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Self-contained Rover Tracks

This is a self-contained 3D printable rover track that can be reused on your projects.

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Many times I designed and downloaded already designed rovers to be 3D printed. Usually there is no isolation between the rover tracks and the rest of the body.

This leads to the need to redesign everything on any new rover you make. The idea here is to isolate the tracks of my rovers, and create something that can be reused on many tracked robots, so you just think in the body, not the wheels.

I thought about adding also the motor controller, so you can just remove that element from your body and use that space for something else. Though it's not really needed to put the controller there if you what to use another type, or just want to place it with the rest of your electronics.

Also, as the motor controller supports two motors, you could place it in one of the tracks, and just send the power cables to the second motor. I'll show that later with pictures, so you know how to do that.

Materials

For each track you will need the following parts:

  • 1 Yellow DC Gear Motor (like this one)
  • 1 mini DC motor controller(like this)
  • Some M3 wood screws (get them here) (I find them to work perfect with 3D printed stuff. I used 10 mm ones here, but I'd recommend getting a bunch of measures, because you'll use them for sure)

The main page for this project is in here my blog, were I'll be updating and linking related projects that use this thing

3d Printing

The design can be found in its thingiverse page

  • 1
    Assembly sequence

    In this sequence you can get an idea of the internals of this assembly:

  • 2
    Recommendations
    • When printing the driver wheels, I would recommend to place the motor axis into the wheels hole while it is still hot. The objective is to make it fit tight without needing further work.
    • As this fits as a left or right track for a robot, there is no real left or right for this mount. That is why I named each side with A and B. Keep this naming to understand on which side of the assembly each par goes. If it has an A in the name, then it goes on the same side as the rest of the A parts, same for B.
    • Check at the list of images uploaded to this thing to get an idea of where does each part should fit
    • To link the tracks use a peace of 1.75 filament. If you leave about half millimeter extra on each side, you can melt that extra with a soldering iron, so you get a nice finish.

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Discussions

Keith Olson wrote 5 days ago point

Nice design!  Good call on using wood screws.  Can you create a version that uses sunk hex socket screws like these?  (http://tinyurl.com/yd4zt5fn)  I have become addicted to not dealing with Philips.  :grin:

  Are you sure? yes | no

Nahuel wrote 4 days ago point

Thanks Keith!

I don't think there would be any difference, You can just use the screws you have on the current design

  Are you sure? yes | no

Keith Olson wrote 4 days ago point

The issue is that they would stick out from the sides.  What I was asking was if you would be willing to create a version that altered the outer plates and spacers so that the screws could be completely sunk in.  It would just require a hollow cylinder on the plate and to make space in the spacer for it.  I can do a picture if I'm not being clear enough.

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Josh Starnes wrote 6 days ago point

can you post live pictures or video of it in action?

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Nahuel wrote 4 days ago point

I dont have a video, (yet), I'll post it as soon as I make one.

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Nahuel wrote 3 days ago point

You can see the rover tracks in action in Mike Hendricks' make: 

https://www.thingiverse.com/make:525417

https://youtu.be/7EqdYTMv7U4

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Josh Starnes wrote 6 days ago point

very good job on such a small scale track solution. Much cheaper if you have a 3d printer than buying a kit that costs 10 times as much!  You get a Skull Sir !

  Are you sure? yes | no

Nahuel wrote 4 days ago point

Thanks you very much!

  Are you sure? yes | no

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