Jan 19, 2016 | By Kira

Neither snow nor freezing rain nor ice-covered streets can stop Daniel Norée, founder of the Open RC 3D printed vehicle project, from hitting the road with his 3D printed Formula One race car. Instead of waiting for winter to pass, Norée, commissioned 3D designer Thomas Palm of Palmiga Innovations to design 3D printable snow tires that would let him master the snow and ice. Stepping up as always, Palm has not only released the free 3D files for his snow chain-inspired 3D printed winter tires, but he also included a pretty sweet Easter Egg for the most daring of winter RC drivers.

As a born and bred Canadian, I’m used to driving in harsh winter conditions: blinding white snow, freezing rain and tricky ice patches that threaten to send you skidding without warning. In the most extreme northern conditions, drivers have the option of using snow chains on their tires to gain maximum traction on even the slipperiest of patches. To prove just how effective snow chains can be, Formula One driver Max Verstappen recently drove a RedBull RB7 up one of the most technical, terrifying, and snow-covered downhill ski runs in the world.

That daring act inspired Norée to want to do the same with his own OpenRC F1 race car, a low-cost, open source, and entirely 3D printable RC vehicle he released in early December. There could be no better 3D designer for the job than Thomas Palm, who has previously worked with Norée on many occasions, and has released several custom-made 3D printable wheels and tires for the various OpenRC models. These include 36 different combinations and wheels and tires that could be customized to fit a range of RC vehicles, as well as ‘no screw’ 3D printable wheels specifically for the Formula One car.

For the 3D printable Formula One winter tires, available on Thingiverse, Palm created a criss-cross pattern, available in various thicknesses, that covers the outer wheel. Just like real snow chains, this pattern provides maximum traction and gives the car better control. The video below shows Norée confidently whipping through the snow, performing tricks and quick turns as though it was a pleasant summer day.

As an added bonus for passionate winter RC drivers, Palm included a special "Ice-inspired Easter Egg", which he 3D printed using ETPU 95-250. Palm explicitly warns, however, that this Easter Egg should be used with caution, as driving on ice, even in an RC car, is inherently dangerous, and any injury or accident is entirely at the driver’s own risk.

In addition to the Low Profile Snow Tires, Palm has also released several other new 3D printable tire designs for the OpenRC F1 car, including two different versions of Low Profile Friction Tires, a solid Tire/Rim set, and four new versions of the Rain tire for the original rims.

For the 3D printable Low Profile Friction Tires (versions one and two), Palm used a single layer thickness of 0.2mm to create small nubs or bumps on the surface of the tire that are designed to give the vehicle better grip. Users can select from various differently sized ‘loops’ to create their own preferred grip depending on their individual 3D printer setups, filament choice, and speed. For Palm’s pictured versions, he used the rubber-like 3D printing filament ETPU 95-250. The snap-on design of these tires and rims can also be used with other OpenRC vehicles, including the 3D printable OpenRC Touring.

Finally, all of Palm’s OpenRC F1 tires and rims have also been released under a more liberal license (Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported, CCC BY-SA 3.0), in the spirit of open source and accessibility.

There are still at least a few seemingly endless weeks left of this freezing, wretched winter season, but that’s no reason to sit inside and sulk. Palmiga’s 3D printable winter tires are the perfect excuse to get out and get racing with your own open source, 3D printed RC racecars.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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