3D Printed Arduino RC Airboat With Controller

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Introduction: 3D Printed Arduino RC Airboat With Controller

This is a project that combines the knowledge of 3D printing and Arduino. It is a good beginners project for anyone interested in making their own RC boat or just interested in using 3D printing and Arduino for their own creations.

Supplies:

Look at step 1 for Supplies

Step 1: Supplies

Electronic components needed for the Airboat:

Electronic components needed for the controller:

For the physical part of this project like the hull of the boat, case of the controller and propeller...etc. You will need a 3D printer or access to 3D printer to print these part.(The photo only include some of the components)

Step 2: Print the Parts

Number of prints:

  • 1x Controller Case
  • 1x Controller Cover
  • 1x Boat Hull
  • 1x Mast
  • 1x Fin
  • 2x Propeller Hub
  • 3x Propeller with n4415(clockwise)
  • 3x Propeller with n4415(counterclockwise)

Please print them separately except the propeller parts you can print them all in one go. Also, remember printing orientation matter find the best orientation for your 3D printer to print on.

Step 3: Wiring

Now you can definitely do step 3 while you are doing step 2 because printing takes time. Wiring diagrams are provided with a couple things to keep in mind. You will have to solder the wires to the toggle switch(on/off switch) for the controller, while the rest of the wiring can be done through jumper wires. This is possible due to the mini breadboard. The airboat's wiring is connect by jumper wires as well, but there is no on/off switch like the controller. So the circuit will be live when you finish the wiring. It is better to disconnect one of the connection going from the battery to the L298N motor driver. You will close the circuit when the code is uploaded, so you can test the circuit.

Step 4: Upload the Arduino Codes

Once you done the wiring then you can upload the codes. The Arduino codes are provided just simply download the codes and upload them individually to their Arduino boards. For example, the FanboatCode needs to be uploaded to the airboat's Arduino nano board. the Controller_Code needs to be uploaded to the controller's Arduino nano board. You will be using Arduino IDE to upload the codes. If you don't have the Arduino IDE software you can download it from their website for free.

After, you uploaded the codes you should test the circuit by closing the circuits and move the right joystick to see if the servo motor respond or not. Also, you should turn the left potentiometer to see if the two DC motors spin or not. If it didn't do anything then you should troubleshoot for the wiring.

Step 5: Assembly

The assembly for the controller should be pretty straightforward with the provided pictures. One thing to think about is how to organize the wires. Once you have the battery pack, joysticks, and nano...etc in place you will have to organize the wires in a way that you can put the controller cover over the controller case. The tension from the wires might push up against the cover and making hard to close. You can just use some tape to solve that issue.

There are two parts for assembly of the airboat. First part is the assembly of the 3D printed parts. The propeller blades snaps on tight to the propeller hub. Also, the mast should be able to fit on to the boat hull by a interference fit. After, the 3D printed parts are assembled. The electronics will be the second part. Tape the two LiPo battery on the inner-side of the hull. Mount the servo motor to the boat hull. Next, place the Arduino nano and the motor driver into the hull. Then, place NRF24L01 module to the front of the hull. Put the two DC motors into the mast and put the propellers on to the motor's shafts. Finally make sure all the wires are tuck into the hull of the boat. Keep in mind the circuit should disconnected when you are assembling the electronics.

P.S. Look at the all photos before assembling it

Step 6: Play

After, doing everything from above put it in the water and give it a test ride. Feel free to make improvements or give me feedback on the project. The controller have potential to be a lot of device's controller. For example, a controller for a RC car or even a RC plane your imagination is the limit.

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    18 Discussions

    0
    dalesonnier
    dalesonnier

    15 days ago

    I am currently working on the project and i am having trouble with it. I connected everything the way it needs to go and i am still not able to control the boat. Please help. Thanks

    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 13 days ago

    Hi there is a mistake on the schematic of the controller. Toggle switch wiring connection was incorrect. The correct schematic for the controller is now updated check it out. If that doesn't help you can message me.

    0
    gberron
    gberron

    6 months ago

    Hello, I have tried to do this project and I have not been successful.
    Maybe I found an error in the remote control switch connection.
    I am not sure either of the connection of the NRF24 to the Nano, in some documentation the pins that are used are 9,10,11,12 and 13.
    I hope I can do it and see it working.
    The project seems excellent to me and I want to finish it.
    Many thanks.
    I use a translator because my language is Spanish.

    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 6 months ago

    Yeah the connections for NRF24 could be tricky. I used pin 9, 8, 13, 11, and 12. My pin 8 is connected to CE, this pin can actually be connected to any digital pin. However, pin SCK, MOSI, and MISO has to be connected to 13, 11,and 12.

    If you are using 9 and 10 as CSN and CE. Then you need to change the Arduino codes. where is has:
    RF24 radio(8, 9); //CE, CSN
    change the two number so it corresponds to your pins.

    0
    Bina_Irwanda
    Bina_Irwanda

    8 months ago

    Hello ,,, this is awesome project. I've been following step by step for this peoject but i'm having experience dificulty . Can you help me ilustrating assembling for RC side boat especially for assembling servo motor with Fin. Thank you very much

    0
    Bina_Irwanda
    Bina_Irwanda

    Reply 7 months ago

    Hello, could you tell me value of the variable resistor at remote controller side ( detail attached image ). Thank you very much for your support

    Best regard

    IMG_20200430_211947.jpg
    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 7 months ago

    Hi, in the Arduino code the left potentiometer or variable resistor is used to control the voltage into the motors, therefore, control the rotation of the propellers.

    0
    Bina_Irwanda
    Bina_Irwanda

    Reply 7 months ago

    20K ohm or 2K ohm ?

    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 7 months ago

    Oh I used B50K on the left and B20K on the right.

    0
    Bina_Irwanda
    Bina_Irwanda

    Reply 7 months ago

    Oh , I see . Thank you very much.
    I'll try to made it.

    0
    Bina_Irwanda
    Bina_Irwanda

    Reply 8 months ago

    Thanks for you're confirmation ...
    Here i send type horn for servo ( detail at pict ) . Is there any suitable ?

    Thank you very much for your's support

    IMG_20200402_085935.jpg
    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 8 months ago

    Yes the cross horn will fit

    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 8 months ago

    Hi, sorry for replying a bit late. The fin is attach to a cross type horn of the servo motor. you should be able to just push them together. if you do not have the same type of horn as my. you can just design a new fin to fit yours.

    The same thing with the mast and the boat. line up the hole at the bottom of the mast with the rectangular part at the center of the boat and push them together, some sanding might be required to make them fit.

    Lastly, the motor driver sits in the front the mast and the controller sits behind the mast. Sorry, I don't have any new pictures to explain what I did, because I disassemble my boat to make something else.

    Hope this helps

    PS if you have the electronics all setup you can just design a new boat around it. I highly recommend you do that cause is really fun.

    0
    claxweb
    claxweb

    11 months ago

    GREAT

    0
    BenhammouM
    BenhammouM

    12 months ago

    Hello,
    Thank you for this beautiful project =)
    I am trying to reproduce it, I have assembled the components identically and televerted the codes as needed however nothing works. Can you tell me which bookseller you use in the Arduino IDE?
    Thank you ;)

    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 11 months ago

    Hi, sorry for replying a bit late. You might be missing the library for the NRF24L01 module there is the link where you can download the library:
    https://github.com/maniacbug/RF24

    Hope this helps if not feel free to ask me more questions.

    2
    jessyratfink
    jessyratfink

    1 year ago

    It's so cute! Great project :D