3D Printed Tank Scores Suspension

Tanks are highly capable vehicles, with their tracks giving them the ability to traverse all manner of terrain at speed. An important part of a tank is its suspension setup, without which its treads are far less capable. When [Ivan]  began work on his 3D printed tank project, he couldn’t ignore the comments. His tank would need a suspension system.

The tank build itself is impressive, consisting almost entirely of 3D printed components held together with off-the-shelf bearings and threaded rod. [Ivan] retools the tank from the beginning to fit a pivoting suspension system which is surprisingly simple in its design, yet capable in operation. Particularly impressive are the 3D printed springs, which [Ivan] tunes the stiffness of to suit the weight of the vehicle.

It’s a build that shows just how far you can go when you master the basics of 3D printing and mechanical design. It doesn’t take a lot of advanced theory to design cool things, just a willingness to learn and experiment and the right set of tools behind you. [Ivan]’s tank treads are worth taking a look at, too. Video after the break.


10 thoughts on “3D Printed Tank Scores Suspension

    1. I think you could pull it off with 3d printed ones but he needs a better spring model. those just arent very springy. maybe printed from a different material too?

      1. Less springy = more damping. So in theory you could optimize this, as a suspension needs damping as much as springs. Endurance is another thing. But probably an elastomeric material would be good.

  1. It needs a bracing plate connecting the outer ends of the idler roller axles, the suspension pivot rods, and the outer end of the drive axles. Put a bearing in the plate for the drive axle. The plate should also be connected to the side of the chassis box. The plates don’t need to be solid, a web or isogrid style would do. For the sprung tension idler, upsize the axle to 13mm rod.

    As heavy as it’s getting, it’s going to be bending those small rods without such support. I bet the 1.75mm filament used for track link pins won’t hold up too well.

  2. I loved that series initially but at like episode 3 or 4 it became painfully obvious hes just going over a script and not actually prototyping testing & trying, its all one big hoax just made to advertise.
    I dont mind advertisements at all, but i hate fakers.

    1. Edit: correction, i saw a few episodes of an earlier ‘car’ thats been ‘evolving’ every episode to now this tank-thread thing, apparently that warrants a new series, but the gripe i have with the guy is still the same.

  3. This is literally one of the worst types of suspensions for a tracked vehicle…I’d suggest looking at modern military tracked vehicles, they’re either some variant of Christie suspension, torsion bar (with shock absorbers) or hydro-pneumatic.

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