Thursday, December 1, 2011

Makerbot Semi Tractor Is Completed After Marathon 40.73 Hours

  After what seemed like months, today I have completed my Makerbot Semi Tractor.  I counted up the hours and it comes to a staggering 40.73 hours of printing.  This total does not include the design time nor the assembly time to put this portion of the model together.  But I am not complaining in the least as it has been a lot of fun so far creating this little beast.  The Semi at this point stands 7 inches tall, 4.5 inches wide and 10 inches long. The following photos show the wheels being installed and the photos of the completed Semi now has the air dam on the top of the roof also installed.  The air dam alone took four hours to print.  But I think it was all worth it.

  In this photo are two of the three axles that I made using 1/4 inch aluminum rod.  I drilled out the ends of the rods so that a cotter pin could be installed in the axle to hold the wheels on.  This made for a much stronger assembly though I think the Semi could still be done using wooden dowels and then just glue the wheels on to the axles. A small end cap was originally designed for this purpose but again I thought the aluminum rod was a better way to go.

Lots of parts for the wheels had to be made for this porion of the assembly.  Each wheel is made up of three parts.  The tire, an inner hub (either red or black) and a white rim.  It was a very tight fit which was like snapping Lego block together..... no glue was needed as it was a very good fit.

This is a good shot of the front wheel with the cotter pin installed.  I added a small washer behind the cotter pin so the wheels actually roll.

Here I am test fitting the rear dual wheel assemblies for the Semi.  This part of the build was easier than I had expected and that is always nice to have happen in a big build such as this.

The wheels really dress out the Semi with the red inserts and the white rims!

I really like the red tail lights in the rear bumper of the Semi.  A lot could be done with this model as my friend Neil had pointed out that I could have put LED headlights and tail lights in the model.  I told him he can do that when he builds his Makerbot Semi. 

These two photos give you a good idea of how big my completed Makerbot UFO and Semi really are.  The UFO is 10 inches in diameter.  I had not posted photos of the completed UFO so if I missed it here it is again.

  The original UFO had a Makerbot solid printed dome on the top.  I replaced this with a clear plastic dome and a complete interior with seats, controls and instrument panel.  Makes for a much more interesting model.
  Next on my plans for projects will be Lowboy trailer that will go along with these two models.  The completed model of the Semi with the trailer will be 30.5 inches long and have a special carrier on the trailer that will enable the UFO to be carried on it.  I think the trailer will be simpler to assemble than the Semi tractor has been but the amount of time to print it will also add up very quickly.  This should be interesting to see how it all turns out and the number of total hours it will take to complete this large model.  I'll keep all of you up to date on my progress so keep checking in from time to time and you'll see my progress.


  1. You have used really cute snaps which have made this post really interesting.
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  2. Dear Boss
    I need a suspension system to use in 3-wheeled cycle. i would like to request to request for your suggestion and help.
    Thakur dhakal
    Hannam Total Marine