Introduction: Wooden Tank Tracks

Picture of Wooden Tank Tracks

I created for a project I was working on (Wall-E Made From Scratch). Being that it was too rigid and wobbly, I was unable to use it (plus I was short on time). However if proper support is given on both sides (an L-shaped piece on both sides) or a bracket / box in between, the tracks should run smoothly. 

Suggestion: If you don't like the design, you can take out the L-Shaped piece and the inner frame and use the same type of chain and only the big gears to drive. This would make it look much more like a tank.

p.s. if you like it, please vote for me for the competitions rptech

Step 1: Designing

Picture of Designing

The first thing I did was plan everything.

You can use anything you want to design. I used an open source 3d animation program called blender to generate animations and images of the intended project. To make the blueprints, I rendered 3d meshes as 2d images.

The next thing I did was use a program called gear generator to print life size images of the gears. I then attached the images to wood and cut it out with an electric coping saw. I used such dies to cut out the gears.

Step 2: Chain

Picture of Chain

In order to follow the measurements accurately, I created a jig for the links. Such jig was also helpful when drilling holes for the wooden dowel. I sanded down the corners of the inside so they wouldn't hit each other when driven. For a smoother movement of the gears' teeth, I placed a 1/2 inch wide pvc pipe in the center of the wooden dowel. 

Step 3: The Support

Picture of The Support

An aluminum bar was used to allow smooth spinning of the small gear.

Rubber rollers (from a printer) were used on the top bar for a smoother movement of the chain.

Motor used is a windshield wiper motor attached to a motor cycle well cell battery (also works with a drill battery)

Step 4: Programming and Control

Picture of Programming and Control

It is pretty simple as it is done the same way it is shown on the images below.

All wires are attached to the switch which is connected to an aluminum bar that is connected to a servo.

When you move the servo, the switch drives one of the tracks forward or back

for programming, I used a controller called the E-Z Robot Bluetooth controller but you can use any rc controller 

I assigned ports to the controller and programmed (it's free software) in a way that when you press a button, the servo moves to a certain degree (in this case, a 90* turn) and returns to it's stable position in the middle.

Step 5: Videos of Tests

I had actually posted these videos on my other threads. I made a robot Wall-E. You can find more cool info and videos on my other two threads. They are called Wall-E-Made-From-Scratch  and  Wooden-Track-System

If you like my projects, please vote for me for the competitions I entered inif you like it, please vote for me for the competitions rptech


rvashwm467 (author)2012-06-05

love it, very well designed

vrtkhl657 (author)2012-06-04


drew85 (author)2012-06-01

it looks way better in wood that it would in metal

autobot1 (author)2012-06-01

love the tank

frankfar (author)2012-06-01

great job, i wonder how it would be in rubber

bostonman (author)2012-06-01

you can never go wrong with PVC and wood

rleon123 (author)2012-06-01

great job man, love it

sp29 (author)2012-06-01

man, it must have taken you a lot of time with those chains

bigozzie (author)2012-06-01

great project

DezmondVulpin (author)2012-05-24

above the influence, bye bye arduino

sinboy (author)2012-05-24

finally, something original

tahsin (author)2012-05-24

great job

dipen1 (author)2012-05-24

well detailed and yes, the squirrels should watch out

hp123 (author)2012-05-24

the squirrels in the park better watch out

xm4rkx (author)2012-05-24

just plain awesome

furqan1223 (author)2012-05-24

great job

nice videos

asagrws (author)2012-05-24


rptech (author)2012-05-18

thanks a lot guys for the great comments, I just posted a few videos as the last step

Mic100 (author)2012-05-18

Very nice idea with an achievement that requires patience
can we have a video?

Thank you :)

Bumbolt (author)2012-05-17

Came here through the newsletter. Good job! Can you make a walktrough who you designed this in Blender? I am looking for a program te learn to design my robots. Since i have no knowlegde (except minimal google sketchup) of 3D programs Blender looks like a nice suggestion.

LanceMakes (author)2012-05-15

Very neat idea and clear instructions, though I'd love to see a video of it in action!

Kiteman (author)LanceMakes2012-05-16

+1 on the video!

poofrabbit (author)2012-05-15

Very cool nice 'able!

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