DC DUG is throwing a drone building party - Technical.ly DC

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DC DUG is throwing a drone building party

This Saturday, the meetup is reviving a workshop for all things drone - and you’re invited.

Build a drone of your own.

(Flickr user Campus Party Brasil, Creative Commons)

The DC area Drone User Group (DC DUG) meetup will be hosting a build-a-drone workshop this weekend at Reston Nova Labs. Participants will be able to buy and swap parts, work on projects, get building advice, or come empty handed just to learn more about drones.

Attending is free, but DC DUG suggests a $5 donation to the nonprofit venue. The Sept. 30 event lasts from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and attendees will have a chance to win a $100 Hobby Hangar gift card.


The last build party DC DUG threw was in June, so we reached out to event organizer, Fred Briggs, to learn what’s new with this one.

“Sometimes we’ve done [these workshops] as a formal thing with a kit in mind,” Briggs, a longtime DC DUG memberand Ashburn resident, told me. “That got really difficult to manage and everyone seemed to want small variations. So we turned it into a build party where everyone brings their own projects and we offer technical support.”

Briggs runs a prototype-development company called Teq Strategy LLC in Sterling, Virginia that often uses Reston’s Nova Labs’ fabrication equipment. Briggs also teaches a course on drones and sensor integration at James Madison University. The drone party is back after three months.Fred Briggs (Courtesy photo)


“Everything we do at DC DUG is volunteer-based. Sometimes volunteer time is hard to come by,” he said of the summer pause.

Briggs, who has volunteered to lead drone build parties in the past, said what people bring to the event can vary, from support soldering electronics to improving image quality for their budding real estate videography business.

He was also clear that drone beginners will be in good company, too.

“Some people [who attend] are not quite sure what it’s about,” said Briggs. “But they see [drones] on the news, and they see it in store, and they just kind of want to find out what it’s about. We get quite a few people coming in interested, looking to get involved.”

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