Hi, after seeing PROTOS III on lmr I wanted a robot with big tank tracks even more than I already did, so I made some tank tracks, with slight modifications from calex63, they take some time, but are cheap and easy.

This tutorial only covers the making of the tracks, a tutorial for the whole tank might come sometime in the future.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

- Bike chains, two bike chain per tank track, you can buy only two and cut them in half with a chain breaker that's what I did.

Each chain was 3€ at the mall, no need for quality shimano or sram chains or anything, cheap ones will do.

- PVC tube, I used 12mm diameter but thicker is good, definitely NOT thinner, that was 1€ for 3meters(I really want to replace the PVC with Al soon)

- Screws and self tightening bolts(the ones with a bit of rubber inside) and screws, my chain fitted M3 screws nicely in the thickest links.

 Quantities will depend on how big you want it, count your chain links.


- X-acto knife.

- strong scissors(optional, easier than the knife, but results aren't so good).

- dremel with 3mm drill bit.

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dimitart1 month ago

Very nice tutorial. Can I use pop rivets instead of the screws?

SamaunusS4 months ago

Hey, nice tutorial. I was curious what sprockets/bike pulleys you used. They have every other tooth cut off. It would be awesome to know as I want to build a similar tank.

is da best smp 4 cerdas

badmanbaz2 years ago
this helped a when i was building this mini robot a while back using modified code from the lawnbot400 instructable

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRUx7rRzfBc&feature=player_embedded i used derailleur cogs with every other tooth removed and small screws instead of bolts and filled them with glue gun glue as mentioned above works brilliantly and none of the slipping as i had issues with using Rollerblade wheels in a previous attempt
amando96 (author)  badmanbaz2 years ago
Nice job! any chance we could get some detailed pics of the drive system? I'll add it to the tutorial, the more ways to make it the better, I'm relying only on friction to drive it, and it works very well, but other people haven't been so lucky.
here are the pictures there are the few versions of these tracks ive made feel free to add any of the picture's you feel are useful
robot tracks album

and a few of the minibot

Hey man where did you get those little sprockets? I can't find ones like that anywhere! It looks like the teeth fit perfectly between the bolts.

I can only guess that you got 10-tooth sprockets and ground off every second tooth?

BenH611 months ago

I see people talking about making the tracks with metal, how would one cut the metal tube? I own a scroll saw, but I was looking a long time ago and people said 1/8" aluminum would be very hard to cut with one.

studleylee2 years ago
This is ffffeeeeinnnggg brilliant !!! Thanks!!!!!
masonmilby2 years ago
Hey I wanted to know how you connected the roller skate wheels to the motor shaft because I'm building my own right now
cstewart222 years ago
hi, hoping you could help im having trouble looking for a some motors to power my new project. i like the speed of yours in the youtube video could you tell me what type and/or brand the motors were please many thanks :)
Viliuks2 years ago
I, was thinking making the tracks with the bike chains and wood because im making a tiger I tank replica out of wood. So is it a good idea to change the PVC pipe to some wood?
jmacquarrie3 years ago
hey there, can you post pic of side view of treads and one of right on the back, if you know what i mean. curious about rollerblade drive wheel, i was planning mine with cogs and cassettes and other rip raff from bikes. would be really helpful, tyia!
also did you weld the bolt going through the rollerblade wheel so it doesnt spin with the bearing?
amando96 (author)  jmacquarrie3 years ago
Sorry for the really late reply, I'm adding some more pictures right now, side views, front and back.

I machined a piece of steel the same size as the bearing but with a 5mm hole in the centre for the drill screws.
miguipda3 years ago
Dear amando96,

thanks for this great instructable I will use for a personal project.

But I have a question about your good idea.
This tank tracks could be used to work on grass but how does they ride on rocks.
In my backyard they are some small rocks on many slopes. As your tank tracks could help me I do not really be sure they will work on those kind of slopes.
Then having tank tracks like this :

may be can we use tire parts to use in place (or to put in) your halves PVC tubes.

Or may be do you have a better idea or may be already test it on small rock slopes ?

Sincerely thanks.

Have a nice day,

Miguipda ;-)
amando96 (author)  miguipda3 years ago
I tried it out on sand and gravel at a slight incline, too easy.

It's not just about the tracks though, you must have powerful motor/gearbox combo
frost3603 years ago
i hv no tơl s to make that
thanks because of ur idea i can complete my project work.if u have more idea than u can mail me in stephenapil@gmail.com
jaxx1114 years ago
How high voltage of a motor would i need for it to work. would it have to be insanely powerful or like 12v
TheeDoctor4 years ago
Try lining the edges of the PVC that connect to the floor with a thin line of hot glue for traction
Raitono4 years ago
Nice job. But how does it actually connect to the gear that turns them? Will a normal bike gear work or what? Will the screws get in the way? I'm planning on using a similar idea for a new project and need to know how it fits together.
they fit around/over the wheels
trying to gather the materiaals needed, thanks for the idea :)
lestat6664 years ago
i noticed u didnt say any thing about the drive wheel im new to all this so a lil help on that would b great
Kaiven5 years ago
Very cool! Any tutorial for how you made your tank?
I belive that it is the tank platform by Sparkington
amando96 (author)  Legoman2001194 years ago
Nope, completely home made with bits of aluminium and steel rod.
bombmaker25 years ago
Sweet idea. Do you think it could be scaled up using motorcycle chain for something life-size?
amando96 (author)  bombmaker25 years ago
If you find a substitute for the PVC tube, like steel it could be done, nothing bigger than those off road go carts though, if you try, let me know :-P
do you have any idea on the size limit of the chain? (or if there is one)
amando96 (author)  a4great4 years ago
Virtually there isn't I guess, as long as the chain is strong, and you find stronger substitutes for the PVC
I will and thanks.
How do you make the wheel for the chain???
amando96 (author)  koolcat789564 years ago
Roller skate wheels.
But how does the chain stay on the wheels?, if there is no teeth to hold the chain on.
The screws and bolts are used to create teeth on the inside of the chain to allow it to grip the drive wheel.
Ya how would it have traction would it just be pulled taut enough?
dagomuffin4 years ago
you might want to add some traction on the halves, even if its bike tire rubber and super glue
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