How about some RC “mystery boxes”

I understand that it might cost a bit of a premium to put together. But a battery pack, 2 DC motors, some servos, some ball bearings, and a bluetooth controller could make a whole lot of different types of RC cars and vehicles, maybe even a plane.

Having a standard set of hardware would make it easier for designers to put together universally accessible models.

Cars, and other short-range relatively slow vehicles, sure. A small quadcopter, sure.

An airplane, no. BT wouldn’t give you the range for anything but the most rudimentary type of model, the radio control equivalent of a paper airplane. You’d never be able to print something that light so it’d fly slow enough that BT would be an acceptable control link.

There are some websites that specialize in 3D printed airplane STL files. They also include recommended power systems and servos for those models. But they’re larger sized models, they have to be for the power/weight equation to make them viable. They’re also quite delicate, plastic is heavy, you can’t use a lot of it. And the power system (motor/battery/charger) and RC equipment costs are non-trivial.

BBL even makes a filament specifically for lightweight prints like model airplanes.

If you’re looking for the components of a RC or robotic car, there are many kits available. Just pick one that is basically a bare frame and when you get it, design a body that you can print.

I gave up printing full quadcopter frames a long time ago. For what I do, which is go fast, they’re simply not survivable. Carbon Fiber is a minimum requirement for the structural components. But things like canopies and camera pods are printable. And I 3D print stuff for my racing quadcopters (and other RC projects) all the time…


I know that I can easily get the parts or kit but having a standard mystery box makes it much easier to share a design with others.

For example, if someone designs a computer mouse that doesn’t use the mystery box mouse kit but instead sources Digikey parts, it will work just fine, but it might see at most a dozen or so downloads on Makerworld. Having custom parts in a design cuts down the potential users by at least 90% if not more. But because a standard Bambu mouse kit exists, there’s a whole ecosystem now of 3d printed mouse designs that all share a common set of non-printed hardware.

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