Monday, May 23, 2016

Low Tech - High Tech Toy Car

In the coming weeks I expect to be getting a new title.  This being "Grandpa"!  It is a great thing to expect the first grand child so with that on my mind over the past few months I've started looking at toys that I expect that I will be building for some time to come. 
  One of these toys that has been on my mind I had when I was a small boy many years ago.  At that time there was no Internet, video games, cell phones or even hand held calculators.  The stone ages compared to today with all the high tech toys and gadgets that we now commonly use today including the computer that sits on my desk to help me put out this blog.
  The toy I have been redesigning from what I remember as a kid was a simple little rubber band powered wind up car.  It came as a plastic kit that needed to be assembled and once having done so you could wind it up and race it across the floor.  I was pretty young at the time I received this little car but it still has stuck in my head after all these years. 

This is an upgrade to that toy that I remember as a kid.  I can only hope that my toy will look as good as this computer image that I created in Fusion 360 that you see here.  The body will either have to be made out of fiberglass or better still vacuum formed to make it even lighter. (Gives me another reason to add the vacuum former to my list of tools for the workshop.) The windows would be painted on again to save weight. Dimensions of the finished toy car would be 3.75" tall, 4.25" wide and 12.8" long.  So it would be a very nice size to play with.

All of the components that make the toy car actually work would be 3D printed.  In this  shot you can see the rear of the chassis sticking out with a small crank to wind up the car to make it move across the floor.

This is a good view of the toy car without the body so that I can show you in more detail how it all should work. Starting with the 8.5" long  green frame as the base everything else  from the wheels to the actual drive mechanism to make the toy move would be assembled to it. 

At the front of the car you can see two white gears.  One on the front axle and another on the red front drive shaft. This drive shaft is held in place with two mounting parts that sandwich the shaft and allow it to rotate smoothly when assembled.  Attached to this shaft is a yellow rubber band that leads back to a white rear crank shaft.

At the rear of the car is the white rear crank where you wind up the car to make it go.  The crank needs to be pulled to the rear to wind it up and then released to make the car go.  The yellow tab shown covering the top of the crank in the photo above stops the crank from unwinding so the power of the wound up rubber band is transferred to the front wheels of the car.

This is a little better view of the rear  crank assembly and how it will work.  The wheels as I said earlier are 3-D printed along with everything else in the chassis for the toy car.  The 2" wheels have blue rubber bands around their outer perimeters so that the car will have some traction when running across a hard floor.
  All the components of the chassis assembly are held together using 6mm nuts and bolts.  The nuts are held inside mating components of the car through a series of  receiving slots which keep them in place and stop them from spinning when assembling the car.  You can see two of these slots at the rear of the car in the green lower crank mount in the image above.

At each of the wheels is a skateboard bearing to have a perfect friction free rolling chassis.  The axles are 1/4 diameter aluminum rod so it will be easy to make and find at my local hardware store.  The gears at the front of the car I found online at McMaster-Carr for around $10.  I suspect that I could get the same thing on Ebay for less so I will have to do some checking before I buy them. 
  I will get the gears and the bearings first before I start making the 3-D printed parts.  This way I can make sure everything fits right first with some test parts and these components. The frame as I said is 8.5" long which is the limit of my Makerbot 3-D printer and will take at least a couple of hours to print. 

The body could be any design I want to come up with. The images above are another design I came up with that uses the same chassis but has a much racier looking body.  Plus the fact that I worked this one up so that it could be vacuum formed.  So it's a good possibility that this will be the one I will shoot for.
  I have plenty of time before my new grandson arrives and will be old enough to even be able to play with such a toy but this will be on my to do list of toys that I will seriously look at and work the bugs out of until that time. This along with a few other ideas that I have in mind for my new grandson that I am sure will be as fun to build as it is for him to play with when they are completed.

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