How To Build a Cardboard Quadcopter

Step Three – Tape The Edges

This is an important step. The edges of cardboard aren’t particularly strong. To keep them from getting crushed and damaged over time, we need to place tape across them. The type of tape we use is also important. A paper gum tape is the best. This is the kind where you wet one side with a sponge to make it sticky, like a stamp. As an added bonus feature, it comes in white. You’ll want to use a gum tape if you’re going to coat the frame in polyurethane or resin later. Coatings will dramatically increase the stiffness and strength of the frame, at the expense of a little bit more weight. You can also use a craft paper and glue in lieu of tape.

If you’re not going to coat the frame, use brown paper boxing tape. Avoid clear boxing tape, it’s terrible and comes undone easily. The brown paper boxing tape is very strong.

Start by taping the top edges, and on the undersides. For the motor mount area I wrap an extra layer of tape around the arm. I also cover the feet, as they take a lot of impact.

Put a tiny little piece of tape over each tab, and re-cut the paperclip slit with a knife. This will make the tabs easier to insert without them getting damaged.

Once all the tabs and edges ares taped, we’re ready to assemble the frame. Slot the arms together, and push them gently into the upper plate. Add a pair of paper clips, and set the bottom plate aside. To make the paper clips easier to remove later, I bend them up at 90 degrees on one side, and then slot them in.