Those who read this blog regularly know that we are big fans of 3D Racers, the game of 3D printed, connected, open-source and Arduino-based cars. This long list of “composite” attributes should help explain why: where many different technologies meet, innovation moves faster and 3D Racers 3D is a meeting point for many fascinating trends.
Even more now that has added other composite attributes to the list: open hardware, crowd-funded on Indiegogo and locally produced by 3D Hubs. The event was celebrated with a live streaming event that took place simultaneously in the North, South and Central Italy: at the SPQwoRk FabLab in Rome, at the Yatta makerspace in Milan, at the Volcanic FabLab in Naples and at the 3D Store in Catania. For one of those coincidences that often make 3D printing follow me, rather than the other way around, I was in Sicily, and I took the opportunity to visit my friends, Simone and Lorena, owners of 3D Store.
I have been in contact with Marco D’Alia, one of the creators of 3D Racers, since I tried the game at the last Maker Faire Europe in Rome. At that time it was still in an early stage of development and used only 3D printed controllers, instead of a smartphone app, for remote controls. Yet it was already a lot of fun there it was not easy for Marco to get off the track. I was already imagining the possibilities and they were huge.
A couple of months later Marco and his team launched the online editor, through which it is possible to design their car, choosing from four main models and many different accessories. It works like a video game editor only this time it really is. Just download the STL files, already divided into different subfolders for different colors, and 3D print your own 3D Racer.
The editor was only a teaser. The Indiegogo campaign was launched to support the development of the definitive 3D 3Ds, with an Arduino brain on board to give super-powered cars to the Mario-Kart (like upgrades and weapons) and virtual damage like in Forza Motorsport. The App to drive 3D Racers 3D is compatible with Android smartphones and iOS smartphones and devices equipped with Bluetooth Smart 4.0.
On Indiegogo you can buy a complete vehicle – together with a new “Tank” model requested by the community – with the compatible track, battery and Arduino controller for 49 dollars (35 dollars for the first 100 Early Birds). This is if you intend to 3D print your vehicles. Even the 3D Hubs network, which saw a possible killer application in 3D Racers to further fuel its growth, 3D has come on board and will support the project.
Buying the game with the 3D printed car via 3D Hubs will cost $ 75 (or $ 65 for Early Birds). It is an affordable price for any complete RC car racing game, but, perhaps more significantly, it is the only possible price for owning something that has never existed before, contributing to its development and being part of something that will change everything. what will come next. Mattel and Hasbro take note.