Category Archives: 3D Printing

Modding my SYMA X55W quadcopter

For Christmas, a friend of mine bought a SYMA X55W quadcopter for me. It’s a pretty low-cost quadcopter that has fairly good performance and durability.

However, it wasn’t long after I had started flying, that I had to re-adjust the trims throughout the flight. I had a suspicion as to what was going on. The battery pack was shifting around inside the quadcopter while it was flying, causing the center of gravity to shift around as well!

Look at all that space in there!
Look at all that space in there!

So, I decided to fix it using my new 3d printer!

First, I needed to get access to the battery area to take some measurements. That means taking this thing apart basically completely. You can do this basically with just a very small phillips screwdriver. And maybe a plastic spudger.

Inside the SYMA quadcopter

After I got the thing apart, I measured the battery area in the frame, and I measured a battery. Then I designed this piece to fit into the frame securely under the control board support.

The translucent part is what I created
The translucent part is what I created

I printed it in white PLA and installed it.

This is how the part is printed.
This is how the part is printed.

The battery is much more secure now!

Battery Snuggie installed under control board support
Battery Snuggie installed under control board support

I posted the design for this on Thingiverse, so you can follow along if you have the same model or a compatible model of quadcopter.

Note: If you follow this, make sure you are comfortable with fully taking apart your new toy and are confident you can put it back together successfully! Also, here’s a manual with an “exploded” view of the parts.

It’s not too difficult, but let me lay out the order of how to do it:

  1. Remove propellers (There are screws in the center of each. Remember where they went as order matters!)
  2. Remove gear guards underneath (held on by a single screw each)
  3. Remove pairs of screws on each arm.
  4. Remove landing gear (single screw on each)
  5. Remove screws under landing gear (single screw under each leg)
  6. Carefully pry apart top from bottom halves.
  7. Remove screws from control board (3 screws, one is a peg)
  8. Remove control board support.
  9. Slide in 3d printed “battery snuggie” and line it up over the screw columns.
  10. Loosely screw down control board support to frame.
  11. Screw down control board to support.
  12. Tighten control board support on frame.
  13. Re-assemble quadcopter in reverse order from steps 1-6 above.

Cheers!