Theme parks are starting to return to normal operation after COVID shutdowns, but they still aren't at normal capacity. Even if they were, the successes of video games like Rollercoaster Tycoon prove that some people are more interested in designing rollercoasters than riding them. But while virtual theme parks are good fun, they can't compare to real, tangible designs. YouTuber 3d_coasters has spent the past couple of years using 3D printers to fabricate miniature rollercoaster parts. To put those skills to the ultimate test, they spent six months and more 800 hours of 3D printing time to create the this amazing rollercoaster scale model.
This is a 1:35 scale (26mm track gauge) rollercoaster that is completely functional, even down to the little doors that open up to allow passengers onto the train. A motorized launching system pulls the train away from the gates and then sends it flying down the track. There are a couple of additional points on the track where the train comes to a stop and then starts moving again. The track and train designs are custom, but they are very realistic and look like they could have come from any real theme park in the world.
3d_coasters started by designing the coaster's track using NoLimits 2, which is software dedicated to rollercoaster simulation. From there, they spent 600 hours recreating that design in Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD software down to the smallest detail. They exported the 3D models from Fusion 360 and used Cura to slice them for 3D printing. It took 800 hours to 3D print all of the models and then another 35 hours to sand them and paint them. The train alone required 20 hours of assembly work and several more hours went into putting together the track and testing it. The gates and launching system use five servo motors and one DC motor, all of which are controlled by an Arduino board.
The finished track is more than 30 feet long, which means a full-size version would be more than 1,000 feet long. The overall size of the rollercoaster is 6 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 2.6 feet tall. More than 7kg of 3D printer filament went into the project. If this were our project, we would consider it our magnum opus. But 3d_coasters has already started working on their next rollercoaster and we can't wait to see it in action.