What typically happens to RC vehicle enthusiasts during a cold snowy winter? They either take their hobby inside or they go into a miserable hibernation until the snow on the ground melts and temperatures warm up. Plain and simple, RC vehicles don’t perform very well in snowy conditions, unless of course you are willing to spend ample amounts of money for costly snow tracks.
For one man, named Timothy Giles, he came up with a better solution: 3D printed RC snow tracks.
“A few years ago I read about Mattracks and thought they looked incredibly cool,” Giles tells 3DPrint.com. “More recently I saw the ‘Predator Tracks‘ you can buy for RC vehicles. I thought they would be awesome to get for my RC Rock Crawler/Racer, the Vaterra Twin Hammers, but $240 for a set of 4, plus $110 in mounting hardware is outside my hobby budget. The tracks aren’t really that complicated, so I figured I might be able to make my own.”
Giles began designing his snow tracks in a free 3D modeling program based on Space Claim, called Designspak Mechanical. It took him approximately a week and a half to complete, and he went through four revisions before finding a combination that worked well. After each revision, he had to make sure that the Tamiya 70100 tracks that he intended to use would fit onto the parts that he had 3D printed.
The parts were all printed in ABS on Giles’ UP! Mini 3D printer that he slightly modified, which included adding a print bed heater and a switch that allows for the default temperature to be changed so that printing with ABS was possible. The snow tracks, as you can see in the photos, came out very well.
“I had 2 requirements for them,” Giles explains. “First, they needed to look as cool as Mattracks. Second, my Twin Hammers had to be as driveable with the tracks as it is with its stock tires.”
Giles’ snow tracks met both of these requirements and then some. Printed in Octave 1.75mm red and black filament, they came out looking extremely well too.
Giles’ creations don’t stop here though. He has been designing for about 2 years now, and recently took third prize in Hackaday’s “Trinket Everyday Carry” contest, with his Robotic Third Hand.
For those of you who wish to 3D print your own snow tracks, Giles has made his design files available for free download on Thingiverse. They are compatible with 1/10 scale RC cars, trucks, and buggies. What do you think of his design? Discuss in the 3D printed snow tracks forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video of these snow tracks in action below.
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