Introduction: ElVaradero - 3D Printed R/C Modular Car

elVaradero is successor of hydrogen powered race car Varadero. Varadero is succesfull endurance race special equipped with hydrogen fuell cell and it competed in serials like H2AC and Hydrogen Cup. Endurance means that one round lasts for six hours of continous racing. Varadero is the blue one, because blue stands for hyfrogen. elVaradero is green because electric vehicles are green.

elVaradero is actually an acronym. El stands for electric, if it was powered by combustion engine it would be coVaradero. But coVaradero sounds dumb, so I made electric conversion. Var means variability. The thing is, I haven’t designed it as hydrogen only car. But as a versatile chassis which would be easy to modify or tune. Like platform for your projects, autonomous car for instance. You don’t have to design your own chassis and can concentrate only on your thing. Varadero is because I like to give my creations special names. Check out Kevin:
or Clifford (once it will be available as instructable).

If you're still wondering whether to build this car, believe me, it's easy build. Everything fits together intuitively and car is made from the least possible parts. Tons of photos is advantage too.

Files for printing can be found here:

Note: Some photos are from building hydrogen version(blue) and other from electric version(green). Don't get confused parts are same only color is different.


You'll need common tools such as screwdriver, drill with 2.5, 3, 3.2, 4 mm bits, pliers, saw, set of files.

Now materials

M2 nuts and screws

M3 nuts, M3 screws countersunk and button head, lenghts from 5 to 40 mm many of them and some 60 mm long.

M4 nuts, M4 screws with countersunk head lenghts 35mm and 75 mm.

I would suggest buying set like this

Car parts.

This project isn't completely printed, because some parts just won't be usable printed. As a car for parts I've used Himoto Nascada, btw Redcat Lightning is same and usable. You could buy parts one by one, or buy some used car. Like I did. Because too many parts are needed and I would forgot to buy some. Neverthelles I'm gonna list those parts. Differential with case and large gear and spur gear, dog bones, shock absorbers 40-60 mm long, hexes 12 mm, axles, bearings 10x15x4 4pcs, 5x10x4 5pcs, ball joints 4.8mm, front turnbuckles, front bumper, steering bearings. All those parts are from same car Himoto Nascada or Redcat.

Some parts are from other cars, listed below.

Those pushrods and ball links can be bought off anywhere. Just remember has to be M3 pushrod long 40 - 50 mm and ball joint 4.8mm in diameter.

Standard servo, engine with esc size 540, 2ch receiver.

Step 1: Printing Parts

All parts are designed to be easily printed. Some need to be printed in certain angle, like shown. STLs are in folders, named undrestandable. Tires and bushings are made from TPU.

If you're unfamiliar with TPU, wheels with tires can be bought. And there are also files for first version of front axle, which doesn't need bushnigs.

Though some parts cannot be printed. Chassis is best to be milled from PVC or Nylon. Engine mount can be printed, and I've tested it, but i don't know how much power and heat it can handle. It's best to be machined again on mill from steel or aluminium.

Front leading rods has to be made on lathe from steel, they cannot be printed. Technical drawings are included.

In body folder there's STL of ring 4.8mm, print at least 10 pcs. Rings will be then inserted in shock absorbers.

Step 2: Front Axle

Lot of images should tell enough. In short.

Leading screws are attached to chassis using the longest M4 countesunk screws. Then there are those holes for screws which apparently do nothing. Not in this case. Those screws hold layers together and make front axle much sturdier. If you printed first version of front axle just skip steps of mounting bushings. For V2 bushings are held by M2 screws.

If you don't have steering bearings, it can work without them but tighten screws just so turnbuckles can move freely.

Servo saver isn't necessary, but greatly improves lifespan of servo gears.

Before mounting axle to chassis, connect it to battery and check whether servo can move freely and is centered.

Step 3: Gearbox

This is rather easy step. Just mount everything together with M3 screws.

As said. Differential comes from Himoto Nascada or similar car under different brand.

Bearing holder secures bearing and is mounted with M3 screws, they mustn't stick out. Bearing holder is mounted from both sides.

Don't attach motor and gearbox cover yet.

Step 4: Rear Axle

It's no secret that design is inspired from Porsche 911 964.

Time has come to use those chinese FS Racing axles. You could also buy ordinary screws and adjust them on lathe.

Paperclips are great source of wire. I bent them so they are used as a rubber band stopper. That rubber band will hold accumulators in place.

Mounting axle to chassis is last step and don't forget to insert dog bones. Otherwise they couldn't be fitted.

Axles are completely symetrical so build the other half just like the left side.

Step 5: Stiffeners

The car is almost complete. Only few last parts.

Stiffeners greatly improves handling in high speeds and are also accumulator holders.

Installation is as simple as it looks. Press nuts into hexagons and screw it to the chassis.

Engine can be mounted after rear and middle stiffeners are in place.

Rubber bands used to hold accumulators are just ordinary bands kids use to wear on wrists. Genious idea to hold accumulators like this.

Shock tower needs to be in exact height so front stiffener will fit.

Step 6: Finished Car

Congratulations. Your elVaradero is now alive and kicking. Or perhaps with electronics it would be, but that's on you. I've equipped it with racestar 80 amp motor size 3660 from buggy and two 2s 5000mAh lipos connected in series. Too much boost. 50 amp would be cheaper and better.

Enjoy your car.

You can also make this car better. Ii still isn't perfect. For instance 4 wheels driven would be better, lower engine mount or making this car smart with rapsberry Pi and ROS. I am working on it, but too many other stuff don't let me work on it, so everything takes a while.

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