Automate Winter with a 3D Printed Snowblower

Remote controlled vehicles aren’t just for kids. In fact, you can get some seriously cool mini utility vehicles. In fact, you can even buy a mini tracked snow blowing vehicle! But [The_Great_Moo] was rather disappointed in the performance of his Kyosho Blizzard SR, so he did what any self-respecting hacker would — he redesigned the whole damn thing and 3D printed it.

The beauty with re-designing something from the ground up is you can design it specifically for 3D printing (unless of course you want to mass produce it!), so [The_Great_Moo] took his time and built all his parts with layer strength in mind. The large parts are printed at 0.4mm resolution, and the finer parts; like gears and shafts, are printed at 0.2mm resolution. He printed everything off using his Da Vinci 1.0 printer, and it apparently only took 40 hours!

Besides bolts and nuts everything is 3D printed — even the timing belt gears and gearbox! But the real question is… can it really blow snow. You’ll have to watch the video to find out.

25 thoughts on “Automate Winter with a 3D Printed Snowblower

  1. I’m certain I could find a use for that. We’re expecting yet another snow storm here in the northeastern US, and it would be nice to be able to clear the yard while sitting on the couch sipping hot chocolate instead of freezing my bum off shoveling.

      1. Minus swarm. The smaller a robot gets, the more time and money it costs to build and maintain relative to the performance. Better to have one reasonably sized robot that can perform tirelessly.

        1. The benefit of the perimeter wire and automating the system is that you wouldn’t need a larger robot. It would simply start working during a big storm and keep the snow from getting too deep by repeated cleanings. Sure we need 3 foot wide 2 foot tall blowers when we wait for the storm to end before trudging out to take care of it. but this 6 inch tall cutie could work all night with the right smarts behind it. With one your driveway stays clear, with a swarm you clear Wal*mart’s parking lot. Now can you Imagine the snow forts these puppies could make?

  2. This is amazingly cool and I’d love to have one – with a caveat: This is a model.

    Electric snowblowers (we’re talking full-sized, here) have always been terrible for real snow-moving beyond just clearing a small deck of an inch or two. Either [The_Great_Moo] has cracked a workable electric blower design and should shop it around to the plug-in market or…. what about a hybrid? Drive the impeller system with a 1 – 2 hp gas engine (weed whacker or similar) so the snow really gets thrown, and do the rest as before. Then you’d have a good chance of taking on some righteous snowdrifts.

    This looks like familiar non-snow by the way (sorry Northeastern US – I know you’re hurting) – is this the Midwest?

  3. Is it an artifact of the video, or is the auger that gathers the snow in front running in the wrong direction? it looks like it it is pushing the snow towards the outside rather than pulling it in to the center. If so,….oooops

      1. Frame rate and rotation speed made it look like the auger wasn’t moving for most of the video, but when the auger is loaded, it becomes obvious that it is spinning.

        Kudos to Moo for this one!

        “I gotta get me one of these!”

  4. Pretty awesome model and concept. I like it. However, practicality and durability are limited to regions that just get small amounts of powdery snow. So far this season in Michigan, even my John Deere 1332PE (13hp dual stage) has taken a beating. I’ve already replaced sheer pins when I ran into chunks of ice at the bottom of the driveway, and the wet snow has even bogged it down going through 2ft drifts.

  5. Just as a note; He hasn’t “Re-designed” the blizard; He’s made a snow-blower attachment to replace the plough that comes with it. The actual vehicle is unchanged. They’re not really “Utility vehicles” either; they’re more designed for general mucking about in the snow than hard work. Might be worth editing that; at the moment, the text’s rather misleading.
    Nevertheless, cool project. Wouldn’t be relying on it as a tool to clear snow, but like I said, they’re more for having fun with than hard work, and it should hold up to light duty stuff fine.

  6. To be fair the original blizzard model was meant to be just that, a functional scale model of a snocat, not a snoblower. IMO this could’ve been cooler if the auger and blower were closer to the scale of the actual equipment they use on real snocats. Otherwise why not just design something from scratch that might actually clear a driveway? Maybe I’m missing the point.

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