Traxxas Slash, Raptor body install with custom 3D printed mounts
A while back I got a Robby Gordon edition Slash 2wd short course truck. I also was lucky enough to have Robby sign the body for me. It is one of a couple autographed RC cars I have, another is a LeMans Corvette signed by Ron Fellows, he won his first 24 hour race in that car…not the RC the 1:1.
I really like this as a collectible. I have used it, it has scratches, it was meant to be used. I am good with that but I do want it to last as long as it can. I bought a Ford Raptor body from Traxxas for my replacement. I also assumed it would fit right on the chassis with no fuss. Not quite but no big deal. This is a 3D printing opportunity if I ever saw one!!
I began by putting on the body in a way that would allow me to see what I needed to do. In this case it was really easy. I just needed to extend the front body mounts by 18 mm or so. I measured this by using the probe end of my calliper. I held the body level with the chassis’ tub and measured the gap between the underside of the body and the top of the body mount where it would rest. This ended up being 18mm.
Knowing this, I could easily have made some simple cylinders to use as spacers but here we have an opportunity for improvement through the use of 3D technologies. I gave what I am calling my “smart” spacers a triangulated edge that makes the mount much stiffer by increasing the interface with the shock tower/body mount. They both lean into the body and work in tandem to support it from hard roll overs and lateral forces. This was needed to save it from the added leverage potentially pulling out the treads. The added bonus here is the stock mounts are reusable and easy to convert back into stock mode for the Robby Gordon body. Also the 3D printed parts are under constant compression so they won’t easily brake either. Nice bolt on solution and better than just cylinders…that I didn’t have.
Here is the truck with the new body. Somehow it seems faster now too. How is that even possible?! I think it is a proven scientific fact that the colour red makes things go faster…I read it in a paper somewhere. Anyhow, here is the finished product. The body is a good replica of an iconic truck. True to form and stance.
Without being too much like a review, this truck is probably one of the best values in RC you can get. The vehicle is performance packed. Adjustable camber, toe in and shock mounts, servo saver, water proof ESC and radio box, 2.4g radio, amazing shocks, rock solid construction, this truck has it all in spades. I have sent it end over end, turn rolled it, flipped and jumped it, and it keeps on coming back for more. I did blow up one of the cells in the stock battery but that was probably my doing. I clean it and maintain it regularly and lovingly.
Driving it is so much fun, either just bashing or doing something a bit more serous like actually laying out a track in a park or the front yard. It is an inexpensive value packed means to enter into some great outdoor fun.
There are tons of amazing alloy and part upgrades to be had for this platform or like this project showed, you can do something awesome with a 3D printed component.
Want to make your 2WD into a Raptor? download and print these spacers from Thingiverse.com for free!