As a child I was obsessed with remote control cars. I would run the batteries low faster than a drag racer burns through fuel. If there was one toy that could have gotten me even more excited than an RC car, it would have been an RC boat. Living by the water our family was all about boating. I grew up fishing, driving my dad’s boat, and living by the sea. Unfortunately, back in the late ’80s my parents didn’t trust me with an expensive RC boat, which I would have likely crashed or driven out of range within the fist 10 minutes of playing with it.
We also didn’t have desktop 3D printers back in the late ’80s either, because if we did, there is a good chance that my father would have found a way to 3D print that RC boat for me and my brother. Luckily, for a few children in Japan, they were born in the right decade, the decade where 3D printers are just as affordable as smartphones are. They also were the nephews of a talented engineer who goes by the name of K. Morozou.
Morozou is a 3D printing enthusiast who has a knack for designing intricate items on his printer. He loves electronics and is drawn to the sea — and thus set out to combine all of his disciplines and desires into several quite incredible 3D printed micro remote control boats.
The two most intricate RC boats that Morozou printed and assembled were modeled after an actual vessel, a pilot boat measuring just shy of 30 feet in length called ‘Sea Helper.’ Equipped with a desktop 3D printer, Morozou certainly wasn’t about to print out a full scale version of this vessel. Instead he took the drawings of Sea Helper which he was provided and scaled them to 1/76. This meant that the 3D printed RC version was only 118mm in length, or approximately 4.65 inches. He printed out two of these boats, each with different propeller blades, and one being slightly smaller at just 105 mm long.
Of these two boats, the larger one he named ‘Olive,’ and the other he made into a fire boat, meaning that it would require a couple more components: a life raft, radar unit, antenna, and most importantly a functioning hose (perhaps better called a water cannon), which can spray water an incredible 3 meters, or approximately 28 times the length of the boat itself.
Some additional specifications of Morozou’s fire boat are as follows:
- Length: 105mm
- Weight: 119 grams (about 4 ounces)
- Battery: 3.7v350mA
- Receiver: 6-channel DSM 2 (Cost: about $5)
When all was said and done Morozou had created numerous RC boats, all powered by 3D printed props, with hulls and main bodies also 3D printed. What he did with them next would have had the 7-year-old version of myself green with envy. He took all the boats and neighborhood children to the local pond in Tsujido, Japan to have some fun. The children raced the boats, as Morozou played around with the fire boat himself. In fact he got pretty creative, tethering it to a homemade barge which housed his iPhone so that he could film (video below) the vessel as it made its way throughout the pond.
Needless to say the children and Morozou all had a blast and can’t wait to return to the pond perhaps with some new 3D printed vessels of their own next time.
Let’s hear your thoughts on these 3D printed remote control micro boats. Discuss in the 3D Printed RC Boat forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check another video below.
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