I’ve begun designing and 3D printing a RC stunt car. RC racing as a hobby supports many classes, including buggies, trucks, and aircraft. While these are just a few of the categories of RC racing you can participate in, there is one that I have enjoyed since I was young. Stunt driving involves driving your car through loops, over jumps, intentionally performing rollovers, wheelies, and other death-defying feats.
RC permits us to perform these stunts without any of the risk to life and limb. However RC is an expensive hobby to participate in. Many kits range in the hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. Bear in mind that a kit will be little more than a box full of plastic and metal parts requiring the user to assemble and tune their own machine from the ground up.
3D printing permits us to rapidly iterate a design while evaluating individual design characteristics and adjusting for them with a rapid turnaround. Considering this, the next logical thought is to 3D print an RC car from scratch.
I am currently bootstrapping one such vehicle. The plant layout is an independent lower a-arm with camber link front suspension, combined with a trailing arm live axle rear suspension. This will permit most suspension adjustments to be performed on the front of the car while the rear is primarily providing forward motion. For the application of a stunt vehicle this layout permits adjustment for a variety of intended stunts and surfaces. Additionally an open layout bootstrapped with a given purpose in mind, such as stunt driving, gives the flexibility Of ensuring that the platform is perfectly suited to its intended purpose.
At one point in my youth, I purchased a Bolink “Digger” car. This overly simplistic RC car chassis is little more than two plates of carbon fiber with spacers to stand them in a ladder chassis configuration. With a rigid rear axle and minimal front suspension the vehicle was very susceptible to rollovers, and wheelies. The chassis was also nigh-indestructible. Add the included Volkswagen Beetle body and you have a car that is nothing but laughs. That is my ultimate goal with this project… an RC car that is nothing but laughs.
And now I leave you with a short video of me ranting about the benefits of rapid prototyping.