3D Printed Arduino RC Airboat With Controller

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Introduction: 3D Printed Arduino RC Airboat With Controller

This is a project that combines the knowledge of 3D printing and Arduino. It is a good beginners project for anyone interested in making their own RC boat or just interested in using 3D printing and Arduino for their own creations.

Supplies

Look at step 1 for Supplies

Step 1: Supplies

Electronic components needed for the Airboat:

Electronic components needed for the controller:

For the physical part of this project like the hull of the boat, case of the controller and propeller...etc. You will need a 3D printer or access to 3D printer to print these part.(The photo only include some of the components)

Step 2: Print the Parts

Number of prints:

  • 1x Controller Case
  • 1x Controller Cover
  • 1x Boat Hull
  • 1x Mast
  • 1x Fin
  • 2x Propeller Hub
  • 3x Propeller with n4415(clockwise)
  • 3x Propeller with n4415(counterclockwise)

Please print them separately except the propeller parts you can print them all in one go. Also, remember printing orientation matter find the best orientation for your 3D printer to print on.

Step 3: Wiring

Now you can definitely do step 3 while you are doing step 2 because printing takes time. Wiring diagrams are provided with a couple things to keep in mind. You will have to solder the wires to the toggle switch(on/off switch) for the controller, while the rest of the wiring can be done through jumper wires. This is possible due to the mini breadboard. The airboat's wiring is connect by jumper wires as well, but there is no on/off switch like the controller. So the circuit will be live when you finish the wiring. It is better to disconnect one of the connection going from the battery to the L298N motor driver. You will close the circuit when the code is uploaded, so you can test the circuit.

Step 4: Upload the Arduino Codes

Once you done the wiring then you can upload the codes. The Arduino codes are provided just simply download the codes and upload them individually to their Arduino boards. For example, the FanboatCode needs to be uploaded to the airboat's Arduino nano board. the Controller_Code needs to be uploaded to the controller's Arduino nano board. You will be using Arduino IDE to upload the codes. If you don't have the Arduino IDE software you can download it from their website for free.

After, you uploaded the codes you should test the circuit by closing the circuits and move the right joystick to see if the servo motor respond or not. Also, you should turn the left potentiometer to see if the two DC motors spin or not. If it didn't do anything then you should troubleshoot for the wiring.

Step 5: Assembly

The assembly for the controller should be pretty straightforward with the provided pictures. One thing to think about is how to organize the wires. Once you have the battery pack, joysticks, and nano...etc in place you will have to organize the wires in a way that you can put the controller cover over the controller case. The tension from the wires might push up against the cover and making hard to close. You can just use some tape to solve that issue.

There are two parts for assembly of the airboat. First part is the assembly of the 3D printed parts. The propeller blades snaps on tight to the propeller hub. Also, the mast should be able to fit on to the boat hull by a interference fit. After, the 3D printed parts are assembled. The electronics will be the second part. Tape the two LiPo battery on the inner-side of the hull. Mount the servo motor to the boat hull. Next, place the Arduino nano and the motor driver into the hull. Then, place NRF24L01 module to the front of the hull. Put the two DC motors into the mast and put the propellers on to the motor's shafts. Finally make sure all the wires are tuck into the hull of the boat. Keep in mind the circuit should disconnected when you are assembling the electronics.

P.S. Look at the all photos before assembling it

Step 6: Play

After, doing everything from above put it in the water and give it a test ride. Feel free to make improvements or give me feedback on the project. The controller have potential to be a lot of device's controller. For example, a controller for a RC car or even a RC plane your imagination is the limit.

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    30 Comments

    0
    jason-a
    jason-a

    7 months ago

    Hi we set this up with the same exact components as your project and used your code but for some reason nothing is working. We even uploaded the library for the RF24 library as well and it says our code is uploaded successfully to our Arduino.

    Could you provide some help?

    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 4 months ago

    Hello,

    Sorry for the late response, lets try to troubleshoot by connecting the controller to computer via usb and open serial port to see if the controller is responding to your input. Do the same for the airboat. Let me know the result.

    Good luck, unless you already figure it out, in that case good job!

    0
    antubilfede
    antubilfede

    12 months ago

    hello. you could use some RF433Mhz modules, since the NRF24L01 modules died. And if they could be used, what should I change in the code? I'm using google translate to compose this.

    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 12 months ago

    Hello,

    Of course you can use other radio or Bluetooth modules for communication. But, I think that is up to you to figure out ;). Also, What do you mean "the NRF24L01 modules died" ?

    0
    guillaume.gardair
    guillaume.gardair

    Question 1 year ago on Step 1

    Hey there.
    Great project, I love It.
    Would you help me about the mast, how do you mount It on the floor of the boat?

    Bye,
    Guillaume

    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi, there is a rectangular piece coming out of the boat hull. The mast has a rectangular slot. You should be able to press it into the rectangular piece, therefore, mounting the mast to the boat. Sand the rectangular piece down if you can't push it in. But, don't sand it too much because it needs to be tight fit.

    0
    burak3276
    burak3276

    1 year ago

    Sir . I couldn't this project. Can you help me ?

    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi, what part of the project are you having trouble with?

    0
    burak3276
    burak3276

    Reply 1 year ago

    I set up circuit correctly but it still doesn't work. can it be a problem at nrf24l01 module?

    0
    gorkem.uygun002
    gorkem.uygun002

    1 year ago

    We couldn't run your project. We don't know where the error is. Can you help me?

    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi, check your message or inbox

    0
    dalesonnier
    dalesonnier

    2 years ago

    I am currently working on the project and i am having trouble with it. I connected everything the way it needs to go and i am still not able to control the boat. Please help. Thanks

    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi there is a mistake on the schematic of the controller. Toggle switch wiring connection was incorrect. The correct schematic for the controller is now updated check it out. If that doesn't help you can message me.

    0
    gberron
    gberron

    2 years ago

    Hello, I have tried to do this project and I have not been successful.
    Maybe I found an error in the remote control switch connection.
    I am not sure either of the connection of the NRF24 to the Nano, in some documentation the pins that are used are 9,10,11,12 and 13.
    I hope I can do it and see it working.
    The project seems excellent to me and I want to finish it.
    Many thanks.
    I use a translator because my language is Spanish.

    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 2 years ago

    Yeah the connections for NRF24 could be tricky. I used pin 9, 8, 13, 11, and 12. My pin 8 is connected to CE, this pin can actually be connected to any digital pin. However, pin SCK, MOSI, and MISO has to be connected to 13, 11,and 12.

    If you are using 9 and 10 as CSN and CE. Then you need to change the Arduino codes. where is has:
    RF24 radio(8, 9); //CE, CSN
    change the two number so it corresponds to your pins.

    0
    Bina_Irwanda
    Bina_Irwanda

    2 years ago

    Hello ,,, this is awesome project. I've been following step by step for this peoject but i'm having experience dificulty . Can you help me ilustrating assembling for RC side boat especially for assembling servo motor with Fin. Thank you very much

    0
    Bina_Irwanda
    Bina_Irwanda

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hello, could you tell me value of the variable resistor at remote controller side ( detail attached image ). Thank you very much for your support

    Best regard

    IMG_20200430_211947.jpg
    0
    Morrisl4
    Morrisl4

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi, in the Arduino code the left potentiometer or variable resistor is used to control the voltage into the motors, therefore, control the rotation of the propellers.

    0
    Bina_Irwanda
    Bina_Irwanda

    Reply 2 years ago

    20K ohm or 2K ohm ?