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NoTankS - 3D Printed RC Tank

by swepet Feb 14, 2018
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Hi I downloaded the NoTanks stl mesh files opened them in freecad converted the mesh to shape with the defalt .1 stitch then refined the shape then converted to solid and saved in freecad it could be output to step then.
I wanted to widen and lengthen the robot platform. I like how some have more ground clearance.
What would be better for this design lubricated bushings??? Parts list update? FPV mount failed check mesh.

Hello I just wanted to say Great design. I went with this design after reading a lot of comments on all the rc tanks. This well thought out design allowing to print less parts without supports made it an easy decision for me. I also learned something new while watching your videos. 4g lte fpv Definitely going to do more research on how to set this up. I don't know much about raspberry pi systems but I'm familiar with 3drobotics pixhawk and apm 2.5 I've seen similar setups that way. I'll put up some pictures as soon as i get a few more prints done. I had made this comment on a remix of this design and the editor let me know I was on the wrong design page. I wanted to give credit where credit was due.

Just out of curiosity, why a brushed system over a brushless system?

can anyone tell me why the front wheel doesnt have to have supports and bottom wheel does have supports? they look the same to me in simplyfi3d. also i had some trouble printing the bottom wheels good.

I printed all parts without support. No issues

That sounds strange. They have the same overhang angle.. just the size is different. I use cura so I am not certain how you set support angle in simplify3d.. but are you using the same angle?

remixed front and backcover for airflow https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3605233

Remix front and back cover for Notanks air flow

It seems like both pinion gear options are sold out..
Will this work?


Or this one? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0046ELT2O
Is your drive wheel gear at 32 pitch? Don't have experience in the gears..

Or.. Would this work?

M1 Gear for GoolRC 540 35T
by RapApaR

Very Cool. I have always been interested in remote control over cellular, This looks like a great project to try it out !
Thank you for sharing

Very nice project! I am gonna order a the parts needed and print this thing out! I really love it but i have 1 question though. The track segments are put together by pressfitting and pieces of 3mm nylon filament. But i don't have 3mm filament, only 1.75 PLA and PETG. Is it oke to print te whole tank in PLA 1.75 and what can i use for the 3mm nylon instead?

there is a remix for the tracks to use small paper clips to hold them together.

Flysky fs-i6x setup for this RV tank, does anyone have a guide of some sort. ive actually had some luck operating it with one stick but cannot get it to reverse??

on my remote, to go backward just go up a little bit with the joystick and back down and then it goes in reverse. this is on the left joystick.

Comments deleted.

THANKS A LOT For sharing this model!!
I'm printing all the parts.. still in progress, almost all the components already bought but I'm having issues finding the Pinion can you please share the link for any other page like Amazon, Bangood, Gearbest, Ebay ...

and once again Thanks a lot !!!
From Costa Rica

Hobbyking has one i think will work!

What you need is a a pinion with the following data: M1 = Module one, the size of the cogs/teeth and it need to be 12T or 11T that is the number of teeth. And then the hole diameter needs to be 3.175mm sometimes also written as 3.18mm.. or you can get a pinion with a 5mm hole, but the you will need a 5mm to 3.175mm adapter (reducer sleeve) to make it fit on the motor shaft. So you can type this in your site/search engine of choosing: M1 12T 3.175

on my setup i am running brushless 5mm saft motors. and am printing out pinion gears to see how they hold up.

Hi again.

I printed the new parts out, which in theory will work, but as soon as the main drive wheel wears down there would be no adjustment to get maximum use from the wheel. I have two idea's, keep the off centre circle plate and find a way of locking it in various positions, or if you are going to redesign this project, drive the mail drive wheel direct from the motor.

I thought about making cogs on your motor mount part and hole. that way it won't slip, but then it can only be adjusted in steps. But from my experience, the wheels don't wear out. In the new tank design that i am working on, it only have one type of wheel, and that wheel have cogs on booth sides, so if the cogs for some reason would fail, when out driving, you just flip the wheel around, and if that also fail, you just swap it with the non drive wheel as it is exactly the same. :-)

Printed all the parts out, and the drive wheels do not touch the drive motor cogs fully. I can't just enlarge the whole wheel to fit as this would make the bearing not fit.

Is there anyway you could design a drive wheel, without any teeth on it, therefore keeping the bearing the same, but make a recess where a toothed wheel could be put over the bearing to make the drive wheel fit. Or make it possible to adjust the motor position by making it move closer to the drive wheel.

First make shure you use the right type of wheel. Files are notanks_v1_drive_wheel_55t.stl if you use a 12 teeth pinion gear for the motor or notanks_v1_drive_wheel_56t.stl if you use 11 teeth pinion gear for the motor. As i am busy working on a new tank design, i will not do any changes on this one of now. But i suggest you download Fusion 360, its free for hobby use. And watch some intro tutorial videos on Youtube for it, its actually very easy to learn. Then you download the NoTanks step files and open it in Fusion and just change it the way you want. :-)

Thanks for the reply. I am going to have a go at the fusion 360 software. If I have probs with that. I will see if I can make the motor mount holes into slots, so I could move the motors. I have printed the right size wheel for the pinion that I bought.

I did a fast mod for you if you want to try, look at the new files notanks_untested_for_kaz_side.stl or notanks_untested_for_kaz_snowside.stl and notanks_untested_for_kaz_motormount.stl.. The idea i had is tor rotate the motor in a mount part and when in place and fasten it by glue.. I am not sure if will work, just a quick hack a did, as i don't like the idea of using slots for some reason :-)

Thanks a million for that, will print it out over the weekend, once again Thank you.

Thanks for the information. What would be the best size batteries for this. Looking at your pictures I am sure you have used plastic tie straps to hold the motor in place, but Looking at the printed files it looks like the motors are fitted to the side plates. Have you used the plastic straps to hold the motors on the receiver tray?

For batteries i recommend using two ZIPPY Compact 3700mAh 3S 25C Lipo Pack, or any other 3s batteries that fit, i think its best to have two batteries to add more weight for good balance. As for the zip-ties in the video, the are not holding the motors, i just used them to fasten temperature sensors on the motors to check that they not overheat when i was testing. But the receiver and esc are fasten using zip-ties to the middle grid plate.


Did you power the 2 esc's with 2 separate batteries, or did you connect both esc's to one battery? Also did you remove the red wire from one of the esc cables, so that only one esc is giving power to the receiver.

I power escs from booth batteries, they are connected in paralell. If it was one battery per esc, sterring would be off if battries are out of balance i think.. Yes i did cut the red wire from one of te esc:s so only one power receiver or a raspberry pi. :-)

hi there, thank you so much for the hard work on the design.
what do you mean by "mirror the outside pannel. its all i need to finish. thank you so much!!

Hello, nice to hear that you are making the tank ! By mirror i mean that in your slicer software you choose to mirror the part. Thats just like mirroring an image, but now it is a 3D model instead. That makes the left side right..

Clever design mods. Thanks. I am thinking of going for it, but I am limited with a small Monoprice Mini. I have done the Z expansion on it so I have X-120mm, Y-120mm, Z-165mm. I was just going to slice it up on Meshmixer and epoxy the big pieces together with some reinforcements. I figured I'd throw this up to see if anyone has done that yet successfully before I start going forward. Thanks!- John

hi,Im a K12 teacher, for teaching students progrem,i used arduino 2560 and L298 motor driver instead esc, and i just used one 3s 2200mah battery.now there is a big problem,when i drive the wheels without tracks,it can be work very well,but when i drive the tank with tracks, the wheels rotate very slow,and couldnt move on the road.So could you let me konw where is the problem? is the battery not powerful enough or other things ? thank you so much!

hi,Im a middle schools teacher, for teaching students progrem,i used arduino 2560 and L298 motor driver instead esc, and i just used one 3s 2200mah battery.now there is a big problem,when i drive the wheels without tracks,it can be work very well,but when i drive the tank with tracks, the wheels rotate very slow,and couldnt move on the road.So could you let me konw where is the problem? is the battery not powerful enough or other things ? thank you so much!

Hello ! Sorry to hear that. Unfortunaly the L298 can only deliver 2A per channel, and that is not enough to drive the motors under load. The ESC i use can handle 60A. I would suggest you get the ESCs and connect them to the arduino and just control them with pwm. The ESC:s are very cheap. Hope it helped have a nice day !

Comments deleted.

I just started printing the NoTankS. I was going to print Bryant87's Speed Tank because it has a lot more remixes and community but I really like your enclosed design and how the tracks ride on or near the edge of the snow sides. Not because of snow but because I don't want rocks or other debris clogging up the tracks. I wonder if putting "Speed Tank" in the title would bring more people to this awesome Thing.. ie "NoTankS - 3D Printed RC Speed Tank" This would put you in the Top 3 Things for people searching Speed Tank. Just a thought.. so we can build more of a community and remixes :) Thanks for your hard work! 73 iterations.. wow.

Does anyone know of a low cost transmitter option? I do understand the better transmitter is far better then a cheap option, i got into r/c back when you had to build your aircraft out of wood, and had one of the good ones, that was a long time ago, i am looking for something that is pretty much just going to work with this tank, my nephew would love to have one of these, but i don't really want to spend a huge amount on the radio. I'm even fine with one of the cheap hobby king ones that you have to program on a computer. I've been out of R/C for to long to be able to spot a radio these days that can do what is needed for this tank.

This radio should work, if you are willing to control the left track wit left stick up and down and right track with right stick up and down. https://hobbyking.com/en_us/turnigy-5x-5ch-mini-transmitter-and-receiver-mode-2.html If you want to be able to control it as a car, with right stick as throttle and left as steering then you need a more expensive programmable radio with preferably "opentx" firmware. OR you can get a regular rc radio and get a hardware mixer like this one, https://www.banggood.com/DasMikro-RC-Signal-Mixer-For-Tank-Dual-Bidirectinal-Motor-Control-p-1162275.html, then you would be able to get a regular car-type radio like this one: https://hobbyking.com/en_us/quanum-2-4ghz-3ch-pistol-grip-tx-rx-system.html Have a nice day !

Thank you both that was very very helpfull

Are the tank tracks the same as stains track want to print your tank aswell.thanks for designing the tank.

I don't think my track is compatible with stain's. I did look at the other tracks before designing mine mostly "rc speed tank" by Bryant87. I first thought to make the track compatible, so i tried to get the sizes the same, but after i while i just did it my way.. The differences are, mine uses filament instead of screws, and i have slots in them for inserts. Also the angles/shape of the drive knob might be a bit different, and perhaps the length of the track segments.. If you do build the tank by stain, perhaps you could print a couple of the NoTankS track segments and test to see if it is compatible, it might be even if i doubt it. Have a nice day !

The design looks very nice, I'm amazed how you managed to mount everything with so little screws. I just finished printing and assembling the RC Tank by Staind and that one has a lot more bolts and nuts!

I have three questions for you:

  • why are you using the 540 brushed Motors and not some brushless motors? Do the 540 motors have more torque at low speeds? In the movies the tank goes really fast, is it possible to drive slowly, or do the motors require a certain speed to have enough torque?
  • with the thank from Staind, I saw a lot of comments of melted gears. Some even print the gears in nylon to prevent this. You printed everything in PLA, did you have any issues so far?
  • Thanks for sharing the step file, I also use Fusion360. I was thinking of making some add-ons such as a diy lidar on the top and an arduino inside to have an anti collision mode for kids. The step file makes it easy to take out a part and make changes to it. Could you also share the step file of the latest version with the snow plates and track inserts?

Thanks !, The main reson i went for the 540 brushed motors was the low price on motor esc combo. And i did experiment with a brushless motor, but then i would have needed gears to gear it down a lot more, and by that making the design more complex, that breaks one of my "rules", keep it simple. And i looked att sensored rc car brushless motors, but they was way to expensive, so i just stuck to the brushed ones and it works fine. I have not had any issues with the PLA gears on the wheels at all, as i don't have fast brushless motors that i need to gear down a lot with multiple gears, there is mush less stress. The only signs of wear i have is on the red inserts on the tracks, from driving on asphalt. As for speed it can go slow, but not super slow, minimum with the 540 80T motors is about half walking speed, for slower it would need some sort of gearing down. Fun project with the arduino, i have now posted the updates in a step file, notanks_v2_updates.step. Have a nice day !

video of mine running.


you can see the stability issues. they are controllable as long is you know not to make a sudden move on the control sticks.

a few things going on. all the weight is in the nose of the tank, The motors are in front of the drive wheel and they are causing a torque pull effect. When you suddenly decelerate this torque pull, plus nose weight taking all the weight off the tail and causing it to flip over. the same effect occurs at high speed as the rear of the tank is lifting moving the traction forward the tank gets loose and then traction rolls easily.

you can compensate knowing the limitation but it would be better to redesign as others have does with the motors in the center.
the best would be motors center of gravity plus low down and move the lighter batteries and ESC and receiver up to the top of the tank .

what is nice about the current design is even unstable when you flip over you can just continue to drive it in reverse so if it wasn't for the reverse direction of the control sticks it really wouldn't matter. it tends to get much better traction upside-down this is because when upside down the motors are at the bottom instead of the top and the angle of the tracks is slightly different. so on a tough climb you cause the tank to flip on its back then drive up in reverse at the top you flip the tank back over, all using forwards and reverse.

the motors will get quite hot after a while. cooling is a problem as open vents will just allow dirt inside the tank. maybe vent openings with ducts that don't allow dirt to just fall right into the chassis. or cooling fans instead. a side opening vent perhaps with angled veins to again stop dirt from going right in. I installed 2 fiber heat breaks on my motors to keep the PLA from melting when the motors get hot.

at .2 fill and 20% infill the tank is still too heavy. i learned that when you want to lighten something with 3d printing the infill has a small effect while actually carving out an area has a much larger effect it would make sense to have areas in low stress regions where the total thickness is 1-2mm using a cutout. or inside the wheels make hollow cylinders forcing no infill in those areas. this way you can make cutouts that save weight but don't expose the chassis to the outside like other tanks have done to save weight.

Looks very good ! But it seams to behave a bit differently then mine, mine seams to be a lot heavier it doesn't rollover as easily. And yours seam to have a lot more acceleration, do you use 80T motors or lower turns or perhaps its just less weight ? I also noticed the temperature is starting to rise now that the winter is ending over here.. (I have telemetry with termistors on my motors). I am working on a update for cooling, I am going to make "gills" on the front latch, over the motors and esc, that are pointed backwards to not suck in dirt.. And on the back latch have a big outlet with also backwards "gills", and a computer fan of some sort.. I did subscribe to your youtube, nice 3d printed stuff there !

i'm using faster motors they are 55Turn. weight wise i ran the prints to 20% infill with hatchbox PLA 3 perimeters.
fan would be good, i was looking around my junk pile for a fan as well. maybe mount the fan to the vents on the shell if there is room i have some ESCs with built in fans somewhere but they would sit too high for the lids to close.

thanks, i just finished upgrading my ursa bear trucks to use PLA CVs working on a 3d printed ball diff as well.

wanted to give some feedback on a problem with the tank design.

putting the motors in front of the drive wheel puts too much weight on the nose of the tank.
so what happens is when climbing the tank and heavy braking it wants to flip over on its back.
i checked other speed tank designs and they placed the motors behind the drive wheel which balances the weight of the chassis better.

i think as a revision the weight needs to be altered backwards to center the mass better. that means relocating the ESCs and Receiver to the front where the Motors are now and moving the motors rearward where the ESCs are now. better to lower the motors as much as possible as well. however care has to be taken with hot motors above and close to the LIPO batteries.

it might be possible to change the LIPO layout place one battery at the front under the new ESC location and one at the rear that would free up the center of the chassis and allow the motors to be dropped down as low as possible which would REALLY help tank stability.

otherwise it was very fast, the weight being heavy on the nose did cause the tank to be twitchy.

i'm wondering if redesigning the chassis setting the tracks with a .5 degree toe in like this /--\ would help high speed stability just like an R/C car. it would be the first speed tank to try this as everyone else is running the tracks parallel to each other.

I haven't noticed any issues with mine, it works well i think. I have the CG just in front of the middle bolt. See image, it yours the same ? If you look at the latest video i added does yours behave differently ? Mine lifts the tail a little when "breaking", but it does not flip over. Perhaps, i just have a different driving style :-) I haven't tries the rc speed tank so i have no idea if it behaves differently then mine ? I think every design is a compromise, i didn't design mine to be a speed tank, i wanted a enclosed tank. I actually did explore a lot of different motor locations during the design of this tank (this is actually cad version 73 ! and i have a box full of printed parts from during the design process). One of the design goal was to fit everything inside the body without making it larger and to keep motors away from the lipos! When i first run with 35T motors and got snow in the track and the motor burned up, if it would have been near a lipo, it would have released the fire and smoke that lives inside lipos. The step file is included if you want to try improving the design! The next design update i think i will make is "gills" / air intakes, some sort of cooling system, as summer is approaching and temperatures is an the rise. Keep in touch, and have a nice day !

Hi First of all i Love your Work its great If printet all the parts with da Vinci pro and IT very easy and fast to Finish . Bitte i have a little Problem If buyed all the electric parts but i dont know how to programet the remote with the Receiver can you maybee send ne some Pictures or make a short Video how to Connect each parts ?? Because IT doesnt Work with servos and a dont knew how to Wolf IT :/ thx For Attention

Hello and thank you ! I will see if i get some time to do a video in the future, i have just gotten a second 3d printer i am setting ut and making mods for at the moment.. But here is the basics of the setup: I connect the two esc:s to the motors and to the battery. And i connect the esc:s to the receiver. Left esc i connect to channel 1, Right esc to channel 2, and i disconnect the red cable between Right ESC and the receiver. That way the receiver only gets power from one of the ESC:s, having it powerd from two at the same time is not good for the ESC:s. The easiest way to program the radio is to add throttle stick (left stick upd/down) to channel 1 and elevator stick (right stick up/down) to channel 2. And then when you press boot sticks forward the tank goes forward and so on. You can also program in different mixes so that you can control it as a regular car, i am still experimenting with mixes and hav't deced what i like best yet.. If you radio doesn't support mixing there is a module that can be used, google for: "Mtroniks Tank track Mixer" Hope it helped and have a nice day !

Can you add a build PDF so people who arn't smart like me can put it together like legos? Also a build guide to the electronics inside of it so we can replicate it? Thanks for your time.

Hello !, I have now added a .pdf to the things files. Its the same build instructions as in the info. It is very easy to build it. I will se if i can make a build instructions video for it, when and if i get time to do it. If you are not yet into RC, then i suggest you start learning about how RC works first. For example here is a good video to start with explaining radio and receivers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyPtzv0y5DE

I started into RC when I was 3 that was 1989. I lost interest as a kid because they’re very expensive and I couldn’t build one. My interest was rekindled by a person who uploaded a free RC car online. Then others uploaded airplanes and RC boats and RC 3D printed jet engines. I’ve always wanted a tank. Yours is very cool. How would you put like a paintball gun on it with FPV on it so you can drive it with fat shark goggles? Can you make more tanks? The Abrams? Panzer and others? Thank you for the quick response

I think i will make more tanks, but i am more into robotics and FPV tanks rather than scale models.. My goal is to have a tank that i can sit in front of my computer and drive in a forest with unlimited range over mobile broadband. (i have done it with a dog already, but without control he he https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkaS2X7kPyk ) I thought i would do it with this, but as it is now it is way to fast and more fun to drive from rc. Am thinking of something with extendable solar panels, not sure yet.. Have a nice day !

Can you tell us what software and equipment you are using. I definitely plan to have cellular control and video feed... just not sure what to use yet.

the battery you used is discontinued

Thank you for noticing, i have updated the information to point to another battery.