Picture of Rubber Band Car Printed in 3D

This "snap together" rubber band powered car was printed using a MakerBot Replicator.  I've never used 3D software before, so TinkerCad was my choice for first time work. Using TinkerCad (Tinkercad.com), I designed a car similar to the one in chapter one of my book, Amazing Rubber Band Cars. 

To make a wheel, you just drag a cylinder onto the workspace.  Set the diameter and the thickness and you're almost done.  Drag a hole onto the workspace, adjust the diameter and place it in the center of the wheel.  Group the hole and the wheel.  That's it.

If you want to play with my design, go to TinkerCad.com and search for "Michael Rigsby" Under my things, you will find the wheels, base and sides.  Adjust them to suit your fancy, then "Print 3d" which gives you a choice of commercial printing services or downloading a file for your 3d printer.
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Step 1: Gather Files

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Go to Thingiverse.com and download the Rubber Band Powered Car files:


Drag a downloaded file into the model window of MakerBot's ReplicatorG software.

If you don't have a 3d printer, you can still have the files printed at a commercial 3d printer.

Step 2:

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Select "Generate GCode" from the right hand menu.

Step 3:

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Mostly, I leave this alone--except that I check "Use Raft/Support."  A raft is a web of plastic printed on the base under your 3d object. 

Note that if you have two extruders (the more expensive model), you can choose to use the left extruder (drop down menu item on first check box) if you so desire.

Select "Generate Gcode."

Step 4: Picky Stuff

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It has been my experience that the bed of the Replicator needs to be 115 degrees instead of 100 for reliable adhesion of the raft.

About the 20th line down in the Gcode list is a line "M109 S100 T0"  Change the "S100" to "S115".  Choose "File, Save."

Keep the "gcode" tab selected.
jack11972 years ago
nice instructable, but remember, its how to print and assemble your car, not the basics of using a 3d printer
benbenhu3 years ago
Very good i like the 3D Printer
WYE_Lance3 years ago
Great Instructable! I like the simple, snap-togehter design. It could go much further if the rubberband wasn't tied around the axel - it looks like the car will unwind as it moves forward, then wind itself back up and reverse direction. Regardless, you have my vote for the make it real contest!
MikeTheMaker (author)  WYE_Lance3 years ago
Thanks! You're correct--if you don't tie the rubber band to the axle (just hold it with your fingers while you start the wind), it will not pull the reverse trick you mentioned. Actually, I built a "life size" cardboard car using six giant "pallet" bands--and we had the "wind it up; release; go past the starting point and return syndrome." Much more pronounced with little kids than 250 pounders. My wife and I gave rides in the giant car at the 2007 Austin Maker Faire.