We’ve written before about the guys behind 3DRacers, Marco D’Alia and Davide Marcoccio, and they know something about kids and what they want.
The game developers, based in Rome, Italy, created 3DRacers, a game very like Mario Kart that plays out on the floor of your home rather than on a screen. Now the kids can take over the entire house with 3D printed, smartphone-driven cars capable of navigating the terrain in an average home like carpeting, sofas, tables, and beds. The 3D printable cars were designed to have exceptional ground clearance from the bottom, and that allows them to speed across carpeted areas with ease.
But the latest news is that the developers are launching a Kickstarter campaign during the first quarter of 2015, and as part of that launch, they’ve released a free preview of the cars.
D’Alia and Murru have set up a page to let users customize and 3D print a smaller version of their cars — without electronics, of course — to get a feel for what the vehicles will look like when completed with their drivetrains.
“We’ve built a customized, Arduino-based board, focused on low power consumption and a small form factor,” D’Alia says. “The cars are fully 3D Printed – and fully open source – because we wanted everyone to be able to improve the original design, and be able to reprogram the board and build something new, like say, a tank or an airplane.”
3DRacers launched the online editor yesterday, and it’s part of what they call a “new generation of 3D Printed products,” a smartphone-enabled 3D printed racing game.
The small, radio-controlled, fully 3D printed cars can be operated with your smartphone, or via a custom-built (and also 3D-printed) remote control unit.
And it doesn’t end there. Each car can be customized, with a choice of accessories and car bodies, and that makes each version truly unique.
- Drive with the Android/iPhone app or the 3D printed remote
- Watch real time score boards and lap times: each car has a sensor that detects specially designed gates.
- Play in BATTLE mode with power-ups and weapons, or SIM mode: with warm-up, pit-stops, and realistic fuel and tire consumption gauges.
- Each car is unique: choose the color and model — Jeep, Corvette, Rally, etc. — tires, and accessories.
- Build your track: 3D print curbs, curves, obstacles, and guard rails, or use your imagination. Cardboard, books, shoes, and tables: you can race on everything as the cars are only 9 x 5 cm.
- Design new parts and modify the Arduino source code.
- Custom designed Arduino board with Bluetooth and motor driver: control up to 2 motors, 3 servos, an embedded RGB led, IR Receiver/Transmitter, and a custom made gate/position detector.
- Up to 30 minutes of play with a charge on the interchangeable battery.
The developers say users can create their car online via the editor and 3D print them on their own printers, or source the printing out to their official print partner, 3DHubs.
The Arduino-compatible electronic board was designed by the team. It’s also possible for users to further customize the game, and even create a new type of Bluetooth-enabled vehicles.
“We have built a customized, Arduino-based board, focused on low power consumption and a small form factor,” said D’Alia. “The board can control up to two motors and three servos; has an embedded RGB LED; a battery charger; and a custom-made gate and position detector – and it’s programmable through a simple USB link.”
They say the online editor is just a small taste of things to come, and add that the team is working on an iOS and Android app to let users compete against each other. The app will include features like automatic lap counters, race timing, pit stops with simulated tire and fuel consumption gauges, and an online scoreboard.
D’Alia says the online editor lets users choose from some 100,000 variations to create and 3D print out their cars.
The 3DRacers online editor is live now, and you can follow 3DRacers on Facebook for more details about the launch of their Kickstarter campaign. If you’ve created a 3D printable car or game, let us know about it in the 3DRacers forum thread on 3DPB.com.