com youtube channel i’m: your host jordan visco today we’ve built the awesome 3d printable snowmobile known as ski ride and today we’re going to talk about some of the positives of the design and Maybe some of the drawbacks and we’re going to help you decide if you should build one for yourself and remember, as always, if you’re looking for fun, rc projects to build guides on how to build them kits or parts check us out, rcprinter.com rcprinter.com, all right. So first let’s talk about the ski ride project in general, it was developed at the end of 2020 uh in december by a guy on my mini factory named, build it better, and this was his first rc project that i was able to find online and his First, rc snowmobile, some of the other projects available online, include an array of heavy machinery and trucking equipment. But this is the first rc project that he’s really built the designer says that he was inspired by the work of many others and if you go to youtube and you search up 3d printed, snowmobiles you’ll find there’s. A guy. Who’S got the most popular ones named. Pascal robert from quebec, and he has created a number of different rc snowmobiles, including one called shotkey and another one called project decagon and another one called the g5. And if you look through the comments of those videos, you’ll notice that the demand for his 3d printed snowmobile projects is quite large, but he hasn’t yet actually released his design files.
So there’s a lot of pent up demand out there of people who are looking to build these types of things, but have not yet, and i suspect that um it’s, that pent up demand and his designs that were the major inspiration for this snowmobile right here. According to the designer, the main idea was to create a 3d printed snowmobile that was not only fun to drive, but also very simple, to build and he’s put a lot of effort in to make sure this is something that everyone can do so let’s talk a Little bit about the design, my first impressions uh, when i saw this design available online, were that i had to have it immediately. Um the design files went up on my mini factory. I bought them right away without doing any research into the project or the designer. It just looked like something i really wanted to play with, so i bought it right away overall, i’m. Quite happy with it. There are some drawbacks to having an rc snow snowmobile. You know they are a bit hard to drive, they do break a lot, but it’s quite fun to have – and in my opinion this is the most fun you can have with an rc project in the snow. The project is designed to be printed in pla and i’ve printed this one here, it’s a mix of pla and petg material um. Originally i thought i wanted something just a little bit stronger, because i know i was going to bash this around a bit.
So i printed most of the chassis and the skid and the main tunnel and frame out of petg, and then i did some of the top pieces here in pla. If i were to do it again, i would probably just print everything in pla, but i would make sure to print these front suspension pieces the track anything that’s going to see a lot of banging around i’m going to print that, with probably six walls and 100 Infill, because it’s going to take quite a bit of abuse printing, the machine itself is actually fairly simple. There aren’t very many supports that are required and it can be printed on pretty much any standard 200 by 200 millimeter build surface. The construction is the main frame piece, which is this piece here and then there are two tunnel pieces here right there and right there, and everything else is just kind of built on top of that. The skid here on the bottom and the front suspension all the electronics are hidden inside this top cover here and you actually just unscrew this little gas cap and it pops off and all your electronics are hidden inside there. It’S, your motor, your speed controller uh, your battery can go in there as well and your servos right here. So everything is located just in this one. Little top section the motor sticks out here and there’s a transmission on this side and newer build files of the ski ride.
Snowmobile. The transmission has actually been moved to the left hand side, but mine in this initial version is on the right here: there’s a metal pinion that comes off the motor and that hooks onto a traxxas 56 tooth gear and from that it’s connected to a herringbone 3d Printed gear which drives the track and the track is uh – has these two little sprockets in here that just kind of pull it around with these little holes in the track. Just like that, so let’s talk a bit about the front suspension. This is actually where i think this model could probably use the most improvement. You can see here that it’s towed in a little bit and then, if i put a little bit of pressure on it, it splays out quite widely like that, and that does tend to make the model itself a bit harder to drive. Snowmobiles don’t like turning corners. Very well anytime, you’re going to get a toe in on a machine like this it’s going to make it just a little bit less stable in the corner. So it would be nice if these steering arms, uh that’s, these blue pieces here and they’re actually quite flimsy right. There it’d be nice if they were a little bit thicker and if they could have some tie. Rod ends on the end there just to connect them to uh the skis, because then you’d be able to slightly change the toe in or toe out of the snowmobile.
As you want it. As i said, these steering arms here they are quite flexible and they do tend to break a bit. They connect to the servo right under here and where they connect to the servo and where they connect to these steering knuckles. I’Ve broken them quite a bit. So it would be nice if those 3d printed parts were just a little bit stronger. The other part that i break quite a lot on this. Are these steering knuckles themselves. These steering knuckles right here, i’ve, actually printed a modified version of these steering knuckles and that’s. What i have installed these are the original steering knuckles here, and you can see the ones that i’ve put on there they’re, actually just quite a bit beefier than these original ones, and they break a lot less so i’d highly recommend if you’re printing, this 3d printed Snowmobile to look up the heavy duty, hd version of these steering knuckles, the other thing i’ve broken up front. Are these a arms here, so if you’re taking it over a jump, i find the most common thing to break is going to be the knuckle and then the next is going to be. The a arms here so definitely make sure you print these with 100 info. As well and then after those break, if you hit it really hard off a jump, you’re actually going to break your frame and if you break your frame, that’s no fun there’s a lot of work to pretty much disassemble everything and put it back together again.
So the other thing with this snowmobile here is obviously this front. Suspension has to move quite a bit and instead of putting ball joints or any sort of joint in here, he’s, just uh put little countersunk screws in and left them quite loose, and it does work fairly well. But anytime you’re going to have just a metal piece like that rubbing on a 3d printed plastic piece, just in a socket, it is going to loosen up over time and it is going to break so it would be awesome as well if there was just kind Of a better way for him to handle that through either a ball joint or something similar. So now let’s talk about the track. Um the track works quite well. Um. There are times when you’ll bust off a lot or two. You can see right there, i’ve busted off a log. You can print different types of track. For this thing, this is the standard track that you’re supposed to print with it. There is a heavy duty version of this track, which has just kind of more supports in behind, so that might be a good idea as well. Ideally, you’d actually have a tpu printed track for a 3d snowmobile like this. You can see if you follow their discord. Um and you participate in that forum at all, you can see they’re testing out different tpu tracks. They haven’t settled on one. They haven’t found one that they feels works great yet, but hopefully in the future, we’ll get a a solid 3d printed tpu track for this, and i think that would solve the lug problem.
The other thing i really like about this track design is kind of how it was put together. Each of these pieces is printed individually and then what you actually do. I have a. I have a piece of the track here that hasn’t been put together, but you just put a piece of filament through these open holes there right there, you put a piece of filament through those holes and that’s what kind of holds the track together and then the Little tab in the end here, you just heat that up with a lighter and you bend it over with like a flathead screwdriver, and that is how your track will stay together and you can see there i’ve just melted all of my track sections together and then At the end of the track here you have this little system for tightening and loosening it, and if i turn these bolts here, it actually pushes these wheels out and tightens the track up. So you can keep it nice and tight. It is important to keep your track nice and tight. I did have a time where i had my track a bit loose and i ended up blowing off every single track. Piece definitely keep that tightened up now. Obviously, on a snowmobile like this um, you know it’s going to take a bit more power to move this track and it will to just move some rc car wheels and so that’s why the designer recommends going with a sensored, brushless, 540 cam motor 540 is a Pretty standard size for an rc motor, but personally i opted for an uncensored version, just a cheap bang, good, uncensored, 540 motor and it ended up having enough power once the thing’s moving but being an uncensored motor.
It didn’t have that kick right off the bat. So i’d recommend spending a little bit extra money and going for the censored motor now, the motor that i did have can take a 2s battery or a 3s battery. I found the 2s battery isn’t worth running. It can barely get this thing moving, so i would recommend at least a 3s battery and you could go even higher if your motor and speed controller can take now. Another thing about the battery is that there’s not a lot of space in here for a battery um, i was only able to fit up to like a 2 000 milliamp hour 3s battery inside the compartment in order to fix that and get a bigger battery. What they’ve done is they’ve created a mod for the seat, and so this seat here is actually a two piece seat. This is the original seat here, which is a one piece, and this blue section here actually will just pop right off like that, and you can see in there you’re able to actually slide in a much bigger uh battery. I think you could probably fit like a 5 000 milliamp hour battery uh 3s battery in there as long as it’s a soft case, not a hard case and there’s just enough room to slide that in now. Another really cool thing about this model is that the developer hasn’t just put it out there and left it alone. He’S gone and created tons of different mods for it, and the community that’s around it is really excited and those guys are going out there and creating all different kinds of mods.
So you can get mods to give yourself a longer track. If you’d like a long track vehicle, you can have bigger wheels on the back. You can actually 3d print a guy that goes on top. If you would like a rider, you can print different different foot rails, you can print different rear bumper rails. Here you can print larger skis if you’d like wider skis, there’s different options for different lights, so there’s tons of different options out there for you to customize your snowmobile and and obviously you can build it in whatever color you’d like as well. So, to make a long story short, do i think you should build it definitely again. This is the most fun you can have in the snow with an rc vehicle. It is a bit hard to drive and there are definitely times where you’re going to break parts on it. But printing replacement parts is easy and cheap, simple to fix and you’re just going to have a ton of fun so enjoy heading out there and building your very own 3d printable ski ride.