Nov 21, 2017 | By Tess

One of our favorite makers, James Bruton of XRobots, is known for producing some awesome 3D printing projects, including a LEGO-inspired 3D printed electric skateboard, an ultra-realistic BB-8 drone, and a record breakingly large statue of himself.

Of course, all of these projects are done on Bruton’s spare time, as the prolific maker does have a day job like most of us. Only, it turns out his day job also consists of 3D printing toys!

As Bruton informed us, he produced a massive scaled-up version of a Hotwheels Drone Racerz toy as part of a promotion project for the company he works for, Bladez Toyz.

The company, which recently acquired the license to make Hotwheels flying toys, decided to celebrate the new partnership by getting Bruton to produce a remote controlled Hotwheels drone roughly 25 times the size of the original.

As you can imagine, the maker was more than up to the task.

In a series of three Youtube videos, Bruton goes through the drone creation process step-by-step, detailing which parts were 3D printed, which weren’t, and how the giant toy was constructed.

The design process, he explains, was simple enough, largely because Bladez Toyz had the CAD files for the original Drone Racerz on hand and they mostly just needed to be scaled up to fit the desired 6’ x 6’ dimensions.

The giant Hotwheels Drone Racerz chassis (picture above) was made from several different components including a base cut from plywood (painted with a black sealant), structural aluminum parts, heavy duty 3D printed brackets, and go kart axle stops (for the steering).

For the wheels, Bruton used wheelbarrow wheels with a 16” diameter, which he had to customize by inserting bearings. He also 3D printed red hubs for each of the wheels. The front steering assembly also consisted of a number of 3D printed components, as well as pivots, and more.

After hooking up the chassis with electronics, a test run was done to make sure everything was working well. Spoiler: it was!

For the quadcopter feature, Bruton again used a base pattern made from plywood and used polystyrene foam to bulk it up. The main body of the quad was made from 3D printed corners attached to plywood sides. This section not only holds up the quadcopter top, but also contains the toy’s battery and additional electronics.

Bruton opted to buy off-the-shelf rotors for the massive drone toy (30” rotors) but did 3D print the platforms they are attached to. 1 kW outrunners were used to activate the rotors, though only for effect—the massive drone will not be taking to the skies.

The drone’s body shell is made from PVC boards which are secured underneath with 3D printed brackets, while other cosmetic shells were mostly 3D printed. For these, some post-processing was needed in order smooth down the build lines. Final touches for the quadcopter were made using plywood and the Hotwheels decals were scaled up from the original and printed on sticky vinyl.

For the 3D printed parts, Bruton relied primarily on a LulzBot MOARstruder 3D printer and used filaments from UK-based materials supplier 3d Filaprint.

Excitingly, the finished 3D printed Hotwheels drone was recently presented during Hamleys Toy Shop parade in central London, where Bruton was on site to remotely drive the massive toy. You can see the full video of its procession below.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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