It wasn’t long ago that building a professional-looking robot or RC car required either really expensive fabrication tools or some serious skill with a Dremel. Now, in our modern age of inexpensive consumer 3D printers, anyone can design and fabricate their own high-quality robots at home. Still, it’s rare to see a design where all of the mechanical parts are 3D-printed. But, that’s exactly how YouTuber Ivan Miranda’s RC tank was built.
Miranda builds all kinds of 3D-printed robots and RC vehicles — earlier this year we covered his unconventional screw drive tank. As strange as it sounds, however, this build is actually more complicated. While the screw drive is an uncommon and unusual concept, it’s fairly simple mechanically. This tank, on the other hand, requires interlocking parts for the tracks, which are also 3D printed.
As you’d expect, the tank is controlled with brushless electric motors that are controlled with a RC receiver. Those rotate pulleys, which in turn spin the driven sprockets of the tank tracks. Steering is as simple as providing more power to one side than the other. Miranda is still going through iterations of the track design, as well as the addition of a belt tensioner for the pulley system, but even now he has a completely 3D-printed tank that can traverse loose sand quite well when it’s working.