The law defines an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) as “an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.” An unmanned aircraft does not have a human pilot onboard, but instead is controlled from the ground. UAS are most commonly referred to as drones, but also include radio-controlled, fixed-wing aircrafts, helicopters, rotorcraft models, and quadcopters. Students will learn about the science of flight and integrate digital fabrication technologies while designing and building their own palm sized quadcopter.
[Student] Prerequisite skills/knowledge
Students should be moderately comfortable in a Fab Lab environment and be capable of some amount of self-guided work. They should have some experience with the following software, processes and equipment:
Hardware / Software
Design Files attachment: QCC Chassis Template.svg
General Supply Checklist
Quadcopter Project Materials List
Note: These materials can be purchased directly from Hubsan, at http://www.hubsan.com/. However, their stock tends to be low. It is faster and cheaper to source and purchase parts through domestic importers, found on Amazon. Day-to-day stock and direct links continually change. As long as parts are purchased for the H107L model, they should work without issue. When purchasing, keep in mind that Hubsan sells many different models of quadcopters and drones, so make sure to purchase parts for the H107L.
I. Assembling the Internals
II. Chassis Digital Design
III. Making Prototypes
IV. Testing and Iteration
V. The Quadcopter Challenge
I. Assembling the Internals – 2 Hours
II. Chassis Digital Design – 2 Hours
III. Making Prototypes – 2 Hours
IV. Testing and Iteration – 3+ Hours
V. The Quadcopter Challenge – 2+ Hours
Differentiated Instruction (Extension Activities)
3D printing can be added to make several of the component on the quadcopter if the tools and time allow. Design software could be either Tinkercad, Fusion 360, Solidworks or any other package with similar capabilities. These parts include:
NGSS Engineering Standards
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
MS-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved
Common Core English Language Arts/Science & Technical Subjects Standards:
RST.6–8.1- Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
RST.6–8.7- Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
RST.6–8.9 – Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
WHST.6–8.7- Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
WHST.6–8.8 – Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources (primary and secondary), using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
WHST.6–8.9- Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
SL.8.5 – Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points.
Common Core Mathematics Standards:
7.EE.3- Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies.
7.SP.7.a,b- Develop a probability model and use it to find probabilities of events. Compare probabilities from a model to observed frequencies, if the agreement is not good, explain possible sources of the discrepancy.
Digital Fabrication Competencies: I Can Statements