3DRacers race in progress (via Marco D'Alia & indigogo)
If you’re a fan of video racing games, such as the all-time favorite Mario Kart, you may freak for 3DRacers. The company takes competitive racing from the screen to your living room floor through 3D printing, microcontrollers and your smartphone.
The new concept allows users to make their own 3D-printed cars that can be controlled via Bluetooth through their phones and then race with friends on carpet or an optional race track. The cars can be designed online by customizing one of 100,000-plus designs available online, including a Delorean, Monster Truck and Dune Buggy. Users familiar with 3D-printing software can also create their own car designs from scratch using the company’s open-source template.
3DRacers’ Delorean car prototype (via Marco D'Alia & indigogo)
Once the design is printed (which can be done at home or through the company’s partner store, 3D Hubs), it’s time to build. The cars are powered by open-sourced Arduino-based circuit boards, ATMEGA3244 microcontroller and 3.3V regulator. It is also programmable via USB connectivity. The board equips the car with RGB LED lighting, two motors, three servomechanisms, infrared capability and a detector that knows when its at the starting and finish lines. It runs on a rechargeable lipo battery (rechargeable via USB) and can race for 30 minutes per charge.
3DRacers PVC Mat (via Marco D'Alia & indigogo)
Once the car is built, the only thing left to do is race! 3DRacers claims the cars will drive on any surface, but a custom 4x8.5ft PVC racing mat can be purchased for an authentic racing feel. The track includes papercraft models, such as trees and oil barrels, to simulate 3D structures that would be found on an authentic racing arena. Users can control their cars with a 3D-printed remote or from their smartphones using the compatible iOS and Android app.
3DRacers car prototypes and iOS app interface (via Marco D'Alia & indigogo)
As far as racing logistics go, 3DRacers says up to 1,000 players can race at once, and the app recognizes various racing games. The technology with automatically keep tabs on laps and the scoreboard, and also simulates professional racing, in that drivers can stop for pit stops and practice with warm-ups. If road rage is your thing, however, you can play in battle mode, when you gain points by destroying your opponent’s car (virtually). This mode also features a turbo option and power-ups that include virtual weapons. Move over Mario Kart.
3DRacers will be coming to a 3D printer near you, as it’s Indiegogo campaign was fully funded. There is still a full week left in its campaign, so if you’re looking to be one of the first to take your custom car for a test spin, or if you want a break on the price, order now. The bare bones kit, which gives you everything you need to design and print your car at home, is on early bird special for $39. If you want the racetrack mat, that’ll set you back another $129, not including the pilot board and other important parts. The first batch of Beta boards are set to ship by May.
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