I've always had a fascination with tanks, so when the time came for me to do a project for my engineering class, I decided to 3D print one.
Click on the additional steps to see more.
Step 1: Design
The program I used to create the tank with was Rhinoceros 3D, and the process took about two months. The tank had been split into three different parts: the barrel, and turret, and then the hull which itself had been split in two in order to fit inside the printer. It's a 1:36 scale model of a Tiger II tank, developed by the Germans during WWII. The hull is 7.5 inches long, 4 inches wide, and 2 inches high. The barrel is also 7.5 inches long, and attached the hull the overall length is 11 inches.
The tank was designed to work with LEGOs, which made up the axles for the wheels to attach to, the treads, and the part that attached the turret to the hull. The wheels themselves were made from wood, cut and etched with a laser.
Step 2: Assembly
The total time for everything to print took over sixteen hours. There are some in-progress close-ups of my assembling of the parts.
While the front half of the hull was still printing, I took the completed back half and added some wheels and tread to see how everything fit, and did it fit snugly. I bought some nail fillers to sand down the rough parts of the tank that printed unevenly and smooth them out. The turret was much easier to work with than the hull due to little to no complications.
Step 3: Completed
Finished product! Everything fit perfectly. The turret rotates a full 360 degrees, and it drives well too. There is one imperfection, a crease where the two parts of the hull meet, but it is exceptionally minor.