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OpenRC Project: 3D Print a Radio Controlled Formula 1 Car


There’s 3D printed cars, and then there’s 3D printed radio-controlled cars. Now in its fifth year, the OpenRC Project is more fun and accessible than ever.

We’ve seen a lot of 3D printed cars recently, but if you want to build one which doesn’t have an extortionate price tag, then the OpenRC Project might be the answer. For a limited time, the STL files for a 3D printable remote controlled F1 race car are exclusively available on Pinshape (and they’re totally free).

The F1 race car is the latest iteration of a long-standing passion project by maker Daniel Norée, now in its third year, and this time it’s been specifically designed to be more accessible for 3D printing enthusiasts.

The project first launched in 2012 with the OpenRC Touring Car, followed by OpenRC Truggy in 2013 and the OpenRC Quadcopter in 2014. Norée says of the latest version:

“I wanted to create something for everyone that’s less challenging to print and build. I learned a lot from the Truggy that even though I’d like to think I met my goals on that project, not everyone could finish building their own because of the complexity and precision needed for some of the parts. This time around, I used common PLA as the primary material instead of polycarbonate, and I made the parts more reasonably sized and easier to print.”


The OpenRC F1 Car has Easily Replaceable Parts

One of the core strengths of the OpenRC project is to be able to be easily replace the parts of a remote controlled car which are subject to frequent wear and tear. Most of the parts of the F1 race car, including the main body, are entirely 3D printable.

The car weighs about 500g (not including electronic components) and should require about half a spool of regular PLA filament to fabricate. You’ll also need a small amount of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) like NinjaFlex for the tires. Thereafter, you just source an electronics kit to power the car, and then you’re off to the races.

Here’s a short clip of an early prototype doing donuts:

Pinshape CEO Lucas Matheson says of the project:

“Pinshape.com was built to foster the open­ source, collaborative nature of the 3D printing community and we try to encourage collaboration and remixing with our contests, like the recent MakerTron design challenge. We’re pumped Daniel chose Pinshape to launch his designs because we’re a huge fans of his work. We featured him as our Designer of the Month back in August and we can’t wait to see what the Pinshape community does with these awesome designs.”

FUN FACT: If Daniel Norée’s name sounds familiar, that’s because he also happens to be the man who designed 3DBenchy, the jolly 3D printing torture test. You have him to thank for helping to calibrate your machine with a funky little boat. This is not a picture of a boat: