The world's first paper quadcopter

Fly paper! (formally called papyrus) A Quadcopter frame make out of paper for less than .20 cents Weight 61 grams!

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The worlds first paper quadcopter.

I am pretty sure this is the first quad made out of paper that anyone can make in 20 minutes or less with just plain paper. If I am wrong please corrected am and give me a link and I will credit them.
It is super easy to make. It is strong can take a bunch of crashes easy and keep on is super light and can carry a small cam.
How much does it weight? like 10 sheets of paper.

The First Paper Quadcopter by Tommy Gunn


I was sitting at my desk and had an urge to make something new something I had never made before I don’t know if you ever got a rush of a feeling to be creative and inventive I get that feeling a lot…Sometimes it’s just a false alarm and I just have to go to the bathroom.

I was thinking about  foam boards and how could I make a quadcopter with foam board I tried a bunch of ideas in my head doing A/style B/style folds in to triangle arms but in my mind it still would not hold up I wanted something really strong and I was kind of hungry. I got it! I decided to make bread something I had never made before nothing like food to get your ideas going! so I invited my little co-pilot to help me with that project soon enough we were making bread I told him how to mix,, fold and knead the dough as he was rolling the dough…


I kept thinking of something he kept rolling the dough it gave me an idea! we pop the bread in the oven and I started to build in my head then I got it! I got the bread out of the oven!


I let it cool down for a bit and then gave the sliced bread a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil…OMG! It was soo amazing!


Now I could go back to work on the project! while watching Jesse rolled the dough it reminded me of origami when I was a kid we used to make paper weapons like darts and throwing stars and they held up to abuse.


His rolling motion gave me the idea to roll paper in to a tube, the tighter the roll the stiffer and stronger it would be! So I took out some printer paper and started rolling… Rolling all that paper reminded me of my teenage years…


I rolled a really tight tube with 2 sheets I was so happy that I figured out how to make an arm out of paper that was very very strong I was chasing everyone around the house hitting and stabbing them with this hard as nails paper tube see it does not break! Ow! stop! So after the police came I stopped…ok so I had figured out how to make the arms but not the body.


You can print one sheet with you logo on the end so on the final roll your logo will appear perfect

also you may want to fill the end of the arm with hot glue for reinforcement so that the motor does not crush the paper tube.


I thought about crossing them but then it would not be even. so at this point I could not make a + copter ..Wait a minute why does it have to be crossed? No reason at all! as long as the motors are a certain distance from each other that is what matters so then I came up with a sled or h copter concept and that would work using the idea from a raft I would be able to make about 5-6 tubes made out of paper and glue them together for the body and then put 1 long tube across the front for the motor arms and the same in the back for the rear motors! Then cover that with a sheet of matte printer paper. That idea worked! 100% all paper quadcopter frame! Time for another sandwich! This time I add added ham to it!

Me being lazy I later switch the raft method to a simpler method which would be a foam board in the center with rails on both sides for a couple of reasons. Stiffer, lighter,stronger faster to make.

So to make the rails you will roll 2 sheets on the 8.5 side of the paper and for the arm you will roll 3 sheets on the 1 inch side of the paper it all in the video above.

Ok now I decide to reinforce the rails and arms by adding Popsicle stick and zip ties, even tho the hot glue should be enough I just want to add reinforcement with the zip ties.


Ok she is all done! Super strong! Super light! On weights between 59-63 grams for the frame alone.


Wait! Wait! How am I going to put the motors on? I Can’t hot glue it motor mount is metal wont stick… Can’t use zip ties too slippery, electrical Tape it’s flexible! Was a great idea for a sec but would be hard to adjust and too final. Got it! Rubber bands!! They are grippy you can make it tight, if a motor gets knocked it will move saving your motor shaft, and easy to remove if needed!



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  • 10 × Printer paper sheets of printer paper
  • 2 × 2 popsicle sticks you can use anything really like chinese take out chopsticks.
  • 1 × scotch tape to tape paper rolls
  • 1 × glue Hot glue gun works fastest but white glue is also good too just take longer.
  • 8 × zip ties securing the raft to the tubes.

View all 7 components

  • 1
    Step 1

    The paper quadcopter frame.

    Total built time: 15-20 minutes.

    You will need 10 sheets of printer paper.

    the first 3 sheets.

    with first sheet roll roll it as tight as you can but not all the way.. the last 3 inch insert another sheet and keep on rolling and the last 3 inchs insert another sheet and roll all the way tight.

    tape it in the middle so it does not unravel.

    You can print one sheet with you logo on the end so on the final roll your logo will appear perfect

    also you may want to fill the end of the arm with hot glue for reinforcement so that the motor does not crush the paper tube.

  • 2
    Step 2

    Repeat step 1 and then cut to 11 inchs. make sure everything is even and tape some more on the ends of tube.

    These are the arms.

  • 3
    Step 3

    take 2 sheets this time roll them on the short width side roll tight then the last 3 inches insert second sheet.

    repeat the taping process and hot glue hot glue is optional. make another short width tube. it should be 8.5 inch long. these are the sides tubes

View all 7 instructions

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Morning.Star wrote 07/26/2017 at 06:53 point

Great log, love the bread interlude XD Nice work indeed!

Take a look at #Cardware  and #Origaime (Cardware-bis) for some ideas on how to handle plane geometry to create sturdy and light superstructures. Great idea laminating the motor tubes like that, I know just how strong paper can get with a bit of work.

A hint, when working with paper and card is to use a water-based glue. This may seem contrary and does slow down work, but, it soaks into the fibre of the paper and when dry turns it into a kind of MDF which is ridiculously strong for its weight.

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Adam Fabio wrote 07/14/2014 at 03:08 point
Nice work Tommy! Thanks for entering your paper quadcopter in The Hackaday Prize! How many prototypes did it take to build a fully working model?
I saw you had a couple of videos of the quad flying on your channel (and some great videos of building it) don't forget to give us a 2 minute vid for the Prize! Good luck!

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