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Since I started collecting Hot Wheels I have always wanted to drive a Hot Wheels car, just like people who collect real cars can drive their cars around the neighborhood, I wanted to drive cars from my collection around my home.
It took me two years make my dream come true and apparently making Hot Wheels car drivable became my obsession.
Full How-To Video:
Because I am after a realistic driving experience, the car should drive like a real car and not like a plastic toy, this means proportional Steering and proportional throttle.
To achieve this I am using a miniature 1.7 gram servo and an electric motor that is versatile enough to allow slow driving when you are looking for parking but also fast racing when you want to set the best lap time.
In addition the aluminum body makes the car relatively heavy to it’s size, that is a big advantage because it takes some time for the car to gain speed and the driving experience is more realistic, similar to a a real car and less similar to a typical RC car.
The biggest challenge in this project is lack of space, there are so many components that should be placed inside the car:
- Electric Motor
- Tiny computer with Bluetooth connectivity
- Motor controller(ESC)
- Steering system
- Charging port
- On/Off switch
In order to make everything fit inside I decided to be creative and combine the chassis and the PCB board into one.
The PCB (Printed circuit board) was designed using special software and then sent to china for production.
It has tiny printed wires on it, those wires connects the components to each other in order to avoid wiring mess which in such small environment will be a disaster.
Once the PCB is received from china, connectors and components are soldered onto it.
3D printed parts
Because of the high precision required a “regular” (FDM) printer is not the right choice for this project, instead a high resolution resin 3D printer is used. Different types of resins are mixed in order to provide durability and flexibility for the parts.
The mobile app
In order to provide realistic driving experience I decided to build a mobile app that will look like car’s dashboard / cluster and will be used to drive the car. The app has many interesting features such:
- “Nirto” makes the car much faster.
- Engine temperature is raising if you are going fast and don’t let the engine cool down.
- Fuel is consumed , especially when you are at high RPM
- You can enable accelerometer steering, so you will be able to steer the car by turning the phone like a steering wheel.
Driving using a game controller
Driving using a phone is not very convenient to some of us, so there is an option pair a console controller (for example PlayStation 4 DualShock) and using it to drive the car.
I started this project with Honda Civic Hatchback because I have this car in real life.
I now offer some other cars you can see them at the bottom of this post and add new models from time to time.
Each Hot Wheels car has unique shape and dimensions so each car requires custom design and production of parts , a process that takes several weeks.
This makes custom build not really practical or possible at a reasonable price.