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RC excavator project

RC excavator project

Old 02-11-2019, 04:53 PM
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Default RC excavator project

Hello there,

I am contemplating undertaking a hobby project that relates to my line of work. I work with excavators quite often and it would be awesome to have one of these at work for the group to play with.

I have a 3d printer, pretty handy with it and some basic 3d design work in Autodesk fusion 360, and I have played around with basic rc cars since was young but never anything more than 3 channels.

I have done a bit of searching online and I'm interested in finding a fairly realistic way to get cylinder actuation without using servos, as I think their range of motion is too limited for the throw needed to fully extend boom, stick, and bucket circuits.

My idea is to print a threaded rod that I could put inside of a 3d printed cylinder with some threading to match the rod on the rod end of the cylinder and inside the base end of the cylinder use a stepper motor or similar to drive a shaft that would soon the threaded rod in and out to get piston/rod movement forward and back on the cylinders.

I looked at linear actuator and servos but I just think they are too bulky and don't give the realism I'd be going for.

Any thoughts as to my stepper motor inside a threaded rod/cylinder that's 3d printed? Also what about limits/extents for cylinders. Any ideas for how to limit their movement?

As for the swing/spin/turret, I'd like it to be able to rotate 360 so some sort of electrical continuous contact/connectors will be needed. Anyone have any ideas for spinning connectors that I could use?

As for speed control/power, in used to one battery and it feeds esc and servo and that's it.... This would be much more complex obviously as I'd be dealing with:

Separate motors:

1. Track left
2. Track right
3. Swing
4. Boom
5. Arm
6. Bucket

Motor or something to vibrate

7. Auxiliary 1 - thumb cylinder, breaker, grapple
8. Auxiliary 2 - Grapple rotation

This is a complex project that I'm willing to embark on would love any thoughts/insights from those that care to share.

I'll update with more as I have time to work and add ideas/progress.

Thanks for reading!


Last edited by Egoaudio; 02-11-2019 at 04:57 PM. Reason: Wording
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:21 PM
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For the tracks you'd probably have to have 2 motors/esc. mixed with the tansmiter

For cab Swing, you can get servos that go continuous, not limited to typical 60 degree each way

For boom, arm and bucket look into "Linear Actuators" , they run straight in/out motion like hydraulics and come in many sizes, throws and torque ratings

Servocity.com has a lot of stuff for robotics, gears, chains etc that mount up to servos,,, I'd look for ideas there

quite a project

good luck
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:36 PM
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Here check these out. Might be easier and cheaper than trying to build 1 from scratch
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:12 AM
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I have to agree with freaksofnature. I never like to discourage someone fom building because its great when people do scratch builds but I have looked into this myself and its just working more in ones favor to buy a built one.
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