3D Printing the Cannon Beetle [Check it Out]


I've been working on this little thing periodically over the past couple weeks. Have some information:
  1. I printed this design from my college. This machine cost about $75 and financially and physically fits on a credit card. Each block is 9mm^3 and the slabs between them are 9x9x3
  2. The focus of this was to test moving parts and minimize the material required. When printed, every piece that I designed to move was able to
  3. The basic blocks are hollowed out to save material: 10 wooden blocks would cost $200 (calculated via Shapeway's guides) but hollowing them out would save $22
  4. During printing a hinge and the steering block broke. Super glue will be used for repairs
  5. Half the model is shiny and slick, a side-effect of how the printer does it's thing and is consistent with other things I have printed
  6. The "dust" bits are not easy to get rid of; the plastic likes to stick to itself. I used a toothpick to get rid of excess materials
  7. I had to 3D model each block by hand and some parts are not very easy to make reality. I wanted moving parts to be able to move when printed, so I changed some things to make that happen
  8. Bombs, flamethrowers and alike can't be a reality
  9. I'm considering modeling another larger machine to print. Probably going to scale things up a little, though. Like 10mm or 12mm cubes. Let me know if you wish to see more printed machines

The model render:

Attached Files


Staff member
"flamethrowers, bombs and such just can't function when printed" Hmm, I wonder why :p
So I sent the model in a few days ago, and I can pick it up on Monday! Best part is that it cost me under $100, which is a good surprise. Photos will come when I get it.
Well I got the printed model, and it turned out pretty great. Sadly, it wasn't perfect as some parts broke while printing. One of the hinges holding a wheel broke and the pin that holds the steering block to the vehicle broke and was lost (I never got it); the pin on the cannon is still intact. It isn't anything a bit of super glue cannot fix. Otherwise, the model is a little rough and there's a lot of excess material stuck to the machine. I picked a very cheap material because this is a test, and so I had to get a toothpick and remove the leftovers. Additionally, by means of how the printer functions, half the model is shiny and slick where half is not (it's common among the previous things I have printed, too). Have some pictures, though: one of when I picked the model up, the other after piecing it together and removing some excess material.

Attached Files
I should mention that the material sticks to itself so those small "dust" bits are going to take a bit of effort to get rid of. The whole thing feels like a rubbery plastic (think like the thumbstick of a controller)


Staff member
Do you plan on coloring it?


Staff member
Matt said:
Wow nice work! I think this is the first 3D printed war machine we've seen.
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