Botmobile Dune Buggy

by MakerBot, published

Botmobile Dune Buggy by MakerBot Nov 24, 2011

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Order the Botmobile Kit from the MakerBot Store at http://store.makerbot.com/makerbot-botmobile.html and you'll have all the parts you need to get your printed Dune Buggy going in no time!

The wind in your hair... The sun on your face... The sand in your teeth... Everyone loves a day out cruising the dunes in their trusty Botmobile Dune Buggy!

The Botmobile Dune Buggy is an open source 3d printed remote control car that you can build at home. Using the Botmobile chassis the Dune Buggy was built from the ground up as a completely new type of remote control car

See video of the Botmobile Dune Buggy in action: http://youtu.be/tQIfChZZTog

Created By Michael Curry (Skimbal)


Non-Printed Parts-

The electronics and non-printed parts are available in the Botmobile kit from the MakerBot Store


Printing Instructions-

Print one of each part. Except wheels.stl, which you will need to print twice.

Assembly Instructions-


Printing Notes-

Front.stl and Back.stl are tricky prints. 2 extra shells and 10% infill have yielded the best results. Also try to protect the print from drafts and rapid temperature changes during printing, as this can cause cracking.

Interior.stl can be printed with 1 or 2 extra shells at 10% infill.

Wheels.stl, Steering.stl, Gearbox.stl and Axel.stl are best printed with 0 or 1 extra shells and an infill of 30%.

Created by Thingiverse user Skimbal, designer of the Turtle Shell Racers. The Botmobile represents the 12th revision of Skimbel's effort to create an open source RC Car

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If you don't buy the kit can you just print it as a non-RC buggy? Or are mire parts required?

Struggling with printing the gears without having any specs for them.  Anyone know what they are (pitch, number of teeth, diameter etc).  I appreciate I can use the OpenScad script for generating the gears, but I need the specs!

Oh, and my buggy's body parts took 13 hours to print on the Replicator, but which time they had drooped and warped so much I had to use a heat gun to soften them up and pull them back into position. Then lots of acetone glue to fill the cracks.  Ugly, but paintable.

Oh, hold the presses!  I just discovered that if you explode the main Sketchup file down and down and down, you can get to the gears.  They haven't been grouped properly, so they stick together a bit, but I'll separate them and post the stl file when I've proved the print works.

Hi pintokitkat,
Did you get the gears printed and working? Or figured out what to buy instead? Also what motor and ESC did you use for this model?

Would also be keen to learn. Just finished printing the gearbox and need to go gear shopping soon.

I never completed it because I couldn't find suitable motor and gears. Right now I'm building the OpenRC Truggy and you get more support on that project. You can join the community here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/112745535856143176146https://plus.google.com/u/0/co...

Thanks. Still working on the buggy. Managed to extract the gears and will print them soon. Report back if it works (which leaves the motor.......)

this ia an awesome design, just finished four days of nonstop print-run to finish it . some suggestions: the makerbot kit is great, and has a really nice radio with all the adjustments you need, however the built in battery pack is ass, to use a technical term. The 4 AA 6V pack does not provide enough torque (with fresh batteries) to actually move the buggy forward. Part of this problem is because of the lack of gear lash adjustment between the motor pinion and the middle gearbox gear - the fit there is too tight and requires more torque energy than those poor AA's can put out, loosening this connection and making it a little sloppier/looser will improve this and remove the binding that is stopping the initaition of motor rotation. But thankfully the kit comes wired with RC standard JST connectors - so another option is to use an off the shelf 2S 7.2 V LiPoly pack available at hobby stores which can deliver more oomph speed and torque. The suspension design via the flexible axels is a clever solution. More comments as I shake this thing out. Very tempted to put a brushless motor and a real differential gear box in this thing.... cute. and thanks for the design and the kit makerbot folks. it's a new world.

could someone with a finished car weigh it? to estimate the amount of material used. Would like to build and design my own... trying to estimate cost of using a maker bot in my little factory :)

When you slice the STL, the slicing program comes up with a log of the amount of material used.

You can work out the mass from there.

Which DC Motor, ESC and spur gears do you need for this? I had everything else laying around but I can't seem to find these parts easily.

OK, we figured it out! FC-280 Motors, and some ESCs from china we need to find a better source for. Spur gears via OpenScad script and we should have a working botmobile :D

When generating gcode in replicatorg 2.9 r2 on interior.stl I get the message "something will still be printed, but there is no guarantee that it will be the correct shape. Once gcode is saved, you should check over the layer with a z of: 22.05" the print was not successful.

got the print to work. I had a doh! moment. I had a belt come loose.

I'm so close to printing this entire thing out, but I'm stuck on the Axel. Generating the GCode for it crashes Skeinforge every time. I've tried to change the shells and the infill, but it is red error code as far as the eye can see. I'm trying to print using SF35-Thingomatic-HBP-Mk6. It looks like it is hanging after the "Inset" step. Has anyone else had this problem, and/or does anyone else have a solution?

Maybe try Slic3r?

If you print a mold for the tires, you might be able to make those too, out of sugru for instance. Idea?

What occurred to me on wheeled toys is: What if you made a groove around the wheel that would accept an O ring?


I decided to try printing the Botmobile. The front and the inside printed well. The back end was another matter. Three quarters through the print one portion of the print lifted about .190" up from the platform.

You can see the resulting gap in the body shown in the picture.

I think I've lost interest in this vehicle. :'(

Looking at videos and photos, it looks like the gap you have is in line with the gap that makerbot gets when they print the car body. So rather than seeing a failed print, I think you should see a perfect print!

Also, I wonder if you could print a thin shim that perfectly fits and blends the gap...

You give up too easily, looks great! Awesome print quality! Maybe level your bed or turn up the HBP heat. That's what I did when I popped of the first PLA try.

Thanks for your comments Luis. My HBP is dead level, I just checked it. The surface had been just cleaned with acetone, no reason for lifting.

Your comment about turning up the heat is interesting. What temperature did you end up using?

You can either smoosh down the first layer or in my PLA case I upped the HBP to 65 degrees. I run it at 110 for ABS. I also use Object first layer to slow down the first perimeter and sometimes the first infill layer. It looks nasty sometimes but gets covered up with subsequent layers. I concur with Bre's comment about enclosing the bot with paper or something. I was in a basement room while the furnace was kicking so that helped I think. Good luck! Your done with the hard pieces!

The botmobiles at the botcave all have a little bit of lifting in between the front and back parts. The best thing we've found to combat it is to enclose the bot and keep the heat up inside.

Another strategy I've been wanting to try in RepG is lift the object up a 4 mm or so and then turn support on with the latest settings in 27.

I should also say that a little gap here does not decrease the awesome of these machines. Full speed ahead.

is the kit compatible with the turtle shell racer?

It will be, when I get a chance to upgrade the Turtles and release a derivative.

Skimbal, any update on the Turtle derivatives? I have 4 boys and am in the process of getting material together to do 4 turtle shell racers. It would be nice if I didn't have to use the 4 New Bright cars I bought for the front steering link. I don't have your awesome design skills at the moment to tackle the job. Thx.