Finally feels like things are starting to come together. Literally. Since my last bot was made from two cobbled together project boxes, any amount of design is going to be a step forward. I’ve continued to experiment with OpenScad and am really loving it. There’s a really good cheat sheet here┬áthat gives you pretty much everything to design anything of any shape. It’s really a very powerful FREE tool and tbh makes much more sense to me than the AutoCad type programs. I’d also previously tried SketchUp and found it to be the same type of thing with a million incomprehensible buttons and a very steep learning curve. For my purposes OpenScad suits perfectly.

So, I’d made the motor mounts (for non-existent motors at the time) and wanted to build a fairly simple chassis to mount it all on. To the 3D printer, Batman! I put together a very basic shape, with holes for the motor mounts, and then, in trying to make it look at least a little less basic, began experimenting with chopping bits out of it. This can bo done really easily with the difference() function in OpenScad that takes one shape away from another.

I then saw fairly quickly where I wanted to go with this and….


Behold – X-Bot is born! :-)

I am printing in PLA with 20% fill, which gives plenty of rigidity without taking a age to print anything. Got to admit that having the 3D printer is an absolute gem. Being able to conceive an idea, design it and hold it in your hand a very short time later is still pretty science fiction to me!

The motor mounts went on really nicely. I’m really pleased with these considering my motors were held on with hot glue last time!


And once all four were mounted…


I started to lay out the electronics to get an idea for the spacing etc…


I also attached the wheels for the first time – Yay! For the first time it actually looks recognisably like a Pi Wars bot.


Was also REALLY pleased to see my calculations were indeed correct and it does fit on an A4 sheet of paper – phew.

So, the basic chassis and control mechanisms are complete. I *still* have motor nightmares to confront. The seller who owes me a back order is yet to come up with the goods so I may yet have to find another plan.

I’m going to focus on the manual challenges next as planning / coding for the autonomous challenges is a non-starter with un-matched motors. I’ve got an idea for the golf challenge and am going to rework last year’s skittles cannon so hopefully can sort those two fairly quickly. I’m designing swap-able mods for each of the challenges, I spent too long having to reconfigure the bot during the day last time so want to avoid this as much as possible.

Can’t believe there is sooooo little time left!

Next time – Weapons of Mass Distraction.

Until then….



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