3D Printed Tank Has Slick Tread Design

Tank projects are great because while every tank design is the same in a fundamental way, there’s nevertheless endless variety in the execution and results. [Hoo Jian Li]’s 3D Printed Tank is smartly laid out and has an unusual tank tread that shows off some slick curves.

The tank itself is remotely controlled over Bluetooth with a custom controller that uses the common HC-05 Bluetooth radio units. The treads are driven by four hobby gearmotors with custom designed wheels, and run over an idler wheel in the center of the body. There isn’t any method of taking up slack in the track and a ripple in the top surface of the track is visible as it drives, but the tank is small enough that it doesn’t seem to mind much. STL files and source code is available on GitHub; unfortunately the repository lacks a wiring diagram but between the low component count, photos, and source code that’s not a show-stopper.

Tank treads see a lot of variation, from 3D printed designs for tracks that use a piece of filament as hinges to an attempt to use a conveyor belt as a tank tread for a go-kart. Some tank projects even eschew treads altogether and go for a screw drive.

4 thoughts on “3D Printed Tank Has Slick Tread Design

  1. I hope the electronics are shock proofed, or the tank is very slow… Tank treads alone make for a pretty bumpy ride, but without any shock absorbers or at least using some rubbery cushioned threads (you could print some parts of the tread in flexible filament) this thing is going to fall apart after the first few battery cycles.
    Another problem i see with this design, if you really want to run outside and not just pose it there for some pictures, is the lack of clearance between the tank body and the tread. Sooner or later dirt or a little stone will just jam itsellf in there and stop your adventure.
    Nice effort, but i would chase the designer back to the drawing board if he presented me that thing as a solution…

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