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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: http://www.smartplanet.com/pho... .

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.

Comments

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laird on Oct 19, 2013 said:

This design is the "lead" picture in a photo collection on impressive 3d printing failures: http://www.smartplanet.com/pho... .

Nevil_Clavain on Apr 15, 2013 said:

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?

laird on Apr 15, 2013 said:

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.

laird on Apr 15, 2013 said:

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.

Nevil_Clavain on Apr 15, 2013 said:

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?

laird on Apr 15, 2013 said:

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.

laird on Apr 15, 2013 said:

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.

JBFromOZ on Mar 24, 2013 said:

printed on an aluminatus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

laird on Mar 25, 2013 said:

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.

laird on Mar 25, 2013 said:

Beautiful print. Thanks for posting the video, and for the kind words

JBFromOZ on Mar 24, 2013 said:

printed on an aluminatus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

laird on Mar 25, 2013 said:

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.

laird on Mar 25, 2013 said:

Beautiful print. Thanks for posting the video, and for the kind words

nasos_i on Mar 9, 2013 said:

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%

laird on Mar 9, 2013 said:

Awesome! Can you post a photo?

laird on Mar 4, 2013 said:

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.

tomvdb on Mar 4, 2013 said:

Very nice, so has anybody printed this yet ?

ezmobius on Mar 25, 2013 said:

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 on Mar 4, 2013 said:

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!

emmett on Mar 4, 2013 said:

That's awesome, I definitely want to see this become a robot.

laird on Mar 4, 2013 said:

Thanks!

Ndrew on Mar 4, 2013 said:

Great idea!

laird on Mar 4, 2013 said:

Thanks!

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