Also in November I published a YouTube video about my progress so far and made a plan to finish the project as a priority.
I’m designing the entire yacht from the ground up using my favorite CAD package OpenSCAD. So it was back to the drawing board (well, a pen and pad at least) to design each remaining part on paper before bringing each part to life one by one using OpenSCAD and my 3D printer.
Quite a lot of work was still required but as I really enjoy using OpenSCAD it didn’t really feel like work. After a few weeks of designing, testing and tweaking I’d finally finished each part and assembled the first version of the entire yacht, including the electronics required to control it.
This is the video I mentioned earlier which shows where I was up to with the land yacht before I committed to completing it.
Designing and 3D Printing the Parts
Just to show you the scale of the work involved, here’s a file list for the parts I’ve designed for the yacht. The file names starting with “global” are parts or sub parts that are used in multiple places. Being a software engineer I like to create generic, configurable, reusable parts where possible. It’s just good practice.
battery_tray.scad boom_joint.scad cable_clip.scad global.scad global_sail_glue_strips.scad global_sail_rings.scad global_servo_mount.scad global_tray.scad global_tyre_ridge.scad global_wheel_axle_shaft.scad rear_axle_joint.scad rear_wheel_axle.scad sail_clip.scad sail_ring_center.scad sail_ring_end.scad sail_servo_arm.scad sail_tray.scad steering_arm.scad steering_bar.scad steering_joint.scad tyre.scad wheel.scad wheel_nut.scad
Although some of the parts are obvious by their file names, these probably won’t mean a lot to you and as they say a picture speaks a thousand words so plenty more pictures will be available soon.
My plan is to release an initial working version of the land yacht on Thingiverse in the next few weeks and then if people like it, I’ll create a user community and we’ll work together to improve the design.
However, there’s an interesting and exciting phase to go though before that happens.
Excited About Testing and Tweaking
Beyond my earlier YouTube Video showing the sail-less version rolling down a hill to demonstrate the steering, this yacht is largely untested. All of the parts are designed, 3D printed and the yacht had been assembled, but I need to test and tweak it a lot before releasing it.
The sail is made from polythene at the moment, just to test that it basically works and it’s held on by sticky tape since I found out that super glue doesn’t stick PLA to polythene.
I need a better solution for the sail before release, but although it looks messy right now it should be up to the job of initial testing.
Whether the first tests are a success or a disaster, who knows, but it’ll be interesting and very exciting to try it for the first time.
Now that I’m recommitted to the project I’ll be publishing more blog posts and YouTube videos on my dedicated 3D Printed RC Land Yacht Page so feel free to take a look and bookmark the page for future reference.
For now, wish me luck and I’ll report back what happens when I take this thing outside for the first time on a windy day, which in the UK is most days 🙂
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