Drosophila models have been instrumental in providing insights into molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration, with wide application to human disease. The brain degeneration associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been modeled in Drosophila using devices that inflict trauma on multiple parts of the fly body, including the head. However, the injuries produced by these models are not specific in location and are inconsistent between individual animals. We have recently developed a device that can be used to inflict controlled head injury to flies, resulting in physiological responses that are remarkably similar to those observed in humans with TBI. This protocol describes the construction, calibration and use of the Drosophila TBI (dTBI) device, a platform that employs a piezoelectric actuator to reproducibly deliver a force in order to briefly compress the fly head against a metal surface. The extent of head compression can be controlled through an electrical circuit, allowing the operator to set different levels of injury. The entire device can be assembled and calibrated in under a week. The device components and the necessary electrical tools are readily available and cost ~$800. The dTBI device can be used to harness the power of Drosophila genetics and perform large-scale genetic or pharmacological screens, using a 7-d post-injury survival curve to identify modifiers of injury.