How To Build a Cardboard Quadcopter

Step Two – Glue It Together

Next up we glue the pieces together. I use Super77 spray adhesive, which Joachim points out in the previous Tricopter build post, is expensive. It’s also not as strong as paper glue, but in practice, it really doesn’t matter all that much. In the 15 or so frames I’ve built so far, none has ever failed.

As the arm layers are symmetric, it’s possible to have all the exterior faces show the white side of the cardboard outward. Start by labeling the two middle arm layers, they’re the ones with the horizontal or vertical corrugation pattern. Placing them down, brown side up, along with two of the four outside layers, on a sheet of newsprint. Set the other two outside layers aside, we won’t be spraying them with glue. Spray the four total arm pieces with Super77.

To give myself a little wiggling room, I don’t wait until it’s dry before I carefully pick up the middle piece and place them each on their matching outside layer. Alignment is important, if the arms are misaligned it will be harder to mount the motors vertically later. If one of the motors is tilted slightly, it will cause minor yaw drift. You can usually trim this out in the controller though. Make sure you check the alignment of the notch corners.

Remember, it’s an accuracy test, not a speed test 😉

Then we spray one side of the bottom plate layers, and the underside of the upper top plate layer with glue. Again, alignment is important. While the orientation of the bottom plate doesn’t matter too much, make sure that the quadrino wire holes are oriented down, and that the label for motor A is in the upper left corner. Otherwise the labels will be wrong.

Now you should have 4 parts. The top plate, bottom plate, upper arm, and lower arm. Before we put them together though, we need to…