OpenRC Truggy: The First 3D Printed RC Car

by Matthew Wellington on May 3, 2013

OpenRC 3D Printed TruggyTruggies are simply off-road remote control vehicles. Usually they are designed to be used in off-road racing games such as in desert racing competitions. Their robust nature makes them able to easily navigate through almost any kind of terrain.

Many RC Cars enthusiasts often look forward to owning truggies due to the unique racing experience that they guarantee. While the quickest way of owning a truggy is buying one, it certainly isn’t the cheapest way.

Since the introduction of 3D printing technology, it has been discovered that, with a 3D printer, you can create your own Truggy RC Car. Truggy fabrication through 3D printing is an ongoing Open Source project that was first started by a Swedish man called Daniel Noree. The main aim of the project was to educate people on how they can home-craft truggies using 3D printing technology; foregoing the need to buy them.

Many experiments have since been carried out with more people providing ideas on how the fabrication process can be modified to ensure speed, accuracy and quality creation of truggies via 3D printing. If you are a real enthusiast, you can find pleasure in being part of the ‘invention’ by joining real time discussions of the project on Google+. Considering that the project is still in the open source forum, you can provide better ideas to steer up great advancements of the project.

Huge steps have been made so far in outlining the basic ‘how to’ steps of 3D printing and assembling a truggy. However if all this is new to you, perhaps you may want to ensure that you watch a number of  OpenRC Truggy YouTube videos to help you grasp the main ideas and concepts.

What’s also important to keep in mind is the fact that you will need to purchase some vital parts that may not necessarily be printed by your 3D printer. Bearings, screws, shocks and nuts are among the parts that have to be purchased separately before the final assembly of the truggy. Take note that, the parts you may have to buy will, to a great extent, depend on the particular truggy model (version) you intend to fabricate.

Essentially, Daniel’s idea of starting this project was that with the steady Decline of 3D printer Prices over the years, in the near future 3D printers will be accessible to a whole lot of people. Therefore in the few coming years instead of people buying truggies, they should be in fact crafting their own customized truggies in the comfort of their homes.

Truggy Versions and Specifications

In order to satisfy the increasing numbers of racing fanatics, newer and even better performing truggies have been developed in the past few years. This is why you’ll find several truggy versions in the market today. RTR Trophy Truggy Flux, Truggy Race Roller and Nitro Truggy RTR are however the most common models that a majority of racers consider acquiring.

Despite the fact that all truggies generally handle much the same, the unique features of each version is what really gives racers the satisfaction and thrill they are looking for. Question is which truggy should you go for?

Well it all comes down to the specific specs you would want your truggy to have. For instance, truggies with anodized threaded shocks enables the car to perform smooth manoeuvres that can heighten the racing thrill.

High performance tires are good for negotiating sharp corners at top speed. On the other hand, some truggies are made with Digital High Torque Steering Servo for quick and precise steering responses. Additionally you may want to ensure that your truggy has an Aluminum Anodized Chassis which is known to increase the stability of the car. The more stable the car is the easier time the racer will have when racing. More so, Aluminum Anodized Chassis prevent any external elements from interfering with the performance of the vehicle.

Other specs that are integral to mull over include speed, acceleration, design, nitro abilities, stunt and jump precision, noise level and braking system functionalities. On top of that you should also give regard to its general durability and ease of maintenance. All these as a whole are what determine the performance of your truggy.

Truggy vs Buggy – What’s the Best Choice?

This is one of the questions that most if not all racers ask themselves. Should I buy a truggy or will a buggy do just fine? Truggies and buggies have many similarities but one should not ignore their evident differences when contemplating which one to choose.

To start with, truggies are more novice friendly than buggies due to their heightened stability. Their longer and larger tires often give them a better grip and so if you are a new racer you can have a pretty smooth time driving a truggy. The same cannot be said for buggies because their tires are much shorter and thinner denying them the level of stability that truggies have. It therefore goes without saying that buggies are quite difficult to drive particularly when you are just a beginner.

Moreover, truggies are higher off the ground than buggies making them just the kind of race car you would want to have when racing on a rough rocky track or driving through long wild grass. This in addition, enables them to make great stunts and jumps. Since buggies are usually lower to the ground, they are only a smart choice when racing on well maintained terrains but they don’t have the same stunt abilities as truggies.

On the positive side though, buggies to some extent exhibit greater racing speed than truggies especially on a low leveled track. What’s more, they have way cheaper tires than truggies so you won’t have to part with a lot of cash when you want to upgrade. Finally, although buggies are fun and unique to drive, they tend to present the flaws of the racer, allowing you to identify and improve your driving skills with time.

Concisely, you should be clear about your purpose for the car when choosing between the two. If enjoying easy driving or handling and making stunts is what you really want, go for a truggy. Nonetheless if all you want is to improve your driving skills or perhaps identify your mistakes as a driver, the best alternative for you will certainly be a buggy.

Check out this Parametric OpenRC Truggy Tyre I designed using OpenSCAD and 3D printed in NinjaFlex rubber.

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