[WATCH] An RC drifting car made out of LEGO with 3D printed wheels

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A radio controlled Nissan Skyline GT-R LEGO model, created by an accomplished builder that goes by the alias Sariel (real name Paul) had one goal: to drift. He had previously tried out the idea with a Mustang Gymkhana but, as he put it; “[it] had a turning radius worthy of a school bus, making it hardly capable of anything remotely resembling proper drifting”.

The solution, then, was to make the model smaller, thus reducing the turning circle while keeping the same innards of the Mustang. Because of the exact nature and dimensions of LEGO, this was much easier said than done.

The underside of the model featuring independent front suspension.

With the model done, the next problem was the wheels. LEGO is known to put out quality plastic pieces, and their rubber wheels adhere to the same stringent standards. Because of this, the official LEGO wheels would just not do for an RC car intended for drifting as they provided far too much friction, and therefore traction – drifting’s nemesis.

The solution, obviously, was to 3D print new wheels that would provide less traction. The new wheels are solid (that is, the rims and tyres are one piece) and, true to real drifting tyres on real-size cars, become worn out after only 30 minutes.

In the video below, Sariel demonstrates the drifting capabilities of the models as well as showing the difference between the official LEGO wheels and his 3D-printed variants.

If you’re a car person you may notice that the video doesn’t exactly demonstrate the most comprehensive drifting, and the car is actually closer to spinning out than maintaining a solid drift most of the time. The reason for this is that the model lacks a limited slip differential (LSD) which would facilitate this. Of course, Sariel has already created a LEGO LSD, but it is too big to fit into this scale of model.

If you’re in the mood to see RC drifting perfection, we recently featured a model that does exactly that.

Keep checking back with htxt.africa, as we’ll soon have a feature on Hands on Tech, the official custodian of LEGO educational products in South Africa. The story has everything: robots, making, maker boards and Star Wars,, and probably the coolest office space we’ve ever seen.

[Source – Sariel]

Clinton Matos

Clinton Matos

Clinton has been a programmer, engineering student, project manager, asset controller and even a farrier. Now he handles the maker side of htxt.africa.