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Moon Rover

by emmett, published

Moon Rover by emmett Jan 6, 2012

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Description

This moon rover is pretty simple; the real point is the treads. The idea of turning my Stretchy Bracelet into tank tracks is thanks to BenRockhold. Turns out it works really well: if you push this around on a slightly grippy surface like carpet, the tracks roll easily.

In fact, the track keys into the wheels so well, this could probably be used as a timing belt or chain.

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I'm thinking of trying to make this work in a RepRap build after I get one, at least, up and running....
Weird, slic3r 0.9.9 is not giving me hole for PEGs. Did anyone else have this. I have no support material or anything, basically, it closes the top and bottom and fille the wheel with infill, completely!

Anyone knows whats happening?

Disclaimer: this is my 1st week with my printer. Using Repetier-Host and Slic3r 0.9.9
I had thought of using O rings for treads.

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Instructions

Print the parts list (use multiply on the wheels and wheelpegs). For the tracks, turn off fill entirely so it just prints the perimeter. The rover body wants to warp (the slices are strain reliefs, but they only help so much). Mine worked fine even though the body was warped, but this might be a good application for PLA. On the other hand, I'm not sure how well the tracks will function without the pliability of ABS.

The OpenSCAD file is parameterized so you can play around with different track dimensions. Ten points to anyone who posts a derivative with a cooler-looking rover body.
I'm thinking of trying to make this work in a RepRap build after I get one, at least, up and running....
Weird, slic3r 0.9.9 is not giving me hole for PEGs. Did anyone else have this. I have no support material or anything, basically, it closes the top and bottom and fille the wheel with infill, completely!

Anyone knows whats happening?

Disclaimer: this is my 1st week with my printer. Using Repetier-Host and Slic3r 0.9.9
I had thought of using O rings for treads.
Does anyone know how to Disable the fill in Repetier-Host Mac?
Looks great but when I try to open iin openscad 2011-12 the program cashes. Other scad files seem to work so far.
Does anyone know how to disable the fill in replicatorg 29? I tried just running the skeinforge.py out of the skein_engines directory but no luck...
emmett - in reply to ftc
Go to the Gcode menu -
&
gt; Edit Base Profiles. Click edit on your profile of choice and that will open skeinforge. Click on Fill, then uncheck Activate Fill. I like to a make a separate profile called perimeter for this, so that I'm not having to constantly check and uncheck the fill plugin.
ftc - in reply to emmett
cool thanks
This thing is just so cool... I just keep on printing these tracks in different size and shapes, and they are so excellent!
Hmm, how to combine the Botmobile Dune Buggy with the tracks.
Anyway you could possible post a track STL without the fill? My STL processing software does not have an option to print just the perimeter.

Thanks in advance,

Red :)
What Skeining software are you using? I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to try that; you might want to try editing my scad file in the meanwhile.
I'm using Catalyst from Stratasys as my STL processor. Its fairly basic for printing to a 25K machine!

I teach high school and we use AutoCAD inventor so I'm limited as to what programs I can install....they tie our hands pretty good.
What program produces the .scad file? Autodesk Inventor won't open it.
Thanks again,
Red
The .scad file is actually plaintext, so you can open it in notepad. It's an input file for OpenSCAD, which is a free, cross-platform modeler that can render objects based on a simple programming language (rather than a traditional CAD GUI). It can actually be a great teaching tool (see thingiverse.com/thing:14328), so I'd recommend trying it out and maybe you can convince your school to install it.
Hi Emmett first let me say thanks for all your time.

I installed OpenSCAD on my desktop machine(I have special privs ;))

I can open the track file but if I go to render it crashes.
You don't mean you opened track.stl, do you? You open rover.scad (should look a little like C). Try just compiling first, then if that works try render (takes longer, but required to export as STL). There's a wiki manual that's pretty good online.
Very nice design!

How many walls do you use for printing, and what layer size? In other words: what is the total thickness of the track?
emmett - in reply to fma
I use the print-o-matic defaults, so 0.3mm layer height, but it shouldn't matter too much. The main thing is to set up a profile with the fill module unchecked in Skeinforge. That way it'll ignore your number of walls and just print the perimeter, so it'll be just one thread thick.
Thanks for posting this I was at a loss as how to do it. Now I've got two nice tracks built and am printing the wheels now. Love your stuff emmett!
fma - in reply to emmett
I use Slic3r, and by default, perimeters are made of 3 filaments. So I have to change this param to 1. Also, the width of this perimeter depends of the layer height.

I will try with your settings.

Thanks.
just like a real life moon rover no way! yeah!
Just printed a set of tracks (my focus too) in black ABS, and they both turned out great (first print was perfect, 2nd print had just a couple of errors that cleaned up nice with a new Xacto blade... not a huge deal). I printed both sets with no raft and fill disabled. (My first time trying that. Worked like a charm! I learn something new every day, I swear.)

I also got a 4-set of wheels printed (FINALLY). I created a preset for Skeinforge called "Multiply x4", then tried to print the set of 4 wheels (without a raft) TWICE, with no success. Once I bit my lip
&
amp; added "raft" to the print, they turned out beautiful. However, the wheels are just a bit narrow for the tracks.

I printed the tracks in "black" ABS, and the wheels in "natural" ABS... perhaps this is part of my issue? I may try a re-print of the wheels (again using "natural" ABS, although increasing the Z scale by some random number (like 1.2). I would also like to see a little bit larger "lip" on both en
ds of the wheels, to prevent track run-off during operation. My son wants an R/C version of this design, and I told him I'd try to find time to make him one. I have another house to design/build, but in my spare time (as if I'll have any), I'll do my best to design an R/C version of this design
&
amp; post it on Thingiverse.

EXCELLENT track design, emmett! (Needs some cleats, as mentioned earlier (by someone else), but otherwise a great design element!
I also edited your original body design (rover.stl) just a bit, to remove a lot of material without (hopefully) destroying the looks of the overall design.

I may attempt to make a much "cooler" looking body design, sometime. But right now, I'm very busy designing/bidding homes to build. I may/may not be on Thingiverse for some time.
I wondered how long it was going to take someone to adapt the stretchy bracelet to a tank tread. It was the first thing that came to my mind when I printed it.

GOOD WORK!!!
Why is the track a solid round block?
The idea is from joris: thingiverse.com/thing:8488. Basically it's easier to model this way and the STL is smaller (fewer polygons), and so quicker to skein, etc. All you need to do is turn off Skeinforge's fill module to print the perimeter only.
OH I see, I'll give it a shot.
What about pins.scad? It's not in the MCAD library (maybe it should be ;)
emmett - in reply to elmom
Yeah, talk to tbuser: thingiverse.com/thing:10541. I use his pin library even more than I use Greg Frost's gear library these days.
Just for info.

Have a look at this page (http://www.galileomobility.com/?page_id=33) and look at the mechanism that turns a wheel to a track.

If the bracelet was soft enough, the mechanism could be used.
That's a cool idea, though the tracks will probably need a lot more arc-length per track-length to make them stretchy enough.
I'm beginning to wonder if Emmett is actually incapable of making something not totally awesome.
Thanks! I think that's the best complement I've ever received.
This is really amazing!
Hmmm...put the knurled surface library on the outside surface...

thingiverse.com/thing:9095

That would improve carpet traction....but might reduce hard floor traction.
Or add spikes to the track. Large paddles(like that shown in the picture) could also be added for enhanced grip on snowy terrain.
Glad somebody found a practical use for the spring!
Do you think belts can be printed strong enough to move X and Y carriages, pliable enough to bend around a wheel made for a stepper shaft, and durable enough to be used in a reprap?
They're terrible at transferring force, they stretch a lot and generally don't like being under too much of it; it might work if you embedded some wire, but at that point they really don't add anything.
The plastic would not survive the constant cyclical load experienced in a printer, either
Yeah, these belts could be used for reasonably low-force applications, but I think acting as a reprap belt would be a bit much to ask. Unless someone comes out with a tough material that can be extruded much thinner, in which case maybe printed belts could become a reality.
We were printing your stretchy bracelets at a middle school STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) event and several of the kids asked if they were treads for an RC tank lol!
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