Picture of RC Paper Tank - Bring your 3D models to life
Bring your 3D models to life! In this instructable we will custom make a remotely controlled tank. We will infuse paper-craft with an arduino based system. This tank will be controlled on a android based phone though a bluetooth connection. I've strived to create something with a pleasing fit and finish. Remote control is also quite cheap and feasible for any project! I will show you how and why.

I want to show that It is possible to achieve a high level of visual aesthetic without the need for expensive machinery (no need for laser cutters, power tools or 3D printers).

I hope the pictures alone will guide and inspire you try new things! Show me what RC creations you have made in the comments below :)

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Step 1: Create/Choose a model

Picture of Create/Choose a model
There are thousands among thousands of existing paper-craft models to choose from. If there isn't already a model you can always convert a 3D model into a foldable model using pepakura. Paper craft is powerful in that it lets us create 3D objects from paper. it is also relatively inexpensive to aquire. One bonus is that the models are designed hollow and leave room for skeleton circuitry.


Step 2: Pick features

Picture of Pick features
There are thousands among thousands of existing papercraft models to choose from. What you want to remotely control is totally up to you. However there is always a few things to keep in mind
  • Keep it simple. Don't go all out if you aren't familiar with etiher sides of the spectrum
  • Know the limitations. the individual features of an ironman suit may be possible but it will not fit in a regular sized model
  • Commit. Taking on a paper model is a tedious task. Brining it to life seamlessly takes level of engineering and creativity.
RC features:
understand what you are capable of bringing to the model. what mechanisms already exist and how easily they are to implement. This takes experience. In other words don't go off building something impossible. 

For example... I want my RC tankto have :
  1. full ground movement
  2. led stop light
  3. push to start
  4. rotating turret
  5. speed control
  6. recoil

lucykang_1 month ago

Hi, I am trying to do this as my project and I was wondering what size of paper did you use? it seems bigger than it looks in the video! and are those pdf files are all I need to build a basic model of tank? :) Thank you for sharing this awesome project btw

Jelmer8 made it!3 months ago
Thanks for sharing your project! I've made it to! But i de not know how to pan the upper platform with your app. how do you do it? Thanks
minki kim1 year ago

nice,papermodel I like it

Hey alstroemeria cool project. I am looking forward to building it. Can you give more step by step instructions for beginners (like me). If not thanks for the great instructable.
Also does anyone know what the thing is thats below the servo and to the upper right of the bluetooth adapter?
Could you please add more descriptive steps on the pictures please? It looks great though I just get lost at a few parts! :D
destroid751 year ago
does anyone know a good program similar to this for windows 7 or windows phone
destroid751 year ago
this is awesome
but one problem i can't download the tank file
if anyone would be willing to send it to me?
(removed by author or community request)
even better and sorry it seems i am spamming

english translation!
atorres341 year ago
Can this be used for the iPhone
kibukun1 year ago
What tank did you base it off of? looks a lot like an Abrams.
alstroemeria (author)  kibukun1 year ago
the orginal model was labeled as a "Type-10" tank
wkoepp1 year ago
Im having difficulties acquiring the PePaKuRa file for the tank. I have searched the gallery on the site but nothing comes up. The "tank" link you have given goes to a different site and the download link on that one is broken. Any help? thanks.
alstroemeria (author)  wkoepp1 year ago
I'm sorry It seems that the links are dead. I am currently unable to find a copy of the model as well. Perhaps page 7's customized cut will be helpful if you want to recreate something similar.
sdcharle1 year ago
This is great! Nice job and I hope you do well in the contest.
Raphango1 year ago
Amazing! You have ma vote dude!
But I just got a little lost sometimes looking at the photos. Maybe if you have put some subtitle explaining exactly what's happening on each photo (or at least the most important), beginners like me would have less doubts. Anyway, it is Incredible! Thank you!
Very Nice! I know some R/C Scale Tank boyz that use a bright LED, (in the barrel), and audio for simulated gun fire, (not to mention other sounds), then they have Infrared sensors that detect when they are shot, by another tank!
das cool
Beergnome1 year ago
A great build! The best thing I like about it is your code gives me a better idea of how to use my bluetooth shield so I thank you for that.
alstroemeria (author)  Beergnome1 year ago
If you have any other difficulties along the line ill be glad to help :) ty
Love it!

Where did you find the wheels and gear boxes? Any online resources to source these exact parts?
alstroemeria (author)  anthonyshafer1 year ago
thankyous! I have updated step 3 to detail how much i paid for the parts and where they were purchased. enjoy
ThorstenS1 year ago
just wow! I love your buildlog.
I also would love to see where your ordered your hardware...

thanks, keep on!!!
alstroemeria (author)  ThorstenS1 year ago
thankyous! I have updated step 3 to detail how much i paid for the parts and where they were purchased. enjoy
soilwork1 year ago
Great work,!! ,,Metal slug arcade game bad guys tank ?
sigphies1 year ago
This, sir, is brilliant. You have my vote.
McClay141 year ago
Awesome :D
nerd74731 year ago
this is a great instructable!
Orngrimm1 year ago
This tank is the uber-cutie! :))
Kiteman1 year ago
I love how the sensors look like googly eyes.

Very well photographed as well.