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Remote control cars are extremely entertaining. Many enthusiasts build their own remote control cars by customizing its features, but building such a car at home can be challenging. To let more people build their own remote control car, Rome, Italy based Marco D'Alia and Davide Marcoccio have created 3DRacers, a 3D printed, smart RC car acing game that allows you create fully-customized mini race cars online and 3D print them.

Presented at the Rome Maker Faire 2014 in October, ' first private beta version was impressive: it allows you to define the parts you want, modify each car and print them out. And you can control the small Bluetooth-enabled, fully 3D printed cars with your smartphone.

Just in time for the holiday season, the Italian team launched this week a web-based to let users customize and 3D print a smaller version of their cars (without electronics).

The team says the online editor is just a small taste of the final product. Users can create their car online and 3D print it for free, or through their official print partner 3D Hubs.

Each car can be customized, with a choice of accessories and car bodies. Users can choose their car online (at this stage only Corvette and Pick-Up available), add bumper, front and rear wheels, exhaust etc, visualize the model in 3D and export it as an STL file.

The final version of 3D Racers is powered by an Arduino-compatible electronic board designed by the team. Users will also be able to further customize the game, and even create a new type of Bluetooth-enabled vehicles.

"We've built a customized, Arduino-based board, focused on low power consumption and a small form factor, " said D'Alia. "The board can control up to two motors and three servos; has an embedded RGB LED; a battery charger; and a custom-made gate and position detector – and it's programmable through a simple USB link."

The 3DRacers car features:

  • Drive with the Android/iPhone app or the 3D printed remote
  • Watch real time score boards and lap times: each car has a sensor that detect specially designed gates.
  • Play in BATTLE mode with power-ups and weapons, or SIM Mode: with warm-up, pit-stops and realistic fuel and tires consumption.
  • Each car is unique: choose the color model (Jeep, Corvette, Rally etc.), tires and accessories.
  • Build your track: 3D Print curbs, curves, obstacles and guard rails, or use your imagination. Cardboard, books, shoes and tables: you can race on everything as the Cars are only 9x5cm.
  • Design new parts and modify the Arduino source code.
  • Custom designed Arduino board with Bluetooth and motor driver: control up to 2 motors, 3 servos, an embedded RGB led, IR Receiver/Transmitter and a custom made gate/position detector.
  • Up to 30 minutes of play with a charge on the interchangeable battery.

The team says they are also working on a iOS/Android app that will let users compete against each other. It features automatic lap counters, race timing, pit stops with simulated tire and fuel consumption gauges, and an online scoreboard.

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