RC Snowmobile

by Erikw, published

RC Snowmobile by Erikw Dec 5, 2016
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RC Snowmobile by Erikw is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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Fully 3D printed RC snowmobile. Fully functional with working suspension. Works surprisingly well in snow. The only issues I had, is the front control arms that snaps if you jump to high.

This is not a easy build and you need some CAD skills to make motor mounts and
if necessary some other parts. You also need some RC skills to get the best motor setup and calculate the gearing.

What you need besides plastic:
RC stuff like transmitter and so on
Motor, speed controller, and transmission between motor and drive shaft.
5x150mm steel rods for steering axles (cut to fit)
4x400m steel rods for the rest of the axles. Like the shock absorber, suspension and drive shaft (cut to fit)
4pc Springs for shock absorbers inner diameter 7mm and ~17mm long depending on how hard suspension you want.
6pc Ball bearings 8x4x3mm for drive shaft, upper wheels and big lower wheels.
Some stiff 2mm wire to use as wear rods under the skis.
some M3 screws with nuts
*4 and 5mm set screw shaft collars or equivalent

The chassis is glued together with hot glue. The bearing bracket is bolted to the chassis with M3 screws and so is the front suspension. All the steel rods is fitted with set screw shaft collars. The seat is held to the chassis by magnets at the rear and is easy to remove to change battery.

The power plant and gearing is a little tricky. I used a hobbyking 36mm 550w inrunner and toothed pulleys with a gearing of 9 to 42. I chose this setup because I thought needed the power but its to overpowered and a little heavy. I recommend to use a smaller high torque engine.

Please send me your questions and I will update with more information.

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I used resolution 0,3 because I'm lacy but 0,1 is recommended for better finish. Support is needed at the front half of the chassis and the rear suspension runner. If you print in ABS you gonna have some problems with warping. I used Kapton tape and glue to prevent warping. I think PET is the ideal plastic for this build.

The track is printed in Ninjaflex Shore 85A. But other flexible brands works as well. No support for the track.


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ok so i got it done but the rubber is way to soft. i bought ninjaflex tpe it wont work for this , so what did you use to print your track please? im hoping they might take the $50 spool back. it must be a semi flex type but what one worked?

I think you will find answers for most of your questions in "thing details"...
The track must be soft. If its to stiff the bogie will not hold the load and fail. But to prevent slip you need to tighten it quite hard. Took me some time ti find the best track tightening.

could we see a pic of the pulley and belt you did find at the store? so i can see what works from the hardware store. im still waiting for my ninjaflex also.

hey could you post the files for the motor pulley and the belt to fit this also. i notice using the rubber filament the thicker i make it the less it wants to bend. how thick is the track and motor belt? it doesn't show so does your motor pulley have teeth? please post it with the belt asap. thanks this is going to rock this winter!

I purchased the pulleys and drive-belt at a local hardware store. You can download cad models of pulleys from some suppliers, but i dont think you can print a working drive belt. You have to buy that part...

what drive belt did you find please? and what type pulleys? i cant use the cad stuff. wish i could but its the math i dont get.

after reading everything i think maybe try widening your skis and make a deeper track before you put a smaller motor in , you can never have to much power. you could also turn the throttle down in the transmitter using dual rates and maybe add some expo. sure would like to see it go in the snow!

wow i am more than impressed! such a great job on the design! could you please upload the parts separately to print? also need them to all be stl files. i cant open the top file at all. thanks for sharing!

Im glad you like it. Download the .rar file and unpack it with suitable data compression tool. Then you will have all the .stl files needed.

thanks i got it. took a bit to figure out for me but now i can use rar file as well. so thanks for that too! it would be nice to have a exploded diagram of all the parts and how they attach and go together where or how they fit right. i'm sure i will figure it out though. i may just use the design idea and make a bigger wider type so it would handle the motor a bit better maybe. thanks again for sharing!

wow that a cool project. I want to make one. Do you recommend ninja flex or is a cheaper brand like this ok? https://filaments.ca/collections/2-85mm-3d-filaments/products/elastomer-tpe-filament-red-2-85mm?variant=14657269956

Also what kv motor did you use? 1/10 scale? and how did you get the spinners for the track to stay on the rods?
Does the track fall off sometimes?
The skis did you make a grove in them to catch the snow?
and what else would you do improve if you made a new one?
Im thinking of trying to make a 1/8 scale snowmobile

Yes cheaper brands should work to. But you have to ask the supplier if the shore value changes when it gets cold.

I used Turnigy TrackStar 1/10 17.0T 2400KV Brushless innrunner. The lower kv the better.

The "spinners" are press fitted to the rods and don't needed any glue or mechanical fastener.

The track has fallen of only one time due to wet snow building up in the chassis.

Regarding the skis I don't know what you mean buy groove to catch snow.

I would definitely change the motor setup. Its to heavy and uncontrollable with that big 550w motor. I will also print a track with higher paddles for better deep snow riding :-)

ok thanks. for the skis i wondering if you had a protruding piece on the bottom of ski to grip the snow better when turning like real snowmobiles
and did you use belt or gear to drive the track? did you get everything from hobbyking?
and how tight is the track like do you have a fair bit of tension on it or is it more sitting there? have never used flex filament just wondering how much you decrease in track length compared to actual length needed?

As mentioned in the description. "Some stiff 2mm wire to use as wear rods under the skis" I used push rod from hobbyking.
I used belt drive because my motor was so big that the axle to axle dimension got to high for gears. I got the pulleys and drive belt from a local shop. But I have seen the exact components on ebay.
The track gets really stiff so no extra tension needed. But no slack either.
Ninjaflex does not shrink when printed. Not any that is noticed.

Sorry, I don't see a file for the track..... just the whole snowmobile, but I can't find the track.

Its in the .RAR file and named Trackflexible

how do you make the track? or belt... whatever its called.

I forgotten to add it to the print settings. Now its updated. (The track is printed in Ninjaflex Shore 85A)

!!!Just fucking Wow!!! nice work bro!

Im glad you like it