Additive Manufacturing Strategies

YouTuber’s R/C 3D Printed Tesla Roadster Hits 70 MPH

ST Medical Devices

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Tesla’s line of electric cars are meant to seduce you into wanting them so badly. The product demos are packed with enraptured Tesla fans who react to Elon Musk’s every word like he is a Greek god. YouTuber ItsYeBoi is one of many big fans of Tesla and Musk, and he decided to build a model of a Tesla Roadster from a high-end RC car kit. After several iterations, the model Tesla Roadster would be capable of reaching 70 miles per hour.

This is not the first rodeo for ItsYeBoi, who was recently mentioned in a tweet from Elon Musk himself for his 3D printed Tesla Cybertruck model. In an attempt to regain Elon Musk’s attention, he has followed up with a fully operational model Tesla Roadster.

The model Tesla Roadster (the car that Musk plans to attach rockets to) was built using Traxxas RC car parts, which are the fastest in the remote control (RC) industry. For example, the model RC Tesla Roadster has a 5000-milliwatt battery which is just one of many critical parts for an assembly full of interesting electronics. Using the dimensions of the assembly of the Traxxas RC part kit as reference, ItsYeBoi knew where to begin designing the Tesla Roadster body to fit the final version of the model race car.

To design the Roadster body, he used a small 3D model of the Roadster from Thingiverse and expanded it to fit the dimensions of the RC’s chassis. After extensively tweaking the body model design in 3D software, the first phase of 3D printing began. Checking the dimensions of the skeletal 3D printed body prototype against those of the RC chassis, the next step was to find a suitable material to print with, one that could withstand high-speed impacts.

The 3D printed TPU model of the Tesla Roadster.

After impact-testing regular PLA, flexible PLA, and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) filament, ItsYeBoi ended up choosing the TPU filament, which outperformed the PLAs, to begin the second phase: 3D printing the final Roadster body.

Instead of 3D printing components separately like he did with the Tesla Cybertruck, ItsYeBoi decided to 3D print the Roadster body in one print. After removing the support material and performing post-processing, ItsYeBoi attached the design to the RC chassis, but quickly realized that the aesthetics of the 3D printed Roadster body were not quite up to snuff. He redesigned the 3D model, extensively tweaking it once again until he was ready to re-print the Roadster body. But this time, he would abandon the TPU filament in favor of good old-fashioned PLA.

A close-up of the final, painted model.

The difference in aesthetic quality was much better with the PLA model. Sanding, painting, and post-processing the new model yielded a Roadster body rich with accurate details. Though the material is less impact-resistant, getting the Roadster body right aesthetically took precedent in this case.

The completed R/C Tesla Roadster, capable of driving up to 70 mph.

After it was finished, ItsYeBoi took it out to a parking lot to test it out. Things were going well until they got carried away and crashed the model Tesla Roadster. So, they got a little carried away, but who can blame them? It is not an autonomous car, after all.

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