Carter's Lasercut Tank - StuG III Ausf. F




Introduction: Carter's Lasercut Tank - StuG III Ausf. F

About: I love lasercut. I love tanks. Let's conciliate dis.

This is my second tank ! the german Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. F (or the StuG III F). This instructable shows you the steps to follow so you can build your own.

Download the model on its Thingiverse page :

You can check my FabLab's group :

The material you need for the moving tracks is :

  • Some wood glue
  • 4x little zipties
  • 10x Ø3mm 30mm long screws (two nuts per screw) ,
  • 18x Ø3mm 20mm long screws (two nuts per screw) ,
  • 4x Ø3mm 10mm long screws (one nut per screw)
  • 60 nuts for total.

The material you need for the easy tracks is just some wood glue and 4x zipties (again) and 6x 40mm long screws with 6 nuts.

Step 1: The Gun

Step 2: The Frame

Step 3: The Sheets

Step 4: The Hinges & the Trapdoors

Step 5: The Exhaust Pipe & the Random Backside Decorative Box

Step 6: The Sides

You have the choice between two parts if you want to display the Balkenkreuz (the Wehrmacht cross) or not.

Step 7: The Frame Details

You can add the side driver's hatch, the two front armors and the rod on the front hatch.

Step 8: The Easy Tracks

If you don't want to make the moving tracks, there are these easier-to-make tracks. Just stack the 7 slices and add some additionnal rings to keep the track 3mm spaced away from the side part before screwing it (see photos) .

Step 9: The Moving Tracks (Pt. 1) - the Wheels

If you read this, you want to decided to make real moving wheels. Noice.

Be careful to align all the wheels slices.

For the drive wheel : The two geared slices must be perfectly aligned. You can wrap your wheel with your track or, like i did, level the two gears with the table.

For the top wheels : Watch out, the middle slice is very thin.

For the bottom and the rear wheel : Align the holes.

Step 10: The Moving Tracks (Pt. 2) - the Tracks

You will need a lot of patience during this step.

You will firstly need to join all the teeth with the hole-parts and all the hinges with the long rectangle ones (i don't know how to describe them). It will be easier to assemble the whole track with these already assembled parts.

My tracks is 33 hinges long, to give the idea of the total track length.

Just follow the photos for the pattern.

Step 11: The Tools

These are designed by caractere. Go watch his things :

Step 12: The Final Assembly

Fix 4 bolts with the zipties inside the frame. You can now put the side parts with four 10mm screws.

2 People Made This Project!


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37 Discussions

Were they 3mm thick? Also, do you know how to convert a .dxf file to a 2D Design V2 file (.dtd)?

Or how did you cut it? Did you directly use a .dxf file and send it to the cutter or did you have to first tweak the cut (like the red lines). Are the engrave lines and cut lines already implemented in the .dxf files? Sorry, I'm new to laser cutting

What would be a recommended laser cutter for a beginner with some 3d print experience?
I may have missed it, but I did not see any machine mentioned here.
Thanks to all and any suggestions.

6 replies

My bad, i did not notice your comment. I use my Fablab's Epilog Mini. (it's not a kind of cutter for private users, this one is rather expensive)

Full Spectrum Laser

I have the Hobby Laser 12"x 20" with 45watt Co2 about $3500.00 I love it! It has a removable bottom that allows you to cut or engrave any size by adding alignment marks

If you look around you may be able to get a few jobs on the side making things for people to help pay for the equipment. I get ask all the time, most I turn down, or refer to people that do it as a business.

Small hobby laser cutters can be found on Ebay and Amazon fairly cheaply (approx $500.00 USD). They are made in China, and usually have a 40 watt laser tube in them. They come with everything you need to start cutting. However, the software for them stinks. Once you get past playing with the software, you might want to move into modding the laser cutter. There are a few tutorials out there on how to do it. Most use either a parallel port CNC board (and either Mach3 or LinuxCNC software), or a GRBL Arduino CNC controller board. Both are relatively cheap to find - again, on Ebay or Amazon. It isn't a mod for the inexperienced or faint of heart, but you are unlikely to screw anything up.

Another low-cost option is the 40w Blacktooth Laser Cutter from BuildYourCNC. It comes as a kit (so you have to put it together), but you end up with a larger bed (cutting area) than the cheap Chinese machines.

Whichever route you decide to go, make sure you have a way to vent the fumes outside; you may also want to invest in a compressor and compressed air cutting head (it's used to blow away smoke and flames as the machine works). Which reminds me: NEVER LEAVE A LASER CUTTER RUNNING UNATTENDED. Remember, they work by essentially "burning" (vaporizing) thru materials; the materials can catch fire. If you don't baby sit the cutting, you can say goodbye to your house if you aren't careful. Also, never cut PVC on a laser cutter - the chlorine in the PVC can turn into phosgene gas - which is deadly in the most minute of concentrations.

Lastly, if you want your laser tube to last the longest (ie - get the maximum number of hours out of it), you need to use it often. Don't let it sit around for long periods between uses. The reason for this is that as you use the tube, the gases inside are circulated via convection, and are also broken down by the high voltage running the tube. The breakdown components of the gases "contaminate" the tube. The more it is contaminated, the less likely it will start up again. But the manufacturer of the tube has a way around this: There is a special "getter" electrode inside the tube (made of some rare metal I think) which, as the tube runs and the gases circulate, they pass over this and "reform" in a catalytic reaction - but this only happens as long as the tube is run. If you run the tube, and let it sit for a long period of time, the depleted gases never pass by the getter, and over time, this lowers the number of hours you can effectively get out of the tube. I know it doesn't sound logical, but that's the truth.

I don't know if you can afford a lasercutter, it's pretty expensive for a private individual

Looks great, I’m currently in the process of building it although I’m having some troubles (my fault though). I used wood slightly thicker than 3 mm so everything is a bit off because I didn’t even think of fixing anything to the correct size but I’m working through it. I’m just doing the simple tracks right now and depending on how this goes, I’m planning to do your KV-1 and this one again with the moving tracks.

2 replies

Ah, glad to see my models have success ! didn't you think to scale the whole plans to adapt the thickness ?

It didn’t cross my mind until afterwards when I first tested a slot out and I didn’t want to reprint it all, but it’s fine, I’m almost done now. All I need is to glue the external details to the tank

this is amazing - what a great build - I can't wait to build my Christmas presents for the gransons

This is awesome!


10 months ago

excellent piece of art buddy , specially the moving tracks , how strong they are ? do you have idea about how to make the robust and reliable metal or non metal tracks ?is it possible, to mount DC motor and Arduino shield to move these device ?


2 replies

I had to put some extra glue on the track to make sure it doesnt
dismantle, but i realized the wheels can block on the top of their axis
(because i think they follow the thread)

But i didn't make a space anywhere on hte tank to put some motors, like the KV-1 :/

I had to put some extra glue on the track to make sure it doesnt dismantle, but i realized the wheels can block on the top of their axis (because i think they follow the thread)