RC Paper Tank - Bring your 3D models to life

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Destacado Remote Control Contest
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 :)

Paso 1: 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.

tank

Paso 2: 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


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minki+kim
minki+kim dice: Feb 6, 2014. 9:03 PM

nice,papermodel I like it

andrewlithos
andrewlithos dice: Dic 30, 2014. 4:37 PM
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.
Royal_Engineer
Royal_Engineer dice: Dic 26, 2013. 5:43 PM
Also does anyone know what the thing is thats below the servo and to the upper right of the bluetooth adapter?
Royal_Engineer
Royal_Engineer dice: Dic 26, 2013. 5:21 PM
Could you please add more descriptive steps on the pictures please? It looks great though I just get lost at a few parts! :D
destroid75
destroid75 dice: Dic 22, 2013. 9:59 AM
does anyone know a good program similar to this for windows 7 or windows phone
destroid75
destroid75 dice: Dic 10, 2013. 6:51 AM
this is awesome
but one problem i can't download the tank file
if anyone would be willing to send it to me?
thanks.
destroid75
destroid75 dice: Dic 10, 2013. 11:44 AM
you know what i found a ton of papercraft by the same creator as this
http://www.tamasoft.co.jp/pepakura/gallery/gallerydetails.php?id=407
http://www.tamasoft.co.jp/pepakura/gallery/gallerydetails.php?id=442
http://www.tamasoft.co.jp/pepakura/gallery/gallerydetails.php?id=418
enjoy!
destroid75
destroid75 dice: Dic 10, 2013. 11:47 AM
even better and sorry it seems i am spamming
http://translate.google.co.za/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://www.wa.commufa.jp/~ton/&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dhttp://www.wa.commufa.jp/~ton/%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3DSTp%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official

english translation!
atorres34
atorres34 dice: Oct 23, 2013. 7:36 PM
Can this be used for the iPhone
wkoepp
wkoepp dice: Sep 15, 2013. 4:06 PM
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
alstroemeria dice: Sep 16, 2013. 6:48 PM
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.
sdcharle
sdcharle dice: Sep 12, 2013. 12:46 PM
This is great! Nice job and I hope you do well in the contest.
Raphango
Raphango dice: Sep 11, 2013. 10:24 AM
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!
kibukun
kibukun dice: Sep 11, 2013. 9:30 AM
What tank did you base it off of? looks a lot like an Abrams.
alstroemeria
alstroemeria dice: Sep 16, 2013. 6:49 PM
the orginal model was labeled as a "Type-10" tank
kblanding56
kblanding56 dice: Sep 10, 2013. 1:10 PM
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!
soilwork
soilwork dice: Sep 6, 2013. 12:18 PM
Great work,!! ,,Metal slug arcade game bad guys tank ?
ThorstenS
ThorstenS dice: Sep 6, 2013. 11:20 AM
just wow! I love your buildlog.
I also would love to see where your ordered your hardware...

thanks, keep on!!!
alstroemeria
alstroemeria dice: Sep 6, 2013. 6:50 PM
thankyous! I have updated step 3 to detail how much i paid for the parts and where they were purchased. enjoy
Beergnome
Beergnome dice: Sep 5, 2013. 10:29 PM
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
alstroemeria dice: Sep 6, 2013. 7:08 PM
If you have any other difficulties along the line ill be glad to help :) ty
anthonyshafer
anthonyshafer dice: Sep 5, 2013. 12:56 PM
Love it!

Where did you find the wheels and gear boxes? Any online resources to source these exact parts?
alstroemeria
alstroemeria dice: Sep 6, 2013. 6:50 PM
thankyous! I have updated step 3 to detail how much i paid for the parts and where they were purchased. enjoy
joneybrand
joneybrand dice: Sep 5, 2013. 9:38 AM
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sigphies
sigphies dice: Sep 4, 2013. 11:36 PM
outstanding
Jedrokivich
Jedrokivich dice: Sep 4, 2013. 10:10 PM
This, sir, is brilliant. You have my vote.
McClay14
McClay14 dice: Sep 4, 2013. 7:18 PM
Awesome :D
nerd7473
nerd7473 dice: Sep 4, 2013. 11:13 AM
this is a great instructable!
Orngrimm
Orngrimm dice: Sep 4, 2013. 8:14 AM
This tank is the uber-cutie! :))
Kiteman
Kiteman dice: Sep 4, 2013. 3:40 AM
I love how the sensors look like googly eyes.

Very well photographed as well.