3D Printing – the future of DIY RC?

Unless you’ve been off the grid or hiding under a rock you probably know at least a little something about 3D printing. If you don’t, it is now literally possible to print an item in 3 dimensions. There are several methods for doing this, however the point is that the price of 3D printing is now coming down daily to the point where it might be possible for anyone to have at least a basic 3D printer in their home in the next few years.  Currently the basic models are at least a few hundred dollars and the high end versions are many thousands of dollars. The way that it works is you create a model of an item in a CAD program such as Google Sketchup (a free CAD program) and then send that model to the printer to be printed in the same way that you print a document.

What does this mean for us RC enthusiasts? Well it means a lot of things. It means that for people that are making custom parts or scale accessories they can now make their own model or download one from the internet, upload it to a printing service and have it printed. It also means that enterprising individuals that are looking at starting their own business can 3D print prototypes to test their models before moving to a full production business.

If you look around enough you can even find almost 100% 3D printed RC vehicles so all you would need to add are electronics, tires and a radio system.

We’ll cover more of this technology in future posts.



By day Jay Leno works with information technology and in his spare time he is actively involved in the radio control hobby. Passionate about new technologies and pushing the limits of what is possible as well as a strong desire for things to look "scale" drive his interests in the hobby.

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