Xrotors is developing a 3D printable folding drone. If you missed my first post please check from following link:


or you can visit www.xrotors.net for more info. 

These days I have been testing gimbal version of the drone. 

Below images are renderings of the gimbal.


Mantis280 now has 2 axis gimbal for RUNCAM2 hd camera. 

It is may be one of the smallest gimbal camera for RUNCAM2. 

Check the video below. 

It still needs some tuning and adjustments but for the size of the drone, I think it works pretty good. 

Overall weight including the gimbal and battery, weight is near 500g total. 

More updates will come. 

If you have any questions, leave a message. 

Thank you all,


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  • @Tom

    I actually noticed the EagleEi project after making myself. It looks like the motor used for the project is also different I guess.

    Mine uses motors from here http://fpvline.com/store/brushgimbalsmotors/200-skypro-1806-80t-the...

    My initial try was making the gimbal with one pitch control arm and found it is too weak to hold RUNCAM2. So I made the second arm with roller bearings to hold the other end of the camera and works much better just like what EagleEi did. 

    Also for the controller, I have been used BASECAM's 8bit controller so far howevetor it looks like storm32 is also very small and useful. I definitely would try it too.


  • @quadzimodo

    thanks, can't believe i missed that

  • Looks inspired from the EagleEi project. Do you use the storm32 also, i love this controller! :)

  • MR60

    Very good weight to be able to embark a fullHD Runcam on a brushless gimbal.

    How did you attach the gimbal frame to the quad to dampen so well the vibrations ?

  • Hi John,

    Thanks for the comment. That is exactly the kind of feedback I have been waiting for. 

    First of all, size and weight is not the only part of uniqueness of my drone. 

    If I aim to design it as light as possible, I could have made sub 100g drone or even lighter. 

    And of course you can buy foldable drone for just around $100-150. I do have made some of them too. 

    However most of their designs are not as effective as I initially thought in terms of portability.

    Airdog for example, the manufacturer claims its folding design helps people carrying around easily but are they?

    I don't think so. The size of the drone is still too big. 

    If I cut the size in half or even smaller, another problem arise. Off the shelf gimbal is no longer available in this class. And in this size, even the thick and lengthy battery wires become serious matter. 

    So I start to think about the way to save more weight from the battery and in conclusion, modular battery is the answer. 

    Then I thought about putting modular battery into the shell. Phantom or Parrot's Bebop did a quite good job in dealing with modular battery but I tried to find even better solution. Combining folding mechanism with battery insertion. 

    Now I don't have to put force to insert or remove the battery. I just fold the arm and the battery will slid in. 

    This is the kind of innovation I have been looking for and uniqueness of the design. 

    In the end, I can achieve portability, ease of battery swapping, saving rooms of my bag and small sized gimbal.

    I hope you now understand my purpose of developing my own drone and showing off.


  • was also my first thought, weight?

    I always question the economics, time and resources used and what we are trying to achieve when it comes to making something using my 3D printer. 

    For sure it makes no sense to make items on a 3D printer that we can readily buy and only for a few dollars in a super market, where as if we want to build something hard to find, not made before and not available, and to prototype it then yes it makes great sense and use of a 3D printer.

    I do also applaud the joy to just have fun to design and make things , is also great value in itself in just the learning of it.

    So I ask the question on this build. What is it trying to achieve when it quite easy now to buy foldable quad frames off the self and for as little ans $50-$100? 

    My first thought when I saw your post was how light is the end result compared to what we can buy of the shelf?

    Is the printable version as light or lighter ?, is it as strong or stronger? What is the end cost in materials and time?

    What are the pros and cons?

  • Bjorn - "Overall weight including the gimbal and battery, weight is near 500g total"
  • Weight?

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