My 3D Printed Land Yacht Project is Nearly Complete

by Jason King on January 12, 2017

Land Yacht PrototypeIt was in April 2016 when I last wrote about my 3D printed land yacht project but seven months later in November I decided that it was time I committed to finishing and releasing this project.

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
Land Yacht Sail Servo ArmYacht Tyre OpenSCADLand Yacht Battery TrayLand Yacht WheelLand Yacht Steering ArmLand Yacht Sail Tray
 

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.

Land Yacht PrototypeIt’s currently multicolored as many of the parts have been designed and made over a long period of time using different colored PLA plastics.

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 🙂

Thanks for reading and feel free to Like and Share this post if you found it interesting.

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