K'NEX Motorized Walking AT-TE From Star Wars

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About: Hello! I am mechatronics graduate and have always had a passion for making things. This started at an early age with LEGO and K'NEX. I think it's great to create. From useful stuff to art or toy. The ibles...

In this ible I will show you how to build a K'NEX walking All Terrain Tactical Enforcer (also known as AT-TE), from the Star Wars movies, and Clone Wars series. The model is fully motorized and can walk over several terrains such as: Vinyl and laminate floors, carpets and not un-important: bedsheets

The model is about 50 cm long and built from 810 K'NEX pieces. The model is motorized which means it can walk realisticly in a straight line. It has a big cannon on the top that can rotate 360° and 6 other cannons that can also move slightly.

The reference image is courtesy of unusualsuspex at DeviantArt.com

The building instructions are devided into the following steps:

  1. Parts needed
  2. Walking Mechanism
  3. Adding Legs
  4. Front end
  5. Armouring the AT-TE
  6. Adding Cannon & Finish

Step 1: Parts Needed

Knex pieces:

Buy at K'NEX User Group / K'NEX spares

Motor:

  • 1x Battery Motor Grey short lead (For instance in Beasts Alive Bronto Set)
  • 2x AA type batteries

Rods:

  • 112x Black rod (16 mm)
  • 135x Silver rod (32 mm)
  • 31x Blue rod (52 mm)
  • 14x Dark grey rod (86 mm)
  • 1x Grey rod (190 mm, from the Beasts alive set)

Connectors:

  • 5x 8-way black connector
  • 32x 7-way blue 3D connector
  • 84x 4-way silver 3D connector
  • 27x 5-way grey connector
  • 54x 3-way dark grey connector
  • 25x 2-way (V-shape) grey connector
  • 37x 2-way (long-shape) brown connector

Clips/Other:

  • 44x Clip with hole end dark gray (1-way connector)
  • 8x Hinge black part
  • 21x Metallic spacer (1½ width)
  • 20x Blue spacer (½ width)
  • 38x Black clip with rod end
  • 14x Metallic grey clip with rod end (for aestethic purposes)
  • 18x Clip with Ball end
  • 7x Clip with Socket end
  • 24x Clip blue
  • 8x Interlocking clip Tan/brown
  • 2x Ball and socket Large
  • 4x Axle stub

Gears:

  • 4x Gear small Push-on Grey
  • 3x Crown gear medium Grey
  • 4x Gear small Dark blue

Panels:

  • 22x Tri panel mini silver
  • 2x Tri panel small silver

Wheels:

  • 6x Wheel 25 mm Open centre black
  • 2x Hub Motorcycle Grey
  • 2x Hub/Pulley Medium

Step 2: Walking Mechanism

The walking mechanism is key to the movement of the AT-TE. It's not as difficult as it looks and I will try to explain how it works:

  1. The motor drives the middle main shaft, which makes two blue rods turn ex-centrically around it.
  2. The blue rods on each side (left and right of the model) are mirrored.
  3. At the same time, via a Crown gear, blue gears and another pair of crown gears, the other two shafts are driven.
  4. These shafts make the same rotation as the middle shaft, but have a 180° lead/lag
  5. This means that always 3 feet are on the ground: front left, middle right and rear left. The others are in the air and making a pace.
  6. To make a pace, the legs need to be lifted. This is done by creating a point that can move up and down, but not sideways. This is above the middle shaft.

If you have questions on how it works, feel free to ask in the comment secion.

Step 3: Adding Legs

The feet gave me the boundairies to how big the model would become. The middle feet are slightly bigger, and I resolved that in having grey connector clips as toes and a wheel hub as spherical centre. The typical armoured joints are made by another set of wheel hubs.

For the smaller legs, I had to scale things down, which wasn't easy. It took me 4 designs to come to the final solution. Here, grey gears form the joints.

Step 4: Front End

Right after making the walking mechanism, I designed the drivers cabin and the front end. I tried using orange and red, but I found these colours to be too bright. Instead I used the brown.

For the cannons, I came up with a ball-joint connection that fits through a 3D-connector's slot. Some armouring is already done, before the front end is installed, by flipping it over to the front.

Step 5: Armouring the AT-TE

From the start of building the AT-TE, I was looking forward to the armouring: Because it would be a challenge to get the angles of the different plates at a good angle. I'm lucky to have many K'NEX silver panels, but I never used so many in one model.

Attaching it to the model was also a lot of fun, I had to find ways to connect it to the walking mechanism/frame. But while building, I left some connector places open, so it was easier to do.

Step 6: Adding Cannon & Finish

The cannon was not easy to design, although relatively simple. I saw some disks at the side, so I added K'NEXmen head instead. Also here there are two mini panes that mimic the original shape. If you use your imagination, there's even a little stool where the gunner can sit :)

After building this, I feel more confident in building an AT-AT Walker >:D That's right, that is still on my list to build! Check out what more: https://www.instructables.com/id/KNEX-Star-Wars-Shi...

I hope you enjoyed reading my instructable!

Thanks and maybe the Force be with you!

~GWorks

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    33 Discussions

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    reenim

    9 months ago

    Very nice indeed, awesome! I was wondering about a walking mechanism and here you have it!

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    GWorksrandom_builder

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you very much! It's really fun to let it walk.
    Idea for improvement: Install 2 motors so it can make turns :D

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    Ethan1023

    2 years ago

    What is the difference between the grey gears and the yellow gears (besides color)?

    2 replies
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    GWorksEthan1023

    Reply 2 years ago

    Besides colour, there's no difference :)
    Even the friction (very little) should be similar.

    How are your builds coming along? Have you made some progress? :)

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    Zombiekiller-93

    2 years ago

    Good work as always Gworks, yet maybe another one to build in the future, I haven't even started yet on the Millennium Falcon and Tie Fighter cause I'm still waiting for the special pieces that I don't have are still in the post.

    1 reply
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    GWorksZombiekiller-93

    Reply 2 years ago

    Haha, well take your time; it's already incredible enought you want to build them ^^ that's an honour for me. The Slave I is due tomorrow ;)

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    ipman501

    2 years ago

    Really nice to see someone building something out of K'nex that isn't a gun, or a structure/building. I build Star Wars and Star Trek models out of K'nex as well. Great job on this, very impressed!

    1 reply
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    GWorksipman501

    Reply 2 years ago

    Cool!
    Yep, seeing that the gun-ratio on Instructables was high (too high in my opinion) I decided to do what others didn't. So far it paid off :)

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    GWorksJedi_zombie85

    Reply 2 years ago

    :D Thanks!

    I really hope to finish the Slave I this weekend ;) Then I reached my quotum of 4 ibles in April, and can retire for a while :P

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    GWorkslaith mohamed

    Reply 2 years ago

    Glad you like it ^^

    If you want, subscribe for more like this in the future!

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    Mixin LV

    2 years ago

    Amazing to see this, I don't need to build this to see if it works, I can see from the layout of the walking mechanism tuned just right for each leg to make it move in the direction the k'nex motor makes it. This design is an improved 6 leg model, reminds me of Dragonbug I built in 96, which was made to walk using no gears.

    3 replies
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    GWorksMixin LV

    Reply 2 years ago

    Well, there's also a little movie about it ;) there you can see it walking too (just saying, perhaps you missed it, it comes after the intro)
    But haha, thanks ^^ could you tell more about that Dragonbug? is it an official K'NEX set?

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    Mixin LVGWorks

    Reply 2 years ago

    Dragonbug is K'nex official from I think Scorpion set. Anyway yes I seen the video on this.

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    GWorksMixin LV

    Reply 2 years ago

    I thought so ^^ I like very much what K'NEX put on the market at that period, imo it's a shame they changed so much :(

    Great!