3D Printed Tanks: Miniature Files You Can Print
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Ever since their somewhat tenuous debut on the battlefield back in WWI, tanks have been a symbol of mobile military powerhouses all over the world. They’re massive, they’re imposing, and they’re pretty cool.
As the technology has evolved to make them more reliable and more powerful, so too did their appearance. And so there are a lot of 3D printed tanks around from all historical eras since their inception.
Some are articulated or remote controlled while others are static figures or toys, and here we’ll show you all the different kinds of tanks you can 3D print at home, as well as 3D printed tank tracks and treads.
All for non-war-waging purposes only, of course.
Can you 3D Print a Tank?
While you shouldn’t expect to ride to work in a homemade tank anytime soon, you can 3D print army tank models fairly simply. How complex they are will depend mostly on how detailed you want your 3D printed tank to be and what you want it to do.
With the right 3D printed tank files, you’ll find making them to be a fun and even educational project for all ages and skill levels.
3D Printed Tanks
There are all kinds of 3D printed tanks out there, varying in shape, size, and function. From simple toys and models to DIY RC tanks, here are a few of our top picks for 3D printed tank files from all over the net and all corners of history and fantasy.
World War II Tiger Tank
- Download: Ali_Alghadhbawi
- Price: Free
Operating initially in World War II, the tiger tank was one of the most fearsome weapons of the German army at the time. Feared by allied forces, it was impervious to most anti-tank weaponry of the day, making it as formidable as it was terrifying.
The classic shape is what normally comes to mind when we picture tanks, which is why we’re starting off this list with this 3D printed tiger tank. It’s a simple design and an even simpler print, requiring no supports or extra parts to make and put together, meaning you can make it entirely with filament and with any printer.
The eight separate pieces are easy to assemble too, needing only a little glue to hold them in place. So not only is the 3D printed tiger tank a classic design, it’s perfect for beginners too.
Ork Kill Krusha Tank
- Download: BDP1988
- Price: Free
Warhammer 40k is a gargantuan franchise spanning card games, roleplay, and even novels. With its massive fanbase and innumerable models and objects unique to its universe, it’s not surprising that fans have taken to 3D printing to enhance their enjoyment.
One of these models is the 3D printed Ork Kill Krusha tank. As intimidating as the name suggests, it boasts a sharp silhouette and toothy adornments on the front to make it resemble a wild animal.
Even when printed in pink, like in the example images, it’s still a formidable-looking 3D printed tank suitable as an addition to your Warhammer army or simply as a plaything on its own.
T-50 Tank Model
- Download: griggc
- Price: $8.40
The T-50 tank model is relatively unknown compared to many others. This is likely due to how expensive it was to produce, which led to only around 69 units being deployed around WWII. Despite this, it was still one of the most numerous tanks in the Soviet army at the time.
Designed to be more lightweight than many of the tanks at the time, it makes for a perfect 3D printed tank model for anyone interested in one of the most turbulent times in modern history.
Designed to be easily scalable and needs little by way of post-processing or assembly, this simple design is another 3D printed tank ideal for beginners who just want a static tank figure.
Mini RC Tank
- Download: BuiltBrokenGlued
- Price: Free
3D printed RC tanks are difficult to make. They need to be light enough to easily move on 3D printed treads, and large enough to fit batteries and motors inside. Fortunately, there are designers out there who’ve done most of the heavy lifting for you.
This DIY RC tank is a remix of a former model, scaled up to fit a leger battery and work well as a motorized tank that you can assemble yourself.
With just a little bit of glue and some wiring, you’ll find the MK2 mini RC tank to be an excellent project for anyone who wants something more than a simple toy. Just be sure to get the treads just right, as you’ll need to ensure a good amount of friction for efficient movement.
3D Printed Tank Parts
If you’re using your 3D printed tank as a moving toy, then there’s a good chance that it will wear down or break over time. So it’s generally a good idea to keep some 3D printed tank parts around to handle any repairs quickly and without fuss.
Here are a few examples of such parts that you should keep handy, but I also recommend saving any multi-part files for fully 3D printed tanks as well. Spare parts are well and good, but keeping the original will make replacing parts much simpler.
3D Printed Tank Treads
- Download: Thomas Palm
- Price: Free
Tank treads are a little more complex than many of us would think. The wheels need to power the treads for better traction and increased mobility, allowing the tank to move and pivot like any vehicle but also managing the tough terrain it’s designed to handle.
These 3D printed tank treads are designed for a mobile robot, but can fit onto any 3D printed tank if scaled properly. This makes it more of an enhancement as a tank part than a repair model, but it’s still a cool and very simple design to keep in your back pocket should you feel the need to replace the treads on your tank.
3D Printed Tiger Tank Turret
- Download: Tse_Tso
- Price: Free
A tank without a turret isn’t much of a tank at all. If your turret becomes worn or breaks off, you’ll want to replace it quickly and efficiently, so it’s a good idea to print a few of them just in case.
This particular turret was modeled for the 3D printed tiger tank we’ve already covered, but it’s just an example of the kind of tank part you should keep spares of. While I still recommend keeping the original files handy too, these are also the sort of 3D printed tank parts you should bookmark for future use if you plan on enhancing your already-completed projects.
Uploaded for free and needing little filament, there’s no reason not to keep a few of these parts aside in case your beloved toy breaks or you just fancy changing the look.
3D Printed Tank Track
- Download: fastmike75
- Price: Free
Treads are important for a tank’s mobility; they need to be tough and ready to handle any terrain while also being light enough to not weigh the tank down too much while in motion.
If you need to learn how to make 3D printed tank tracks, then look no further than this design for simple treads ideal for either 3D printed RC tanks or even just standard toys, it’s the perfect starting point for making a high-quality 3D printed tank, or even makes for an excellent upgrade to any you’ve already made.
The parts will need rafts and supports to successfully print, so be sure to check out the designer’s instructions before you start printing to make sure you’ve got all the right settings you’ll need to avoid disappointment.
Bonus: Batman Begins Batmobile
- Download: NEO3DSTUDIO
- Price: ~$5
In the words of Gotham’s finest: ‘It’s a black… tank.’
Naturally, given this hilarious line in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, I had to include that particular Batmobile in this list of 3D printed tanks.
While more of an armored car, the Tumbler Batmobile driven by Bruce Wayne in his 2005 outing was a memorable change from the usually sleek and streamlined design seen in most of the iterations before it.
Exchanging aerodynamics for brute force, it was a formidable vehicle on the streets of a crime-riddled Gotham, and the understandably terrified police officer’s description is difficult to disagree with.
And yes, it does come in black.