AMS Spring 2023

3D Printing Helps This Star Wars TIE Fighter RC Quadcopter Patrol a Galaxy Far, Far Away

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3dp_tiefighter_drone_fullWith the seventh film only days away from rocketing into theaters, and probably leaving shattered box office records in its wake, Star Wars is likely on every nerd’s mind right now. Since Disney purchased the film series from its creator George Lucas a few years ago they have wasted little time in using their impressive merchandising apparatus to milk the property for everything that it’s worth. But even with stores selling everything from Stormtrooper clock radios to R2D2 trash cans, as well as every Star Wars toy that you can possibly imagine being available, there are always going to be some things that Star Wars fans will just need to make for themselves.3dp_tiefighter_drone_controller

While he never gave a specific reason, why Imgur user Woodpiece would want a flying TIE Fighter quadcopter probably isn’t a hard question to answer. But thankfully he did provide an answer for exactly how he built his TIE Fighter quadcopter. Not only did he post a bunch of pictures of him assembling the quad, he also included an assembly tutorial. Although if anyone is looking to make one of these things for themselves, it looks like this wasn’t a project for beginners so they’ll probably need to know a little something about building quadcopters and drones.

The 3D printed custom motor mounts.

The 3D printed custom motor mounts.

Woodpiece started his build by buying a First Order TIE Fighter toy from the new line of toys released for the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie. He disassembled the toy, removed or Dremeled anything that was unnecessary or weighted the toy down, and began customizing components from a tiny drone to fit inside of it. He started by cutting some slits in the TIE Fighter’s fins that would allow the mini rotors to spin and provide enough lift to get it off of the ground. Then he used a standard 250 quad setup and 3D printed the custom motor mounts so they would fit inside the wings and run directly into the center of the toy.

The hollowed out cockpit of the TIE Fighter is where all of the main quadcopter electronics and components fit, and he didn’t need to Dremel anything as there was plenty of space for it all to fit inside. The cockpit holds the flight controller, multiwii flip 1.5 from ready2flyquads.com, which sits snugly at the bottom with the motor controllers and the battery sitting on top of it. You can see from the picture of the inside of the cockpit that there was no room to spare, but Woodpiece managed to cram everything in.

You can see video of the TIE Fighter quadcopter patrolling Woodpiece’s backyard here:

As you can hear from the video, the TIE Fighter is hilariously loud, mainly because of the way that the toy’s wings interact with the lift provided by the rotors. And while the noise coming from the drone sounds more like the souls of the dead screaming when the gate to Hell is being opened and less like the trademark screaming sound that it makes in the movies, it still is an impressive noise that is sure to scare away any neighborhood cats. Discuss this design in the 3D Printed TIE Fighter forum on 3DPB.com.  You can see more pictures of the TIE Fighter quadcopter being customized and assembled here, and check out another action video below:

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