Customization is one of the key aspects as to why so many hobbyists are taking to 3D printing so quickly. Prior to the existence of affordable desktop 3D printers, RC vehicle enthusiasts really didn’t have much room for creativity. Sure, you could go out to the store, purchase the RC Truggy or other vehicle of your liking and then modify it via parts you could purchase online or at various hobby shops. However, true customization was not readily available.
With the introduction of desktop 3D printing, just a few years ago, customization is what may bring more popularity than ever back to the RC hobby. Daniel Norée with his OpenRC Project has really brought total customization to the RC car hobby. The project allows virtually anyone with a 3D printer to share tips, design files, and ideas with each other in order to help those interested in building their own RC parts and vehicles succeed.
One other man, named Thomas Palm, who we have covered in the past for his unique 3D printer filaments, happens to be good friends with Norée as well as a frequent participant in the OpenRC Project. He has been developing and designing 3D printed wheels and tires for RC vehicles.
“I use TPU at 85 Shore A for the tires, ABS or PLA for the rims and 6pcs M4x25mm screws to assemble 1 wheel,” Palm tells 3DPrint.com
TPU is one of the filaments that Palm has been working tirelessly on perfecting and it happens to make for just the perfect material to 3D print tires with. In fact, back in November, Palm developed 36 different combinations of wheels and tires that can be assembled together for the custom look and performance one would like on their RC vehicle. It was only recently though that Palm had a chance to test out his 3D printed snow tires, and the results turned out quite well, as you can see in the video below.
“The parts are 3D printed without support and the tire/rim design is a bit special. I think the design is unique and ‘out of the box,'” Palm tells us. “I designed the first 3 sets of tires (and 1 rim) on the plane home from Shanghai at the end of October (2014), to kill some time.”
Palm also had the chance to test out these same snow tires on a sandy beach terrain, and the results were just as phenomenal. See below:
“The grip with the 3D printed snow tires are awesome on the sand and more easy to steer but the torque is a bit much if you don’t like wheelies,” explains Palm. “On the other hand, if drifting is your thing go with the tires with less grip.”
Or perhaps download Palm’s design and modify them to provide for just the amount of torque and performance you need. This is why 3D printing has been so accommodating to individuals who wish to greatly modify their RC vehicles, or like some, build their own custom vehicles from scratch.
What do you think about these snow tires from Thomas Palm? Would you consider putting them on your RC vehicle? Discuss in the 3D Printed RC Snow Tire forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below showing these 3D printed wheels vs standard RC wheels on a sandy terrain.