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Fully Printable Tank Tread Assembly

by laird, published

Fully Printable Tank Tread Assembly by laird Mar 3, 2013

Description

What's the love child of the Customizable MakerBelt and Emmet's Gear Bearing? A fully printable tank tread assembly! It's not only fully printed (no screws or bolts) it's printed assembled, ready to use! Note that the belt is printed in place around toothed bearings, and the bearings are printed in place attached to a frame. Just remove from the build plate, rotate the belt and bearing pieces to make sure everything's free, and it should roll! How cool is that!

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This design is the "lead" picture in a photo collection on impressive 3d printing failures: smartplanet.com/photos/impressive-3d-printing-failures-photos/ .
35% :) Too small I guess. If the wheels scale the treads can stay teh same size?
How much did you scale it down? If it's scaled too small, the links get too narrow to stand up and/or hold together. You could probably tweak the SCAD file to scale the whole assembly smaller but keep the links the same size.

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Instructions

Print, pop off your print bed, and spin the bearings and tread until they're loose. After that, it should roll freely over rough terrain!

Print two, and make a robot or tank!

I plan to:
- Make it cleanly parametric (there are some 'magic numbers' right now, which need to be turned into proper trigonometry so that it's customizable. With a little work, you should be able to change the gear sizes, add more wheels, etc.
- Add a drive gear, which will be driven by a stepper motor, and which will also serve as a 'tensioner'.
- And build a robot body for mounting an arduino and a few sensors.
This design is the "lead" picture in a photo collection on impressive 3d printing failures: smartplanet.com/photos/impressive-3d-printing-failures-photos/ .
I tried scaling it for my Afinia but didnt end up with a good result. The belt links fell apart in my hands. Could I scale it in SCAD and get a better result or does it half to be printed full size to work correctly?
How much did you scale it down? If it's scaled too small, the links get too narrow to stand up and/or hold together. You could probably tweak the SCAD file to scale the whole assembly smaller but keep the links the same size.
How much did you scale it down? If it's scaled too small, the links get too narrow to stand up and/or hold together. You could probably tweak the SCAD file to scale the whole assembly smaller but keep the links the same size.
35% :) Too small I guess. If the wheels scale the treads can stay teh same size?
I tried scaling it for my Afinia but didnt end up with a good result. The belt links fell apart in my hands. Could I scale it in SCAD and get a better result or does it half to be printed full size to work correctly?
The Aluminatus looks like an awesome printer, BTW. I'm on the email list, as the discussions are quite interesting even though I use a Replicator.
Beautiful print. Thanks for posting the video, and for the kind words
Very nice one! BTW it printed like a charm in one piece with a replicator 2 (PLA) on medium quality settings. When imported it was covering the entire bed area but I scaled it down to 50%
Awesome! Can you post a photo?
I just read tbuser's post on using HIPS as a dissolvable support material with ABS. I think support material would make this much easier to print, since it would basically fuse into a single solid thing instead of 59 pieces standing individually very close to each other! I orderend some HIPS, so hopefully next week I can try it.
Very nice, so has anybody printed this yet ?
I printed one last night on my Aluminatus. Came out as an amazing print! Took me 18 hours at 0.2mm layer height. See the "I made one" link to the right for pics and video links of it in action!.
laird - in reply to tomvdb
It's a tricky print. I've printed each of the individual parts fine (gears, belt), but getting them all 59 pieces print perfectly in one print is a challenge. It's clearly printable, but I'm on my third try now. It's been a good test of calibration and print consistency, that's for sure.

I look forward to seeing who can get it printed and working first!
tomvdb - in reply to laird
I'm very keen on trying it. will have a go at it this weekend when I can keep an eye on it. Will post my results
That's awesome, I definitely want to see this become a robot.
laird - in reply to emmett
Thanks!
laird - in reply to Ndrew
Thanks!
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