How to Build a Screw-Propelled Vehicles




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Intro: How to Build a Screw-Propelled Vehicles

Recently, surfing on the internet, I found the screw-propelled vehicle invented in the early 20th century very interesting.With strong off-road capability, this vehicle is designed to cope with almost all kinds of landforms, such as snow, swamp, water, desert and forest, except normal asphalt road.During the Space Race of U.S.-Soviet Cold War, such vehicles played a very important role in retrieving the returned space capsule from snowy Siberia.

Looking at those old picture, I can’t help wondering the wild imagination people had.

Well, move on to the topic. As a child growing up with toys, I decided to build a screw-propelled vehicle by myself. I collected all the material I need and start building.

Most parts are from: Makeblock

Step 1:

First, I used the 3D printer to print the special shape of wheel for this vehicle.

Next I prepared the parts

used in this case.

Here is the part list:

2 x Printed Screw Wheel

2 x Beam0824-160

2 x Beam0824-112

4 x Timing Pulley 62T

6 x Timing Pulley Slice 62T B

2 x DC Motor-25

2 x DC Motor-25 Bracket-B

2 x Shaft D4x170mm

4 x Plate 45°

2 x Timing Belt 98XML-123T

4 x Plastic Rivet R4120

4 x Plastic Rivet R4050

4 x Nylon Stud M4x30

2 x Shaft Connector 4mm

4 x Shaft Collar 4mm

4 x Flange Bearing 4*8*3mm

4 x Screw M3x8

6 x Headless Set Screw M3x5

18 x Socket Cap Screw M4x14-Button Head

20 x Socket Cap Screw M4x8-Button Head

1 x Gamepad (Include Receiver)

1 x Me Orion

2 x PH2.0-2P to Stripped-End Cable - 35cm,22AWG

1 x 6P6C RJ25 cable-20cm

1 x USB Host

1 x Battery Holder for (6)AA

Step 2:

Let’s get started.

Build the main car structure first :

Notice: Please make sure these two beam0824 installed in the middle is perpendicular to each other.

Step 3:

The 3D model saved the place for hole and the flange bearing in advance.

Install the flange bearing in the head of the wheel.

Step 4:

Notice: Put the timing

belt onto the timing pulley, then install the wheel onto the car.

Step 5:

Move on to the motor installation. Timing belt in here is for transmission, hence we install the timing pulley and the timing pulley slice onto the motors.

Step 6:

Install the motor in the screw and fasten the timing belt.

Obviously, this screw-propelled vehicle is almost done.

Step 7:

Install the electronic part onto the vehicle. This vehicle is off-road, hence we need to keep the electronic parts higher, away from the ground.

Step 8:

Finished the building of the vehicle. Then we just need to put battery on and use simple Arduino program to get this vehicle started.

Due to printing range of the 3D printer, the wheel of this vehicle is a little short. Hence this vehicle is unable to swim in the water, but are able to run in the sand and mud. It hardly ever snows here, or it will be awesome for this screw-propelled vehicle to run in the snow.

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    13 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Approximate cost? Just wondering, doing this for a school project

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    You can build one with CNC machine


    2 years ago

    Ha I used operate one, drying mud for a mine.


    2 years ago

    Very well-designed vehicle. I have two questions:

    Did you 3D print the screw-propeller in one piece (I downloaded the stl-file but the object is too tall for the Ultimaker 2).

    Will the vehicle float (that would be very cool).

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    The Height is 148mm, if u could use CAD solfware like SOLIDWORKS u can cut it half to print.

    If u want it float, just print a large size roller. And this prototype unable to float because the center of gravity behind of the vehicle.


    2 years ago

    I was wondering if you could build a second one then tie the two together to make it water worthy

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Actually, it just need to print a longer roller to walk in water..


    2 years ago

    Could you 3D print extension screw-wheels to attach to the open end of the drive mechanism to effectively extend the length?


    2 years ago

    Pretty neat!


    2 years ago

    Good show. Thanks.