3D Printed Jet-Powered Open Source RC Racer Leave a comment


Our May 2019 Hacker of the Month, Cesar Joshua Camacho, who goes by Josh, hails from Brooklyn, New York and currently works as a College Lab Technician at New York City College of Technology, where he also earned his bachelors in mechanical engineering. He is currently involved in teaching machining 101, two CAD design classes and a senior design class. During his second year in school, Josh had the opportunity to work on a broken 3D printer his professor made him aware of. After he was shown 3D prints that were done on the printer before it was broken, he knew he had to make the repairs to get it up and running again.

Josh spent the next few weeks learning about the mechanics of 3D printers, and with a little time and patience, he was able to get the machine up and running again. After repairing the printer, he was madly in love with 3D printing and went out and purchased an XYZ Davinci 1.0a for his personal use. While he is familiar and comfortable with the mechanics of 3D printers, his obsession with being able to create things out of thin air (as he states, ‘like Green Lantern!’)  which has driven his passion forward over the past few years.

The CMDAM (Center of Medical Devices & Additive Manufacturing) at City Tech is gifted with a large collection of 3D printers that Josh has access to, including; three Stratasys Uprint Pluses, a Cube Pro, a Markforged Duo, a Lulzbot TAZ 6, a Lulzbot Mini, a Formlabs Form 2, two Sparkmakers, two MicroMake l2’s, two Monoprice Select Minis, a Flashforge Creator Pro, and a Creality CR-10S5. In addition, he also has the following models at home: a Creality CR-10, a Prusa MK2.5s, a Monoprice Mini Delta, and a MicroMake l2.

Many of the 3D printers in the City Tech CMDAM lab are tasked with 3D printing prosthetics and orthotic devices. Many of these devices require advanced materials including carbon-fiber infused NylonX, metal-infused materials like tungsten ABS, aluminum, bronze and other materials from Virtual Foundry, as well as flexibles like TPU/TPE. One of the many triumphs of the lab was designing and printing ‘stress cushions’ from flexible materials that replaced the metal springs in many of the prosthetics. They found these 3D printed stress cushions worked better than their steel counterparts, lasted longer, and didn’t require maintenance once installed.

For the 3D printers that Josh uses that don’t have proprietary slicers, he primarily uses Cura and slic3r, but his favorite is Simplify3D because of the selection of customization options available. He also benefits from using MatterControl as well so he can slice parts for print time estimations, which helps him plan material consumption and printer utilization schedules.

All of this experience and knowledge lead Josh to design and print his amazing jet-powered RC car, called the Slingshot, based on the OpenRC model by Daniel Norée. He initially wanted to make an extreme hobby-grade RC car that wasn’t on the market and would stop people in their tracks. But most importantly, he wanted to create a fun project after his inspiration was piqued by the experience he had 3D printing and building the OpenRC F1 model.

The steering mechanisms and the frame are based on the OpenRC model, and the jet-powered turbine is designed entirely by Josh. The thrust generated by the turbine gives the vehicle the power it needs to propel forward on the modified wheels. While testing the iterations of the vehicle, Josh was originally inside but was asked to continue his experiments outside to cut down on the turbine noise in the office.

Josh also prints commission and volunteer parts for a multitude of agencies, friends, and family. Everything from gears 3D printed in Taulman Nylon for private companies, to prototypes and figurines, replacement car parts (mainly for his father), students at City Tech, as well as toys and gifts for the younger family members in his life.

Josh is always willing to learn more about 3D printing – he is a huge fan of the RepRap movement and loves the camaraderie of the 3D printing community. Anytime he can watch a video tutorial in his free time, it helps to elevate his understanding not only of 3D printing, but also concepts like material sciences, vibrational analysis, and thermodynamics. His love for his hobby has truly increased his understanding and appreciation of his career, and his ability to help others learn more about a multitude of areas in engineering and manufacturing.

Moving forward, Josh hopes to see what all of us wish for; lower costs in machines and materials to open the floodgates of 3D printing for everyone. While costs have come down considerably in the last five years, with so many more companies creating new machines and materials, he hopes to see more access for every user. One of his main desires is to see the invention of the 3D printed burger in the restaurant industry!

What’s next on the horizon for Josh? In addition to all of the other interests he has, he is also a fan of, and has a background in, aeronautics. He wants to create another OpenRC prototype, this time called the F22 – an open-source, RC plane that anyone can 3D print and modify however they please. Following in Daniel Norée’s design, he will be designing them to be support-free, and they will be available on MatterHackers’ website as well as others in the future once it is completed.

We can’t wait to see the OpenRC F22 project come to fruition, and we will be hosting the OpenJetRC car on our site as soon as it is available, in addition to the F22 designs!

Are you or someone you know doing something awesome with 3D printing? Tell us about your project or 3D printed creation, and you could be featured in our next newsletter! Email chris.morgan@matterhackers.com with your story idea!


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