The Wonderful Wind Boat




Introduction: The Wonderful Wind Boat

The Wonderful Wind Boat was created for the 2016 Makecourse final project at the Uniersity of South Florida. This boat was created using a 3-D printer along with some other manufacturing techniques to achieve bouyancy. The Boat is also Remote Controlled and features auxillary features supported by an arduino including: Color Changing LEDs, Port and Starboard Lights, as well as a Proximity Sensor and 315Mhz Transmitter/ Reciever. The boat runs on a Brushed 550T system which can be replaced with a higher power brushless moter. The only caviot would be the increase in price to create, and the need to re-design the Prop Mount. (Shouldn't be too difficult)

The entire course where I learned to create this project can be found at It is a open source website for makers to learn how to use basic arduino functions.

There will be 3 sections to this Instructable:

Printing & Waterproofing.

Electronics Assembly.


Before starting ensure that you have the following:

-*Access to a 3-D printer with a print bed comparable to the MakerBot Z-18

-Tactic TTX300 RC Remote and Reciever (Or any 3 Channel programmable Set up)

-550T Titan Brushed Motor

- Quickrun 1060 Brushed Electronic System Contoller

-a 7.4V battery (which connects to the ESC)

- 2 9V batteries and arduino adapters.

- 2 arduino Unos

- 315Mhz Transmitter and Reciever

-I2C LCD Display

-2red, and 2 green Leds


- 1 HCSRO4 Proximity Sensor

- 1 Servo

- 1 BreadBoard

- Metal Servo Push Rods and Sheaths, (Can get at a local hobby store)

- Hardening Epoxy


-"Great Stuff"

(For main functionality only the Motor, 7.4V battery, ESC, and Servo are needed.)

(Some auxillary parts can be replaced, but will consequence in revision in coding.)

Step 1: Printing and WaterProofing

3-D Printed Parts:

All these parts were 3-D printed, you will need to use a 3-D printer similar to a Makerbot Z-18. The reason being that the Boat Hull is 24" x 10" x 5".

-The Hull

-Electronics Box

- Boat Lid

- Prop Mount

- Rutter Arm

- Rutter

- Rutter Stopper

- Servo Box

- Propeller (I would recommend buying one instead, it needs to be >7.5in in diameter.)

- Proximity Hub( Mine was made of wood, but included is a 3-D printed version)

*All of these files have been included in the attachments.*

Once the parts are printed, assemble the boat as shown above. You will need to find a rutter rod and sheath that fit the rutter and boat hole. Some additional drilling may be necessary. *USE LOW DRILL SETTINGS* when you are working with ABS or PLA plastics, because a high setting runs the risk of causing stress cracks in important components of the boat. If you do make cracks, DON'T worry, they can be repaired in the next step.

LCD display Box:

There are 3 ways you can create this component of the project.

1) You can either laser cut this and assemble with hot glue (This is what I did)

2) Create your own box with power tools

3 ) 3-D print one of your own design.

*The dimensional Drawings have been included to fit the necessary electronics.*

Waterproofing the Boat:

Because the 3-D printed parts are quite porous, it was necessary to waterproof all portions of the boat that were coming into contact with the water. To do this 2 part epoxy was used. 2 layers were applied to the Hull, Lid, Electronics box, and Rutter. I recommend letting each layer set for an entire day before continuing.

Once the Epoxy Dryes you can paint the boat how you please, I chose marine blue. Apply 2 coats. After drying I would recommend applying a layer of clear coat to give the boat a nice shine, and add an additional coating to resist water entry.

Next we move onto the Electronics Assembly.

Step 2: Electronics Assembly

Assemble the Electronics as shown in the Fritzing Diagrams attached after ensuring you have all the necessary components mentioned in the INTRO of this project.

To ensure it is done correctly I will list the Arduinos and there connections here:

Arduino 1:

Pin 3: Led 1 w/ 220 Ohm Resistor

Pin 4: Led 2 w/ 220 Ohm Resistor

Pin 5: RGB LED Red w/ 220 Ohm Resistor

Pin 6: RGB LED Green w/ 220 Ohm Resistor

Pin 7: RGB LED Blue w/ 220 Ohm Resistor

Pin 8: Echo Pin of the HCSR04 Proximity Sensor

Pin 9: Trigger Pin of the HCSR04 Proximity Sensor

Pin 10: Channel 3 PWM signal pin

Pin 11: Led 3 w/ 220 Ohm Resistor

Pin 12: 315Mhz Transmitter

Pin 13: Led 4 w/ 220 Ohm Resistor

Arduino 2:

Pin DS: Connect to the Recieving Pin of the LCD Display

Pin DR: Connect to the Sending Pin of the LCD Display

Pin 11: Connect to the 315 Mhz Reciever

The trickiest portion of the assembly will be regarding the Tactic reciever. The 2nd Channel will easily allow the servo to be attached, the same is true for the ESC in the 1st Channel. Here is where it gets a little tricky. In order for the 3rd Channel to give a signal to our arduino, the code requires a reference voltage, and therefore we need to use the same ground as we use in our arduino set-up. In the fritzing diagram you will see that the GND plug for the Battery row on the Reciever is attached to the arduino GND. You can then attach the signal pin from the 3rd channel to pin 10. This will allow the button on our Tactic remote to communicate with our arduino, and interact with the lights. (See Coding Step.)

*In the final photo, you can see how I arranged the electronics in my project. I recommend adding a balloon to your servo push rod to keep out any water from getting into the electronics box.*

Step 3: Coding

There are two coding portions to this project, the Sending and the Recieving Ends. The Main Arduino sketch (Arduino 1) Takes signals from the proximity sensor and sends them to the 2nd Arduino via the 315 mhz transmitter. The first Arduino also recieves a signal from the 3rd channel of the remote and controls the lights. When the remote is turned on, the front and back lights will initialize. When the 3rd channel buttons are toggled, the RGB Led will change color. This can be viewed in the coding attached.

To run the code you will need to download the following:

Library Sketches:

In order for libraries to work properly; the library files must be stored under Documents > Arduino > Libraries.

Ensure you have all four sketches including:

1) DigitalPin

2) HCSR04ProxSensor



Primary Arduino Sketches:

These are the two codes you will upload to your two arduinos:

1) Make_Boat_Final_Sketch


*Once your code is uploaded you're good to go!*

Enjoy your new RC boat!

Make it Move Contest 2016

Participated in the
Make it Move Contest 2016

Robotics Contest 2016

Participated in the
Robotics Contest 2016

3D Printing Contest 2016

Participated in the
3D Printing Contest 2016

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    2 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Great i'ble buddy, but your documentation needs work. You make yourself look less than intelligent with all of your typos and incorrect words. Please revise for content and you will have a great post.


    4 years ago

    Very impressive! The documentation of your steps is great! Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to your next project!