Gadgets for humans

3DRacers is real world Mario Kart with 3D-printed mini cars

Car 2

Scalextric was the height of toy racing tech when I was a kid but 3DRacers knocks that right off the track.

The 3D-printed mini cars are the product of an Italian team, which first presented them at the Rome Maker Faire last year. They’ve now kicked off an Indiegogo campaign.

Car 3

The small radio-controlled cars can be driven with your phone or with a custom-built 3D-printed remote controller. All the software and hardware is open source and Arduino compatible so you can hack them to your heart’s content.

Marco D’Alia, one of the co-founders of 3DRacers, told TNW that the inspiration for the project was a desire to make a physical toy that could compete with virtual distractions: “We enjoy playing video games but also love the old-fashioned toys. We were disappointed that toys today aren’t as fun as video games.”

The 3DRacers vehicles are being built using distributed manufacturing. The mini cars will be produced in partnership with 3D Hubs‘ network of 10,000 3D printing shops across the world.

Mini 3DRacers corvette 2

The team has built an online editor where cars can be customised with a choice of accessories, bodies and colors. They’re hoping a community of designers will build up around the game creating new vehicles.

Maker Faire Rome 2014

The game element of 3DRacers has a Mario Kart vibe with automatic lap times, an online scoreboard and battle mode with turbo lanes and power-ups. The course can be 3D-printed, built using papercraft or bought as an official track mat.

3DRacers has an Indiegogo target of $25,000 with packages starting at $49 if you can 3D-print a car yourself or $75 if you want to receive it ready printed from 3D Hubs. There’s also a $40 special package for schools with a 10-lesson guide to learning programming with 3DRacers.

If 3DRacers hits its target, it hopes to start shipping the printed cars and tracks by September 15. We’re looking forward to getting our hands on them.


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Published February 2, 2015 — 15:42 UTC

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