Self-contained Rover Tracks

Introduction: Self-contained Rover Tracks

About: I'm a boyfriend, father, software developer and maker, grown up in Argentina and currently living in Toronto, Canada.

This is a self-contained 3D printable rover track that can be reused on your projects.

Many times I designed and downloaded already designed rovers to be 3D printed. Usually there is no isolation between the rover tracks and the rest of the body.

This leads to the need to redesign everything on any new rover you make. The idea here is to isolate the tracks of my rovers, and create something that can be reused on many tracked robots, so you just think in the body, not the wheels.

I thought about adding also the motor controller, so you can just remove that element from your body and use that space for something else. Though it's not really needed to put the controller there if you what to use another type, or just want to place it with the rest of your electronics.

Also, as the motor controller supports two motors, you could place it in one of the tracks, and just send the power cables to the second motor. I'll show that later with pictures, so you know how to do that.

The main page for this project is in here my blog, were I'll be updating and linking related projects that use this thing Post-Printing

You can see and download the fusion 360 design from this link

Step 1: Materials

For each track you will need the following parts

  • 1 Yellow DC Gear Motor (like this one)
  • 1 mini DC motor controller(like this)
  • Some M3 wood screws (get them here) (I find them to work perfect with 3D printed stuff. I used 10 mm ones here, but I'd recommend getting a bunch of measures, because you'll use them for sure)

Step 2: 3d Printing

The design can be found in its thingiverse page

Step 3: Assembly Recomendations

  • When printing the driver wheels, I would recommend to place the motor axis into the wheels hole while it is still hot. The objective is to make it fit tight without needing further work.
  • As this fits as a left or right track for a robot, there is no real left or right for this mount. That is why I named each side with A and B. Keep this naming to understand on which side of the assembly each par goes. If it has an A in the name, then it goes on the same side as the rest of the A parts, same for B.
  • Check at the list of images uploaded to this thing to get an idea of where does each part should fit
  • To link the tracks use a peace of 1.75 filament. If you leave about half millimeter extra on each side, you can melt that extra with a soldering iron, so you get a nice finish.

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