Design Challenge: RC Car

I saw these remote control car wheels on DealExtreme and started to draw up some designs for a custom car for my godsons. Is anyone else interested in wanting to flesh this out before I go too far with my current plans?


Not sure what’s up with the geared motor biz in that product, but as for the wheel itself, the ~27mm technical drawing measurements along with the overall diameter of the tire highly suggests it’s a 1:10th scale wheel. In the RC hobby world, 1:10th might’ve been most popular ahead of 1:8th and 1:12th scales.

The hub being a hex-nut with a 12mm measurement was also a common mounting interface.

All that’s left is figuring out the hub’s offset so that the wheel doesn’t sit too far in or too far out. This’ll vary depending on RC chassis and body shell.

Last summer’s exploration on an RC wheel:

The subject matter reminds me to look up GlowForge’s possibilities with carbon fiber. The high-watermark of the RC hobby were racing chassis that used carbon fiber decks. The kits were stupendously pricey. Laser cutters and 3D printers… at the cusp of disrupting the RC industry…


Yeah, I’m not sure what the gearing is going to be like either. I don’t have much experience with RC’s, myself… it just looked like a good starting point. I was going to work on the electronics package of it as a separate project. Given that it’s CAD$18 per wheel, an afterthought after I posted this was that two powered wheels would be plenty and now coming up with something free-rolling for the front steering axle is going to be a challenge…

1 Like

Nice job. Still split between the b9c and solus…gotta learn my cad stuff a bit more before getting the hardware…

1 Like

Lasers of any type dont do well with carbon fiber. The resin and the fibers have widely varying properties in relation to each other which makes getting a clean cut tough, if not impossible.

1 Like

Exactly the sort of project where there will be excellent synergism (?spelling) between your laser and a 3D printer. I’m an Ultimaker fan.

1 Like

Yeah put some ninja flex tires on the front!

1 Like

I’d look at and plan on making a fixed steering rover like they sell. You’d be better off buying a r/c kit once you design and make everything for a traditional car layout. At least with a rover you could get something going pretty quick. I made a simple rocket car with sheet metal and some parts from a trashed r/c car 20 years ago.


Wow, that’s a great site. Thanks! Bookmarked

If you went with four powered wheels you could make a rally car, a desert racer, or a rockcrawler.

If you decide want to do an off-road vehicle, a great place for info is the forums on


Based on my research to date, it’s possible to formulate carbon fiber so that it’s laser-cuttable, but most CF is not. Future Proofgrade material, perhaps…


Another thread here might be applicable for people wanting to build remote controlled vehicles:

BTW, they have launched now too.

1 Like

My mind’s been soaking in the polished-products of the RC world for far too long, so when this thread initially popped up, I had a hard time envisioning how to make the typical laser-cut product look/perform similar to those shelf products at the local hobby shop… suspension parts typically fastened to machined aluminum bulkheads… aesthetically pleasing body shells vacuum-formed from tough polycarbonate (lexan) plastic… suspension arms molded from lightweight graphite-filled resins… turnbuckle tie-rods that permit suspension geometry adjustments (toe-in, camber) , etc etc

After a few days shaking off that bias and looking at it strictly from a Glowforge-able view, a laser-cut RC car would probably start with a chassis similar to the one I found in this blog:

The tray that holds the RC electronics (receiver, steering servo, electronics speed control) looks very similar to how the old-school RC plane guys built their trays.

REALLY not sure about the longevity in using stacked wood to make the tires, tho’… or the wooden drivetrain gears.

From there, I can see marrying that lower chassis to one of the car “bodies” found when image-Googling “laser cut car model”