Do you remember those wind-up cars you used to play with as a child? Personally, I would spend hours racing these tiny vehicles around the kitchen floor with my brother. I remember winding them up as far as I could, and then once they were completely wound, I would wind a bit further for good measure. To this day, I still have a fascination with these vehicles, which operate using no electricity or battery power whatsoever. They run on the tension created with the gears and springs within.
I now have a young son, and he is finally getting to be old enough to enjoy playing with toys like this as well. For me is it an opportunity to relive some of my favorite childhood pastimes, and 3D printing is going a long way in making it happen.
Over the past couple of years, there have been many unique 3D printed toys that have been put up for sale on Shapeways. For one Australian man, named Luke Ditria, and his design company, Facetious, 3D printing is a way to bring his ideas to life.
Ditria is currently working on a toy wind-up car unlike anything I’ve seen before. Most incredibly, it comes off of the 3D printer ready to run. No assembly is required whatsoever.
“This working prototype is the result of lots of hard work, a few print iterations, a TON of design iterations and a bit of dumb luck,” Ditria explains. “I was very excited pulling this little toy car out of the box when it finally arrived (from Shapeways) and have been quite surprised by its performance after only a few actual prints of the whole wind-up gear box system.”
Printed in one piece, using selective laser sintering, this car is made up of Shapeways’ ‘White Strong Flexible Plastic’ material, and when fully wound can travel 50 cm in distance.
“I hope to increase this distance in the future,” says Ditria.
The car can be wound up via two different methods. It can be pulled back with the wheels on the ground, or it can be wound with a key that plugs into its side. Both methods will provide the same results.
Currently the design is in the beta process, as Ditria is still working out some kinks in it. One of these minor kinks is the fact that the car requires a bit of manual cleaning once it arrives from Shapeways. Some of the remaining dust that resides between the gears and other moving parts needs to be removed prior to it being able to operate. This is very common with tiny moving parts within 3D printed objects.
Ditria is also hoping to receive other feedback from those who purchase the car from Shapeways. For those of you interested, the car can be purchased completely 3D printed from Shapeways for just $65.00. Besides having a Shapeways Shop, Facetious Designs also has a shop on Etsy.
What do you think about this unique design? What would you have done differently in designing it? Discuss in the 3D Printed Wind-up Car forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video of the car in action below.