Introduction: Create the Body of Your Car

Picture of Create the Body of Your Car

Air power has been harnessed for centuries to power the sails of boats or create the mechanical motion of a windmill.

In this project, you will harness the power of air captured in a balloon to power a 3D printed car you are going to design and print.

In this project you will:

  • Design a body for your 3D printed car.
  • Create a path for air to exit the balloon in a way that will power your car.
  • Create wheels and axles for your car to roll on.

Step 1: Car Body Design

Picture of Car Body Design

The body of the car is the main shape of the project.

The body will tell us where the axles and wheels will be positioned, and it will have the balloon connector on it, so we will begin here.

Let's get started!

Instructions

  1. Place a box on the workplane and size it to be 20mm wide, 60mm long, and 20mm tall.
  2. Continue to the next step.

Step 2: Add Holes for the Axles

Picture of Add Holes for the Axles

We need to create openings for the axles to run through the car.

After we add the axles we can attach wheels to them.

Instructions

  1. Place a cylinder on the workplane and size it to 11mm in diameter and 25mm tall.
  2. Change the cylinder to a hole.
  3. Continue to the next step.

Step 3: Align the First Axle

Picture of Align the First Axle

We can now position the axle so it will make a hole through the body that we can slide the first axle through.

Instructions

  1. Rotate the cylinder 90° so the long direction crosses long ways through the body.
  2. Select the box and cylinder and align them to the bottom of the box, the end of the box and the center of the box. Tip: See the image above to see where the hole should be positioned.
  3. Continue to the next step.

Step 4: Position the First Axle

Picture of Position the First Axle

We now have the axle aligned with the body, but it is right at the edge of the box.

We need to position it just a little to make it a bit stronger.

Instructions

  1. Rotate your view to look at the model from the side.
  2. Select the cylinder and press the left arrow key on the keyboard 5 times. This will move the hole 5mm to the left away from the end of the box.
  3. With the cylinder still selected use the black arrow on top to lift the cylinder up away from the workplane 3mm.
  4. Continue to the next step.

Step 5: Create and Align the Second Axle

Picture of Create and Align the Second Axle

We can now use the cylinder hole we just created to make a second one that we can position at the other end of the car.

Instructions

  1. Duplicate the first axle hole by selecting Duplicate button on the toolbar.
  2. Change the snap grid to 5mm.
  3. Rotate the view to look at the car from the side and press the left arrow 8 times to move the second axle to the opposite end of the car.This will move the second axle 40mm from the first. (8 arrow presses x 5mm movement with each press = 40mm)
  4. Select all the shapes and group them into a single item.
  5. Continue to the next step.

Step 6: Make Your Car More Aerodynamic

Picture of Make Your Car More Aerodynamic

You don't see too many square car on the road for a good reason. Square shapes have a hard time moving through the air.

Let's streamline your car making it a little more aerodynamic.

Instructions

  1. Place a wedge shape on the work plane and size it to be 5mm tall, 20mm wide, and 40mm long.
  2. Change the wedge to a hole.
  3. Continue to the next step.

Step 7: Position the Wedge Shape

Picture of Position the Wedge Shape

Next we will position the wedge to remove some material from the car to make it more aerodynamic.

Instructions

  1. Rotate the wedge 180° so the flat face that is on the workplane is facing upwards.
  2. Select the car body and the wedge and align them to the maximum on the left, to the maximum toward the top of the car and to the center width wise. Tip: See image for specific position.
  3. Select both shapes and group them into a single item.
  4. Continue to the next step.

Step 8: Add a Nose Wedge to the Car

Picture of Add a Nose Wedge to the Car

To complete the aerodynamics work we will add a wedge shape to the from of the car to make it more pointy in the front.

Instructions

  1. Place a wedge shape on the workplane and size it to 20mm wide, 10mm long and 15mm tall.
  2. Rotate the wedge 90° counter clockwise on the Workplane.
  3. Select both shapes and align them to the center of the car width wise.
  4. Let the snap grid to 1 and use the arrow keys to position the wedge at the front of the car. Tip: The snap grid can be changed in the lower right corner of the graphics window.
  5. Select both shapes and group them into a single item.
  6. Continue to the next lesson.

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