A cool new project has come on the scene that’ll make 3D printing hobbyists happy, especially those of you who like to make model cars, trains, and more with the use of 3D components. The OpenWheel project provides open source code for the 3D printing of model wheels. Moreover, the developer says the code is usable for the construction of model tyres and tank tracks.
Parametric Model Wheels
The wheels are parametric, which means you can customize a few variables. As a result of this, you can print model wheels suited to your specific modeling project. The parametric OpenSCAD concept is interesting because it offers great customization options for your model trains, cars, and tanks.
In terms of what you can actually customize, well, the options are extensive. You can adjust the radius, thickness, and number of fixation holes around the central axle, among a host of other options. Hence, the OpenWheel project is a lot different from standard 3D models, which impose much more constraints on the final model.
If you want to take things further and build a model tank that not only needs wheels but also a tank tread, this is possible too. According to the developer, the tank tracks can be 3D printed out of NinjaFlex. In short, NinjaFlex is a flexible 3D printing filament composed of a specially formulated thermoplastic material. It is extremely strong and elastic, making it perfect for constructing a really good model version of a tank.
In one of his project logs, developer Audrey Robinel documents how he created a complete 3D printed drive train using his open source code. The project is in its infancy, but it is still an exciting development for 3D model hobbyists. The customization ensures that
The project is in its infancy, but it is still an exciting development for 3D model hobbyists. The level of customization for model trains, cars, and tanks hasn’t been seen much in the world of 3D modeling. It is definitely worth keeping an eye on the OpenWheel project, and perhaps incorporating it into your next attempt at constructing a model train, tank, or car.
If you want a thoroughly detailed description of the wheels and gears, please read more here.