When I was about 8 years old, I went through a phase where I was obsessed with RC vehicles. As soon as I would get home from school, I would run to my toy box, take out one of my favorites and race it around my backyard. While this provided me with endless entertainment, at the same time I also learned a lot about the mechanics that go into making these vehicles work. From time to time, I would need to purchase replacement parts and fix my vehicles myself.
Now, about 25 years later, I’m still a big fan of RC cars, but unfortunately I don’t have the chance to “play” as much as I’d like to. I do get to write about the 3D printing space, though, and over the past year or so, we’ve seen quite the convergence of the technology with RC vehicles.
For one 4th year engineering student, named Nicolas Roux, 3D printing was just the solution he needed to create his own unique 3D printable RC vehicles. And when I say “unique,” I’m not exaggerating.
After having designed and built a large 50cm long RC vehicle last year, Roux wanted to tone things down a notch with his latest creation for a 3D printed RC Jeep with tank tracks.
“I chose to conceive it like a Jeep Rubicon because my father has one, exactly the same in White & Black, and I really love this car, so I realized it would be pretty cool to remix it with tank tracks to make it highly resistant and versatile off the road,” Roux tells 3DPrint.com. “I also incorporated simple electronic components into it, making it very easy to make and user-friendly. So basically, the Jeep is controlled by an Arduino UNO board, which comes with many drivers that can work perfectly with it!”
Using SolidWorks, Roux designed his 3D printable parts for his Jeep, before adding in the electronics, which are run by Arduino IDE and an Android app called Bluetooth RC Controller, which is entirely free to download. To print out all of the parts, Roux used his FlashForge Creator Pro — a process which took about 10 hours to complete because of the large amount of support material that was needed for the Jeep’s body. The body of the Jeep was printed at 70mm/s.
“Every single part is 3D printed, that was my goal in my design,” Roux tells us. “The Jeep is a one-block print. It’s not the most efficient, but I found it to be the coolest! So, apart from a 3D printer, you just need few electronics devices and 2 screws to make it!”
In order to run, the Jeep uses an Arduino UNO as the controller board, and an Arduino Motor Shield as the driver. At this time, the Jeep’s headlights are able to be turned on or off with the app, and the Jeep itself can be moved in all directions using nothing more than a smartphone. As you can see in the video below, it performs quite well.
What do you think about this unique design? Discuss in the 3D Printed Jeep Tank forum thread on 3DPB.com.