I am trying to create a mini flying quadrocopter using a Raspberry Pi (mini programmable computer). So far I have hooked up the RPi to 4 motors with controls to each. I'm pretty happy with that side of it.

The part I need help with is the design of the propeller; my motors are not massive and I want to ensure I get the best design for maximum thrust to weight as well as manoeuvrability.

What do I need to look for in propeller design considering my limited motors?

  • 6
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ May I respectfully disagree with the categorization as a duplicate? All linked answers have nothing on designing your own propeller. This aspect is genuinely new in this question. $\endgroup$ Dec 25, 2015 at 10:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @PeterKämpf It's annoying that the stated close reason is just the most popular one. As I recall, I voted to close as too broad but the close message misleadingly states that I marked it as a duplicate. $\endgroup$ Dec 25, 2015 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ Hello A.White, and welcome to Aviation.SE. Do you have the technical specifications of the motors? It may help to know what kind of power they are able to provide, what their optium rotation rate is. Also the estimated total weight of the vehicle is of interest. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Dec 26, 2015 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


Use Mark Dela's XROTOR - it will give you the chord and twist distribution over span for a given speed, torque and thrust (well, two out of three).

It is based on Larabee's theory (PFD!) for a minimum induced loss rotor.

For a practical solution try to design an optimum propeller for the speed and torque of your motors and then try to find something similar in a hobby shop. Building the propeller yourself will be a major effort - just balancing them well will not be easy.

If you are into doing everything yourself, try to carve a master and make a mold, maybe from silicone rubber. Then you can pour as many propellers as you need. Put glass- or carbon fibers into the mold and fill up with thickened epoxy. For thickening use a mixture of cotton short fibers and Aerosil 200.

The links to the materials are only for background information - I cannot endorse the sources because I have never ordered from those specific suppliers. The method in general will work, though.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .