cm³.


  • I would love to add them, I feel that they make the drone look more finished. 

  • At this scale, tip losses don't account for much, so don't do it for that reason.  If you want an efficiency improvement, a slightly longer prop works much better, especially if you spend much time in forward flight mode (as opposed to mostly hovering).  They do look cool, and there is an undeniable benefit in avoiding prop strike impacts.

  • I gave this ago a couple of months back mainly to protect the props but i didnt research the science behind it all. It's a 30cm duct to fit a 12" prop. It was U shaped to begin with but locked itself on to the mould. Had to trim it in to a J and had a fight with it for 2 hours before it released.

    You'd need a upper and lower mould to get a class A finish on both sides too

    Below is the what i eneded up with. So far its untrimmed. Its something i may revisit soon


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