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About SteelRat

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  • Birthday 07/21/1970

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    Kent, UK

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  1. Update.. after a LOT of faff and hair pulling with my 3D printer, I've finally got it set up properly and printed out the lower suspension arms and modified shock tower. Also put together some 3mm rod with rod ends to make the top arm and mount the suspension legs. I'm pretty pleased with the result! * Narrowed the rear track successfully with very little camber on the rear wheels, although still does snag at maximum compression. Room for tweakage though. * The modified shock tower doesnt need to be anywhere near as tall as the stock KBF and the body will be mounted on a brass tube / steel rod cage that is fixed to the chassis. * I'm in two minds whether or not to make it a convertible as I originally intended. The ORV chassis doesn't lend itself very well to that configuration because of the big lump in the middle of it. I have some ideas about though, so we'll see where that goes. * The ground clearance and sag in the suspension I'll need to correct to lift and stiffen it a notch. It just needs wider collars or longer springs. Pics: With the body just roughly laid on the chassis as is, I'm pretty pleased with where the rear wheels are. Obviously it'll sit a little higher once it's done. Next steps are the cage. Just waiting for the steel rod and brass tube to arrive, then it's drawing board and soldering iron time!
  2. Awesome work mate.. and I love your spray booth!
  3. Depending on your point of view, the best, or worst thing about a Clod is the sheer scope of options of what you want to do with it. In terms of essentials, though, I'd say if you sort out the steering, but leave the rest of it pretty much stock, you'll still have a ton of fun with it. By "sort out the steering", that essentially boils down to removing the travel limiters on the front (to give you more throw) and lock the rear. The stock 4WS system on the Clod is awful, and converting to to 2WS will make LOADS of difference. After that, if you still want the stock look, the next thing would be to upgrade the shocks and convert it to a 4 link. Not essential, but it does help give the truck a bit more stability in the corners. I did a similar thing with mine originally.. showroom link here: 58321: Super Clod Buster Kit from SteelRat showroom, Super Clod Reboot - Tamiya RC & Radio Control Cars (tamiyaclub.com) I'd say they were the things that made mine way more fun, but still kept it looking stock. After that, you've got the endless rabbit hole of possibilities in the shape of full on Mod Clod.
  4. Oh man, that video is superb! When he bent the foam to show where on the object the real stresses are, that's what made all the sense! Brilliant, recommendation, thank you.
  5. And that's exactly what I've done.. I'll post pics tomorrow. I realised that the stock KBF has the upper arms on the front side anyway, so I'd not fitted it correctly in the first place. The top of the upright / wheel hub / whatever it's blummin called still snags on the motor, but i don't think it'll be enough to cause a big problem, particularly as the springs on there at the moment are from a TA03, so quite stiff. I have some softer ones and theres the option to fiddle around with the shock length. Threaded rod a couple of crawler rod ends with the bottom of the shock between them mounted on the upper arm. With all of that assembled, I now know that my bottom arm has to be 3 mm longer - who'd have thought it would have made that much difference - aaah the joys of suspension geometry.
  6. Exactly. The top arm as it stands at the moment is too long in relation to the positions of the holes on the hub and the length of the lower arm. As the top of the hub is pivoted from the where it attaches to the lower one, it means that when it extends out depending on the length of the top arm, its trajectory is curved, not a straight line, that's why it's not parallel. In order to prevent the fouling, I'll need to lengthen the top arm (probably only by a mm or two), and lengthen the lower arm so that it brings the hub to directly vertical. To do that, I'll need to extend the lower arm by more than whatever I extend the upper one. If I line up gearbox and hub on the bench so that the top of the hub doesn't foul the motor and measure between the two holes. Make the top arm. With the top arm in place make the same measurement for the lower arm, but that length will be greater due to the position and shape of the axle hub. Also if I mount the top arm behind the fitting instead of in front of it as it is stock, I can then mount the longer suspension leg to the bottom arm and get around the problem of the coil fouling against the top one.
  7. That's a good point re the upper wishbone and using metal rod.. I had tried that initially with some rod ends I have for crawler links, but the body of the rod end itself was too long pushing it out further than I wanted. May have to look at other options. I don't understand about the length of the part not being relevant though.. surely if the the top arm is too long in relation to the lower one, it's going to increase the camber of the wheel, assuming you use the same mount points on the gearbox casing and wheel hub? I mean the ratio of lengths between the existing parts make for parallel upper and lower arms and so the only other variable that is in play is the lengths of the printed ones?
  8. Good advice, thank you.. will definitely look at that page. The only tweak to the default settings to PLA+ I've made is the slightly higher temperature (210 C).. When you're setting the infill do you change the type.. lines / grid / triangles etc - is there a preferred one for strength? I can also see what you mean about the 100% infil not being needed.. I think I did that lower arm at 80% and it's more than strong enough!
  9. Honestly, if you've already had some experience with 3D modelling, you'll pick up the software side really quickly. Fusion360 has its quirks, but it's really easy to get to grips with, certainly for generating relatively simple pieces like I have above. Like most design work, I've found that the real secret is being able to identify the simple shapes that make up a more complex whole. F360s modular nature in terms of putting pieces together as a collection of "Components" that are those simple shapes make it pretty easy to build the design up. This is why I'm considering using it to draw a CAD of the gearbox casing, and potentially even the whole model so that I know exactly how things are going to look before I start bringing it in to the real world, whether those pieces are going to be 3D printed or not. In terms of the printing side of it, the biggest struggle I had was getting the bed levelling (which apparently a misnomer, and it's more accurate to refer to it as "tramming") - more particularly getting the distance between print head and bed right. Too close and you don't get a clear print.. too far away insufficient adhesion to allow the printer to layer the print properly. I found that the problems were really a combination of me working out the best method to do the adjustments, but more crucially the state of the printer when it left the factory. I had to tighten some of the bolts on the bed runner bearings, to stop it wobbling and also completely remove and reseat the springs used to adjust the bed height, once I did that and the springs were sat properly, it actually wasn't that hard. I've also bought a set of upgraded springs (only about £7) which are stronger and give greater range and control of the adjustment. I'll definitely say that YouTube is your friend for both of these elements of the overall "discovery".. there's a ton of tutorials, reviews and what have you on all bits of the process, so you want be short of a good resource for help if you run in to problems. It's worth it too.. it's so incredibly satisfying a process - on a personal note with lock downs and what have you, it's definitely lifted me out of a bit of a mental rut!
  10. Yes, they do need to be parallel, but there isn't any scope at all to modify the hub (and to be honest, I'm not really sure I want to do that if I can get away with it.) Really the only way to achieve that is by making sure that they're the correct length. If I measure what the distance needs to be between the two holes on the lower arm, I can calculate what the length of the top arm needs to be to make it parallel. I was thinking last night that as I have a 3D CAD program to model the bits I want to print, I could actually use it to model the whole gearbox casing if it came to it, and that isn't as difficult as it sounds, believe it or not. That is a really good idea! The only problem with that would be that the coil would then foul on the upper arm. I've thought about this further and because I'm going make this a convertible beetle with an exposed roll cage, that shock tower is going to be more or less obsolete in that guise anyway, and isn't going to look very good on the final car. I'm going to look at a way to incorporate the fixings that mount the cage to the body of the car as a way to mount the shocks. With that, could be the possibility of moving the top of the shock mount forward which would get over that problem. Definitely food for thought though! Haha.. that's a really good name - and to be honest I hadn't thought what I might call it. "Benny's Basher" might not be very popular. Thank you! What 3D software were you using? I'm using the free version of Fusion 360 by AutoDesk, having previously done a little work in Blender, but I'm by no means an expert in either. I would heartily recommend looking at 3D printing again, because the prices have absolutely plummeted in recent years. I've been looking at them for a little while, but I always came back to, "do I really want to spent £6-700 on one" - which is the sort of money I was looking at when I'd considered it previously. Now that figure is £2-300 so a whole lot more viable.
  11. A month or so ago when I was clearing my loft out to sell a load of my RC gear that had sat around for about 10 years gathering dust, I never thought in a million years I'd be sat here writing a build thread for a new project! "From little acorns... " though as the saying goes. This project is really the product of a whole load of inspiration and ideas that have been spinning around in my head since watching some incredibly talented people put stuff together both in here and on YouTube and is really an evolution of an old car of mine, the "Bitsa Beetle", so called because it is a mish mash of various ORV based cars. Gearbox of a King Blackfoot. Front axles of a Frog. Front suspension arm geometry of a Monster Beetle and the standard ladder frame that supports all generations of the ORV. For a little while the biggest Bug bear (pun intended) that I've struggled to get around was the extra width provided by the KBF gearbox. Obviously, it's designed as a monster truck so when you put "ordinary" wheels on it (I'm using touring car wheels with Sand Scorcher rear tyres) it looks a bit.. silly. I'd tried to modify the arms from existing cars, or find another way to reduce that rear track width, but nothing was really coming together. And then I discovered that the prices of 3D printers had come down a whole lot in the last few years and wondered if this might be the direction I could go in to solve that particular problem. After some great advice by a number of people, I took the plunge with a printer (a Creality Ender 3 Pro) and have begun work. The overall direction of this build is going to be post apoc themed car specifically based around the Fallout games. I actually dabbled in a bit of cosplay a few years back, and made a costume of the NCR Veteran Ranger from Fallout New Vegas, so the idea here is to have a ranger as the driver, cut the roof off of a Blitzer beetle shell, build a roll cage to mount roof bits on (out of soldered brass tube, not 3D printed!). This is certainly an ambitious project from my point of view as I've never even attempted anything like this before, so we'll see how things go! To start then, this is one of the pics of the Bitsa in its original guise. The rear wheels using buggy wheels with a decent negative offset certainly helped rear track issue, but I wanted to something a bit more scale. The shell with Willy at the helm is what became the shell for my post apoc Sand Scorcher that I posted in my showroom a while back. I've got another beater Beetle shell that will be used for this. Next, the first few prototypes to get the narrowed track sorted out and first draft of the rear shock tower. These parts are printed in PLA+ - I've got a roll of black filament coming soon so that the final parts are a more sensible colour! I've included the original parts so that you can see how much of a size difference we're undertaking. The first assembly is as below, and we already have some challenges to deal with: So... issues: 1 - most obviously, the length of the arms isn't quite right, so the geometry is off leading to that positive camber on the rear wheel. Getting the lengths right using my metal rule even with everything stripped down was rather tricky and nowhere near accurate enough. I've invested in a set of digital calipers so that I can get the measurements a bit more dialled in and we can resolve that. 2 - the narrower track and therefore shorter top arm means that not only do I need shorter suspension, but the rear wheel knuckle is fouling against the motor on full compression. This will mean that both arms will need to be extended a notch (probably only a couple of mm). 3 - The shock tower came out pretty well (although I did have some issue with removing the supports cleanly, but I'm going to need to move the top mount holes for the suspension and also extend out where they attach to the shock tower body so that there's less flex, more strength and so that they line up properly with the lower mounts on the upper arm. 4 - Initially, I had the idea to include the body mounts as part of the shock tower, but now they've printed out, they're WAY too flimsy. When it's finished this car is probably more likely to spend most of it's life on a shelf, but I do intend to run it occasionally. Now I think about it, that part of the roof isn't going to be there on the finished car anyway, so they're pretty obsolete! I think the next steps before we go any further is to sit down with a pencil and pad and sketch out some of this in more detail. This initial discovery phase in getting used to the software to build the printed parts, and of course get acquainted with the printer has definitely been fun but as the multiple P's say, "Proper Planning Prevents Pee Poor Performance"!
  12. Thanks @Collin.. those reamers are a definitely a good idea. Yeah I can see that.. however that initial print was just a protoype to test fit etc.. didn't take very long to print or use much material. The updated version was printed in a different axis (so that the weakness lines aren't in the same direction as the majority of acting forces), with a higher proportion of infill and I moved the inner hole further in the piece just by a single millimetre so as not to greatly affect the geometry, or cause any functional issues with the half shaft.. There was an immediate difference just in doing that. I was able to fit the self tapping metal pivot axles without any splitting and the overall piece is noticeably, considerably stronger. Proof will be in the pudding though, so we'll see how it holds up. I have some black PVA+ coming, so the parts will at least be in the right colour for the final print! Thanks @silvertriple the discovery stage, finding the limits and see if I can think my way around some of them is definitely part of the fun! I've spent the weekend getting to grips with the software, tweaking settings here and there to get as good results as I can (at least for now; there's definitely room for improvement in that area) and whilst there is a lot to learn, it's good that you can get a good way in relatively quickly so long as you're prepared to persevere with it. I've also had a really good look around Thingiverse and various YT creators to get inspiration and have been blown away by the sheer range and ingenuity of the things that people have created both inside and outside of the RC sphere. I've already seen some applications that I know would lend themselves very well to 3D printed pieces (the little plastic hooks on my wallmounted tool storage rack for example) and that's without the endless scale accessories I could make for my crawlers. I do think it's rather funny that just a week ago I was sat at "I wonder if" and here I am now with "Lets GO!" I'm just waiting for the first prototype of the shock tower to finish printing, so once that's done, I'll get everything assembled as it is currently and start a build thread. I've got a lot of ideas for the direction I want to go with this Beetle and I think the 3D Printer will be a big part of some of that - although most of the stuff it'll make won't be load bearing, but just detail.
  13. Yup.. v1.1 is already done with those rounded edges. I've moved the holes in a notch as well as the first prototype of the top arm, both printed edge on with an 80% infill. The top arm is a little long (giving some serious negative camber on the wheel!), so will need a redesign, but I've bought a set of digital callipers so that I can make more accurate measurements for the design phase. In the process of designing the shock tower, which will mean moving the holes further in to allow for the reduced track width. I'm in two minds whether I'll need shorter shocks as well, but we'll see how that goes. All of this is getting to the point where it's going to warrant a build thread! Pretty impressed with PLA+ too.. it's REALLY strong. At least, I think it'll be strong enough for the level that I run / will be running this particular car (i.e. not that hard, and not that often!)
  14. Bit of an update: Printer arrived yesterday and after a bit of a play with Fusion 360 and a whole lot of trial and error, which mostly surrounded bed levelling, I've got my first 3D printed A Arm for my Bitsa Beetle. Essentially (and really what started this whole thing off), I wanted to narrow the track of the rear end so that it lined up with the front and looked a wee bit more scale. This initial print is just pretty much default settings on the PLA filament that came with the machine. You can already see splits and weak points, but it's a fantastic place to work from and I'm delighted with the fact I've got this far in a relatively short period of time. Mocked up the fitting so that you can see the "before" and "after" in terms of the track narrowing. That is a standard 45mm dog bone from a TL01 / TA03. Next job is to tweak the hole positions, round off the edges of the "U" piece, make the top arm and try a full 100% infill, PLA+ print edge on.
  15. Thanks guys.. I've been looking at 3D printing videos more or less non stop for the last couple of days. Couple of take aways: * Ender3 Pro seems to have a very large community of people providing 3D printed mods as well as third party manufacturers, so the tweak / upgrade path is immense and flexible (YouTuber Scott Yu-Jan did a superb series of E3 Pro mods) * Fusion360 / Ultimaker Cura seem to be the best in terms of 3D modelling / slicing applications * Bed levelling and getting it right will be the first thing I do after the initial build! * A replacement hotend is not only an essential mod for printing in other materials, but also a generally good upgrade from the point of view of longevity and reliability * 3D printed Christmas presents generally aren't received very well, with a few small exceptions
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