I just joined this forum with new id to share some info about this new drone project I started. 

This drone named Mantis280 is a 280 size quadcopter with fold-able arm and modular battery.

Modular battery is specially designed to slide into the body by un-folding the arm and fitted to the main connector thus secure both the battery and rear arms.


This battery module will be manufactured by China based company and development is in progress.

Below video will help understand how this work.

This drone is quite small but have enough room to accommodate different FCs including huge Pixhawk.


Below picture shows all the components needed to build this drone and they all can be 3d printed!

I used one of high-end 3d printers for this but I am sure any low-cost 3d printer can print this.


Although it is not fully tested yet, I am sure this platform will be very helpful for some researchers and even some professionals with right controllers. 

I am planning to raise funds to make full product by crowdfunding such as Kickstarter. 

Exact launch date is not fixed yet though, if you like this project please follow us and help raise funds!

Thanks all,


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  • Hi all, 

    We haven't printed the drone with PETG and looks like that is something we should try next time.

    The longest part is as long as 184 mm in length. 

    Per the flight time, we marked 15 min with 3S 1500 mAh battery and FPV gears on. 

    Our battery supplier offered 1800mAh for the product and we're excited about how that improves flying time.

    When all the tests are finished and ready to make final product, printable file will be readily available for free download with the purchase of at least one battery module from us.

    Making the battery module with printed shell is not too hard but requires extensive modification of Li-Po battery which may results severe injury if not handled properly. We don't want to let people do risky work just to make our product. ;)

    More test video and photos will be posted so stay tuned! 


  • hi,

    pls introcuce you FPV video transmitter and reciever pair set and radio RC  transmitter and reciever pair long does your video  recieve without any loss.  pls reveal the total mass of drone using printed material.

  • what flight times are you getting with the beerotor motors? :)

  • I have a 3d Printer which is a Delta style printer.  How large in millimeters is you largest part?  I almost exclusively use PETG filament materials as I've found it to be quite resilient to stresses with low flexing.  Be interested in printing and giving this airframe a shake or two.  :-)

  • Moderator
    PETG is a very good idea, well worth a try. It's a nice design and if the weight can be kept low it should perform well. I do believe there is quite a sizeable market for 3d printed machines if the stl files are supplied. Best of luck, let us know how it goes.
  • You should try PETG for the arms it may improve durability but still got some flex to it to eat up some vibrations.

  • Hi Samuel,

    Thank you for your comment. We mainly print the parts with abs filament using uPrint printer. We will test if it can be printed using more popular 3d printers as well. Per the strength, crash resistance is mainly depends on the way drone crashes tho, we found our folding mechanism greatly reduces chances of breaking arms even when hit relatively hard. 

    All the parts can be reproduced by printing, so replacing parts is no problem. 

    RM Aviation thanks for your comments too! ;)

  • Moderator
    One of the advantages of 3d printing is the availability of modifying the prints to suit your requirements. Any decent slicer software can be configured to print lightweight or stronger parts, combine this with the better filaments and it's really up to you. The carbon fibre filament is very strong if configured correctly and it's very light weight. Initially our printer was only used for rapid prototyping but nowadays you can print a whole machine in a day and for next to no outlay- makes racing through trees much less stressful!
  • nice work.

    It looks like almost every part can be 3d-printed for your drone.  and 3d-printing is very interesting. so, what is 3d-printer you have been using? but, how much crash-resistant it can be?

  • Hi Tom, 

    Yes, the parts will be open source so everyone can print the parts. 

    And the battery module will be available for purchase with competitive price. I am negotiating with battery company with this.

    Of course we are going to sell fully assembled drone as RTF or BNF.

    Will let you know when we are ready to open the .stl files. ;)

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