3D printing has taken creative heights to a new level with all the possibilities it provides. It has become a great source of expressing the creative side of hobbyists and DIYers. Among many things, a 3D-printed RC car is a hobby that many people are getting into.
The factor of RC vehicles is quite fascinating for all the creators out there. Especially, people who are into vehicles love to explore that area. And 3D printing makes their idea of exploring the RC car aspects even more accessible with affordability.
So, if you are also wondering how you can start your journey with 3D-printed RC cars, I am here to help you with that. I will give you a complete guide on this thing and let you in on this fantastic hobby that you can enjoy.
Without wasting further time, let’s get started with this whole thing.
Things you need for 3D printing RC car
Well, aside from a 3D printer, you will need some stuff to start printing your RC cars. For the printer, it’s better to have an FDM printer as most of the files you can find are compatible with them. But if you have a resin printer, you can still find plenty of ways to print your favorite RC car models.
Now that that’s out of the way let’s check out all the other things you need for printing RC cars.
You will, of course, need 3D printable files based on the designs you choose to have. You can find many ways to get these printable files according to your choice.
The first way is to take an RC car apart then measure everything. Or you can also use a 3D scanner to capture the RC car parts for the perfect measurement. If this doesn’t seem a viable option for you, there are two more ways to go about it.
You can try using design software to meet your needs. There are a lot of CAD programs for designing 3D printable structures with printable files. However, if you don’t want to spend time designing or have any designing experience, you must move on to the following method.
This is the easiest way to get RC car printable files, which is to collect them from the internet. There are a lot of RC car models available on different 3D printable files websites. One popular website you can check out is Thingiverse.
There are also particular websites specifically for RC car 3D printable files; you can check them out. Such as 3D sets.com, Scale 3D RC, 3DExport, and so forth.
Another critical decision you have to make here is the filament choice for your RC car. There are many choices for filaments for 3D printing, but not all of them will work out for RC cars. Also, you have to consider that your printer has to be compatible with the material as well.
For starters, a good thing to do is choose PLA as your primary printing filament. While many people don’t prefer PLA for RC cars, they can be an excellent option to start with. First of all, they are inexpensive so you won’t be wasting money. Also, they are environmentally friendly.
What you can do here is to print all the parts of the RC car with PLA. Then, if you see some parts aren’t that good in quality or breaking up, you can simply use Nylon for those parts. Nylon is considered the best material for 3D printing RC cars.
Usually, the primary goal while choosing the material should be to make your RC car models look good. So, to ensure that you have to go for the proper color choice rather than the material most of the time.
Aside from the core parts of an RC car, you will also need some additional parts for the perfect car. These are parts like nuts, screws, motors, threaded rods, ball-bearing, and so on.
Now, you can choose to print these parts. However, that won’t be the best option for that. Because when it comes to nuts and screws, you have to make sure they are sturdy. And the best material for that is steel.
Since you can’t make these parts out of steel, especially as hobbyists, you have to buy them somewhere. That’s the only way to get them.
So, these are the essential things and parts you should be considering for 3D printing an RC car. However, there is one other thing I haven’t gone through yet, which is the tires. Let’s get through that quickly now.
What to do with the tires for the 3D Printed RC Car?
One of the most crucial things you should be considering for your RC car is the tires. What kind of tires do you want to use for your RC car? You can either buy rubber tires for your car, or you can simply 3D print them according to your wish.
If you plan to 3D print the tires, you have to consider the filament material you want to use. Usually, for tires using TPU or TPE works out the best. But printing these materials requires some expertise, and as a beginner, you might go through some struggles.
This is why most people go for store-bought rubber tires rather than printing tires by themselves. While printing may be fun, working with flexible materials becomes much more complex than you can anticipate.
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What to look for when choosing 3D printable files for RC cars?
You need to go through several aspects to choose the best 3D printable file for your need. Considering this, you are going with the existing 3D printable file options on the internet. Let’s take a look at things you should be considering to decide. Later on, I will share some of the top places to meet your needs for 3D printable RC car files.
Range of choices
The platform you are getting these files from should offer you a wide array of choices to get your design from. You will surely want to have a lot of design options rather than just one basic pick.
Quality of the models
You have to ensure that the files you are choosing are top-notch in quality. You don’t want poor-quality 3D printed parts for your RC car. Remember, RC cars are mostly about appearance, so you don’t want to mess them up in that aspect.
Unique 3D models
There is no point in getting designs that everyone else is making. It would help if you looked for unique RC bodies with their identity and offered something special. Try looking for designs that aren’t universally available; some sites provide these kinds of files a lot.
Ease of usage
I mean, everyone wants to make this process as easy as possible. You will want to have a website and an option to get the files quickly. Also, make sure the files you choose for printing are easy to use. Otherwise, things can get pretty tricky and tricky for you when it comes to printing your favorite RC model.
One of the primary reasons for opting towards 3D printing rather than buying an RC model is affordability. It will help if you are looking for affordable options to get. Some websites even provide 3D printable files for free. So, you can try them out as well.
Things can get complicated when finding the perfect source for 3D printable files. Here are some of the most popular choices you can go through to find your perfect 3D printable file.
- Scale 3D RC: This is a website for downloading 3D printable files specifically targeted towards RC projects. You can find the best quality files here for any RC vehicle you want to print out.
These files come in different parts and segments. They are also paid, so you have to consider that as a factor here. The prices are usually pretty reasonable.
- 3D sets.com: Here’s another website that provides 3D printable files specifically for RC cars. You can get a lot of options here with unique designs and styles. The quality of the files is just too good with some stunning details and looks on every single one of them.
However, all that value comes with an expensive price tag. So, before you go ahead and get them, you have to consider whether they will be worth it or not.
Apart from these paid sources, you can always rely on Thingiverse for any kind of 3D project. Unlike the other ones, Thingiverse provides you with printable files for RC projects without any cost at all.
To sum it up, 3D printed RC car can be your next favorite hobby once you get into it. It’s not something difficult to do, provided that you can get design files without too much trouble. With the right kind of files, materials, and processes, you will end up with some fantastic RC car models right at your home.