Shapeways X Ampro Hornet Superfly

Discussion in 'RC Cars, Boats and Planes' started by TijsLochbaum, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. TijsLochbaum
    TijsLochbaum Shapeways Employee Manufacturing
    Hi guys, Let me introduce myself and the project first. My name is Tijs, I work at Shapeways in the Eindhoven factory and I am a massive RC car geek. I've been racing RC cars since I was a little kid, and since 2006 I've been involved with RC drifting. I've competed all over the world, became national champion twice, traveled Japan to visit 2-3 circuits a day for a couple weeks and more. A lot of RC car parts are being printed with Shapeways, and I am in the lucky position to see many of them pass through our factory on a daily basis. Now I've been bugging my colleagues with stories about RC cars for years, getting very excited when I see a part I recognize and telling them all about it. My love for RC cars has been picked up by our community manager, and together we've been scheming a plan on how we can build a RC car to showcase 3D printed parts. I remembered Shapeways and Tamiyaclub.com member Pintopower's SuperFly Hornet project and how the car was just filled from top to bottom with very nicely designed 3D printed parts both functional and aesthetically. I contacted him about our project and he kindly agreed to help us build one. [​IMG]

    With this build we (Shapeways) want to demonstrate what is possible with 3D printing for the RC car community, and share some tips&tricks along the way about how to post-process the parts, deciding what material to choose, how to paint stuff, what software to model in, etc. We'll be shooting a video every week documenting the build as well as share a bunch of pictures and blog posts. When the car is finished we'll take it to events, and I might take it to some RC races as well.

    The car we chose is a Tamiya Hornet. This kit originally came out in 1983 and is a classic! Many kids grew up with a Hornet or any of its vintage Tamiya brothers like the Grasshopper, Frog and Hotshot. Tamiya re-released the Hornet back in 2006 and they still sell like hot cakes.

    So a couple of weeks back I ordered a Hornet and a big pile of 3D printed pieces, and today we finally kicked off the project.

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    Because today was the first day of our project, and we immediately wanted to shoot our first video as an introduction of the project for the Shapeways social media, I had to build the original Hornet kit in one night. I finished the car at 3AM last night and made it just in time. Here's some pictures of the progress.

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    The first step is the rear gearbox. I was surprised to find that the Hornet gearbox has a diff in it, I was expecting a spool. I also decided to use M3 stainless button head screws everywhere with pre-tapped thread in the entire car because it looks better and is easier to work on in my opinion.
    You can also spot the 3D printed tool holder I designed for my Hiro Seiko tools[​IMG] Makes my pits so much neater.

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    The finished gearbox with the original RS540 installed. Not sure what motor will end up in finished car, maybe a Sport Tuned because it looks good? Don't want anything fast.

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    Couple minutes later and the rear end is complete. The rear dampers are what you'd call interesting. A strange mix of brass bushings, internal springs and very hard rubber o-rings. Not sure if it's functional though, so I'm glad we're going to modify the car.

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    Don't you just love Tamiya manuals? Still the best in the bizz'.

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    Moving on to the front suspension, but first; Hot coco break!

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    And here's the stock suspension. No adjustment what-so-ever. But it works, and surprisingly smooth. I see why this was a kids' favorite back in the days.

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    Boy, the wheels were a pain in the behind to get into the tires, especially the rears. Because it was already way past midnight I missed the description in the manual on how to get them in... [​IMG] Doh! Once my eye caught the image, the wheels were finished in no time.

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    With the chassis put together, it was time to move on to the body. Initially I wanted to create custom decals for the body to make it Shapeways branded. But because we're going to modify the car so intensely, I thought a fully original look would be a better contrast to the end result.

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    I spend quite some time cutting out all of the decals right on the edge of the print to have minimal clear vinyl between letters. Our kit is the black-metallic version, so every imperfections shows up very clearly on the black-chrome body shell.
    The striping was very hard to do, as there's no real mark or indication on the body where to stick the decal. I messed it up a little bit here and there at first, but managed to fix the mistakes and have all the striping nice and symmetrical without any air bubbles or folds.

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    Once I had all the decals on the body it was 3AM and I really wanted to go to bed. I finished the wing, driver and lights this morning before going to work.

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    This is me (with the beanie) and our community manager Ruud while shooting our first episode for the build series. You can see us unboxing a big box full of AmPro Engineering parts. Pintopower really came through for us, modifying some of his designs to make it work the way I wanted and allowing us to print some of the prototype parts that never made it into his shop. Thanks mate![​IMG]

    We filmed a conversation between myself and Ruud about why you'd use 3D printing to modify your RC car, my RC history and my drift car and off course why we chose the Hornet for our project. The video will be released early next week hopefully, the link I will share here off course. And next week we're going to start pre-assembly of the car so I need to order the last few pieces of hardware and the tires in time so we can start building the SuperFly Hornet.

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    Here's a shot of the finished original car. I'm super pleased with the result and almost don't want to tear it apart again next week... Almost.[​IMG]

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    And this is what it's all about! A massive amount of 3D printed parts, all of which you can find in the AmPro Engineering shop on Shapeways. These parts have been printed in our White Strong & Flexible nylon material, and will eventually be polished and some of them dyed. I've ordered them in white so we can also show you some of the post-production here in the factory.

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    And that's it for now. I'm very excited I get to build a SuperFly Hornet, as I've been wanting to do a project like this for a long time and I've always admired the original SuperFly build. Hopefully I can show you guys more very soon.
     
  2. Andrewsimonthomas
    Andrewsimonthomas Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Very cool @TijsLochbaum !

    Looking forward to a breakdown of what each of the 3D printed upgrades does to improve the performance of the car.
     
  3. TijsLochbaum
    TijsLochbaum Shapeways Employee Manufacturing
    This week we're busy with filming the second episode of our build videos and I have already assembled the whole car for the first time last night. I still need to take pictures of it, but a follow up on the build thread here will follow soon.

    In the meantime, have a look at the first blogpost and video on the Shapeways website: https://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/28834-rc-customization-series-lap-1.html

    Or check out the video straight away on YouTube:
     
  4. TijsLochbaum
    TijsLochbaum Shapeways Employee Manufacturing
    Here's a couple pictures I took of the stock car last week. I thought it would be nice to have these, to later on compare with the finished car and see how much it actually changed :)

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    VagabondStarJXF likes this.
  5. TijsLochbaum
    TijsLochbaum Shapeways Employee Manufacturing
    We've been busy the past week with filming the next episode of our video series, and this meant that all the 3D printed parts needed to be prepped for assembly.

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    The first thing to do was cut all the sprues and clean up all the parts.
    Next up was to drill out each of the holes to the right size. Here's what sizes I've used;
    Body/wing posts: 1.5mm
    Kingpin and holes for screws to pass through: 3mm
    Where M2 thread needed to be: 1.8mm
    Where M3 thread needed to be: 2.4mm

    After drilling each of the holes to the correct size, I ran a tap with M2 and M3 thread through them.

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    M2 was needed for the dampershafts and mounts, since the dampers we're using are made for a 1/16th truggy or something. Pintopower recommended these and I was happy that a black colour was an option. They are cheap Chinese ebay units, so let's see how well they perform. The springs are nice and soft, which was the main reason to go for 1/16th dampers.

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    The wheels are one of my favorite items. Just like some of the Stadiumtruck wheels and the HPI Vintage line of wheels they look small on the face, but actually run big, low sidewall tires. The faces still need to be painted, but eventually it will look like the car is still on its 1.5" (or is it 1.7?) wheels while we're using modern 2.2" tires. The tires I chose for now are the Tamiya DF03 tires, just so we can stay in the Tamiya family. If I ever bring the car to a race, I'm sure other tires that perform better will find their way on to the car.

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    To fit the C-hubs I cut down some screwpins I had left over from a TA02 build and made them fit nicely. The hubs still bind a little bit on the pins so I might have to drill them a bit bigger (3.1mm).

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    Here you can see the new wingmount Pintopower designed for us. It is made to be used with the AMPro wing and fits great.

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    While most of the AMPro parts are direct replacements for the factory parts, some require some effort to fit. The easiest of the bunch is the transmission brace/battery mount. It's moments like these where I wish I had more than two hands to hold stuff in place. All you need to do is drill two 3mm holes, but aligning them in a tight space is tricky.

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    We're using the canti-lever front suspension, and again the parts used for this don't line up with any factory holes. The front pieces that the actual canti-lever is mounted to is easy to install, as you can use the factory damperstay to align it. The dampermount however is really tricky. I used pictures of Pintopowers own Superfly to figure out where it should go and got it perfectly symetrical on both sides [​IMG] succes!

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    When you buy the canti-lever set, AMPro mentions the bearings you need for the lever. It's pretty straight forward how all the pieces go together, however I did have to use a couple of shims to make sure the lever rotates without any play or binding. I used a tiny (small outer diameter) 0.3x3mm shim behind the bearing and another standard 3mm Tamiya shim behind that. This keeps the bearing from binding on the plastic mount and allows you to tighten the screw.

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    There you go, a fully 3D printed front suspension!

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    The last thing to do is get some ball-ends and make the links. It was already past midnight while taking these pictures and I ran out of turnbuckles a while ago so the top link is missing in the pictures. I did get some the day after, so don't worry about the loose ballends of crazy camber in some pictures.[​IMG]

    And that concludes the pre-assembly of the car. Here's some extra pictures of the car with and without bodypanels.

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    And some more showing off!

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    RudyLime likes this.
  6. TijsLochbaum
    TijsLochbaum Shapeways Employee Manufacturing
    I know I've been quiet here for a while, but that doesn't mean I've ignored the build. In the meantime I've been very busy sanding, painting and dyeing all the parts, and get the car ready for final assembly. Some of you might have already spotted some pictures here and there of the finished car, but for now I'm just going to leave you with episode 3 of our series:

    Read the blog here
    https://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/29259-rc-customization-series-lap-3.html

    Or straight to YouTube




    And here's a little teaser for the next episode;)

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    Attached Files:

  7. TijsLochbaum
    TijsLochbaum Shapeways Employee Manufacturing
    The time has finally come to call the build finished! The car is assembled, dyed, painted, fitted with electronics and completely drivable. The first battlescars are already on it actually.
    So let's start with where we left off last time. All of the parts needed to get their final colours. I decided on a white/blue/black colourscheme to match with the Shapeways colours, but also because I thought the combination would give the car a clean look while making sure that the printed parts would stand out.

    I would be using 2 different methods for the colours. The bodypanels would be spraypainted, and all other suspensioncomponents dyed using our normal Shapeways finish.

    If you watch episode 3 of our videoseries you can have a look at how we polish and dye our strong&flexible nylon parts in the Shapeways factory. Afterwards I sealed all the parts by spraying them with a clear coat. This makes the colour pop a bit more and most importantly makes it easier to clean the parts after a day of racing.
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    The wheels and cage were dyed black. I painted the spokes of the wheels with white Tamiya acrylic paint later, as trying to mask and spray the wheels turned out to be a little bit tricky'er than I expected.

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    And here's all the blue parts after getting a clearcoat.

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    The body panels required a little bit more elbow grease. I wanted to get rid of all the stepping that comes with 3D printing and make the panels super smooth. I sprayed a couple of thin layers of primer inbetween sanding to be able to see where I needed to sand a little more. The paint will stick in the deeper ridges and makes it easier to spot them. I went through this cycle a couple of times going from 180 grit up to 400 grit sand paper before putting on the final layer of primer.

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    Here's the panels in a couple of different stages. On the far left you can see the roof that just got its final layer of gloss white paint. The rear spoiler also got dyed black, and later the endplates masked up and sprayed gloss white.

    After assembling most of the car, all that was left to do was install the electronics.

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    I chose to use the ESC and motor that come with the kit, and a basic Futaba servo for now. When I will take it for serious racing I will replace it with a coreless RC OMG servo, RC OMG brushless ESC and a 17.5 turn motor. I did shorten and black out (shrinktube and snakeskin) most of the wires to give the car a clean look. I also directly soldered the motorwires and added 4mm goldplugs for the battery.

    And finally there's a finished car

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    Looking from underneath it's easy to spot all the upgrades.

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    The little mascot I put on all the cars I build.
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    A small but very important upgrade when you take this car over jumps. It all fits so well together too!

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    Yes, I made a mistake putting the shockmounts on up-side-down. This is something that happens every now and then when you're building something as heavily modified as the Superfly. I will fix it though. I love the look of the IFS

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    For me the wheels really set this car apart. They keep the classic small diameter look, but with BIG FAT tires on them. I've had a couple people question what tires I was using because of the big side-wall.


    Please also watch the last installment of our video series. You can see it here on the Shapeways blog: https://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/29494-rc-customization-series-lap-4-finish-line.html
    Or directly on YouTube:


    That's it for now. Thanks for watching and I hope you've enjoyed the build.