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-   -   3d printed Bailey bridge (https://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc-tanks-369/11688606-3d-printed-bailey-bridge.html)

Pah co chu puk 03-15-2021 12:12 PM

3d printed Bailey bridge
I have been busy working on a 3d CAD design to build my own 1/16th scale World War 2 Bailey Bridge. Iíve gone through some trial and error, some dead ends, and two spools of plastic, but itís starting to take shape. I have two sections completed now, with a third still being built, planning to make it into 7 or 8 sections when complete.

Itís close to true dimensions, although I did widen it a bit so my Abrams and Leopard 2A6 will be able to use it. It also assembles and deploys just like the real ones, so it can be put together is various ways to give longer spans and/or heavier loads using center supports and/or extra truss panels.

Iím still working out some details of the design, but itís getting close. Still need to work out the details of the approach ramps, and the fastening system for stacking the truss panels up vertically for handling heavier loads. Researching old pictures and manuals to get that info.

The only fasteners in the whole thing are 3 mm pins at the truss panel joints, and 2 mm screws in the top brace. Everything else snaps into place. It can be stored in a box, then set up somewhere, then taken down and put back into the box, ready for next time. It can also be transported to the building site in 1/16th scale RC trucks. The real test, once itís built, will be if it holds up a 1/16th scale RC tank.

Iím busy churning out parts now, but by the time the snow is melted here, I should have a new bridge to star in some tank movies. I might even take it to a club battle somewhere. It is portableÖ

afv aficionado 03-15-2021 01:42 PM

Hi Pah co chu puk
Very cool, had wondered if someone would do one in 1/16th. Are you aware of the Armortek one in 1/6th? https://www.armortek.co.uk/Forum3b/viewforum.php?f=48 -


Pah co chu puk 03-15-2021 02:41 PM

Thank you. No, I had not seen that metal 1/6 scale one. It's pretty cool. Mine has the advantage that it's parts are made while I sleep.

afv aficionado 03-15-2021 02:48 PM

You're right, that is quite an advantage.


edoubleaz 03-15-2021 06:46 PM

Sir, would you share with your southern brethren?!!! Our field needs about three bridges just like that!!!!!

Michal_Kaczorowski 03-15-2021 10:15 PM

Look amazing. My friend few years ago made small laser cut section but yours is much more detailed.

Panther F 03-16-2021 05:09 AM

My... are those sweet or what?!!! MY JEEP would look great on that!

I couldn't imagine a proposed price tag on it, especially figuring in that 'sleep labor'! :o

borealis 03-16-2021 05:15 AM


Pah co chu puk 03-16-2021 05:16 AM

Thanks guys.

While some of the other models of Bailey Bridges I've seen have better, more accurate details, (the 1/6th scale metal bridge afv aficionado shared with us comes to mind), most are two or three section models of bridges. By 3d printing these parts, I can, and plan to, make an 8 section bridge. That will be a bridge about 5 feet long (80 scale feet). Based on my load testing so far, I think it's possible to have an 8 section bridge that will support our RC tanks. I can also make more than one bridge. My goal is to make a bridge that really works for RC tank battles, and it looks like a real one.

I'm finishing up the parts for section 3 today, tomorrow I start making the parts for section 4. After that, section 5. I will keep posting pictures as this project develops. Field testing with actual RC tanks is part of the plan. Documentation of performance with movies and photos will be included.

RichJohnson 03-16-2021 08:55 AM

Damn that is cool man. I really like that.

RC_BobM 03-16-2021 10:10 AM

Pah Co Chu puk,
That is super cool bridge! There was a person on FB posting similar 1/16 scale 3D printed triple Bailey Bridge. Was that you? Anyway excellent work, I hope you consider selling STL or kit. Bridges are really needed at this scale. Curious if you could reinforce it from underneath if needed with alum square tube or strip of wood? I think the printed sections will easy work as is. You need a fleet of engineer trucks to carry the sections. Next up pontoon bridge!

Ex_Pat_Tanker 03-16-2021 10:32 AM

Already been done...

Pah co chu puk 03-16-2021 10:58 AM

Very nice Martin! Perhaps we should adapt those pontoons to support the Bailey bridge too. I think I can design a part that works, and I know you can.

Ex_Pat_Tanker 03-16-2021 11:15 AM

I'm looking at the sheer number of pontoons they used - that's a lot of printing, three flat bottom steel barges per support point. The picture above consumed £120 worth of plastic and took an entire month to print, not sure I want to go thru that again!

Pah co chu puk 03-16-2021 11:19 AM

I don't do FB, that isn't my bridge. I just started this project a few weeks ago.

Selling this did cross my mind. I'm not ready for that yet, this is just a prototype I'm building now, but if this one really works, then perhaps. I'm building it for fun. I like bridges.

Pah co chu puk 03-16-2021 11:21 AM

Originally Posted by Ex_Pat_Tanker (Post 12668980)
I'm looking at the sheer number of pontoons they used - that's a lot of printing, three flat bottom steel barges per support point. The picture above consumed £120 worth of plastic and took an entire month to print, not sure I want to go thru that again!

LOL! Well then, perhaps pontoons only as an intellectual exercise.

BcuriousR 03-17-2021 04:40 PM

I'll just drop this one here. It was the first thing I designed to print. While not scale correct, I had a great time making it and learned a lot. It only gets used at indoor events for kids to drive FPV trucks.


Pah co chu puk 03-18-2021 11:08 AM

I remember that pontoon bridge. I thought it was cool and I really thought it was cool you did it up so kids could have fun driving over it. Very nice.

BcuriousR 03-18-2021 12:51 PM

Thank you. I don't want to hijack, just thought I'd share since the topic came up. Your Bailey bridge is a work of art. I am in constant awe of your trucks as well. I can only imagine, and appreciate from afar, the work you put into all of it. I look forward to seeing where you go with this one.

Pah co chu puk 03-28-2021 06:14 PM

Update: I have 4 sections done, and most of the parts for the 5th section printed out. I did some static load testing on the bridge.

First test; An all plastic Mato Sherman. No problem!

Next test; The Sherman plus two 5 lb. weights. No problem!

The third test was two 15 lb. weights (total 30 lbs!). No problem!

New parts are arriving by the truckload.

edoubleaz 03-29-2021 11:57 AM

That is amazing!!! I will expect my big box in the mail!!!!

Pah co chu puk 03-29-2021 12:24 PM


I'm still developing this concept. There are parts on the bridge in the load test pictures that were not even designed when the first set of pictures were posted. Since those load test pictures were posted, I have designed and put even more parts on it, but I have also load tested it to 40 lbs now, and it took it, no problem.

Will01Capri 03-29-2021 12:31 PM

That is properly properly good. Very nice work indeed :)

Pah co chu puk 03-29-2021 12:32 PM

Thanks Will. Ask Martin about this project...

Crius 03-30-2021 02:44 AM

That looks really good, let me know when the 1/6 scale version is ready. Bwahahahaha

Pah co chu puk 03-30-2021 07:04 PM

Originally Posted by Crius (Post 12670945)
That looks really good, let me know when the 1/6 scale version is ready. Bwahahahaha

Yeah? I don't usually ask personal questions on this forum, but how big is it? (your printer build plate) Mine is 9 inches (my printer build plate) and this design uses the whole build plate to print some of the parts. I even need to print some diagonally so I can print from corner to corner to get enough length. This design would rock in 1/6 scale. If you can make it happen, I want to see it.

I milled out 180 or so wooden pieces for the bridge road deck today. I think wood is the way to go. It took me and my buddy 3 hours to mill all the scale 2x12 lumber, and it takes 3 hours to 3d print one piece of the scale lumber. Factor in the beer drinking and story telling time, and milling the wood is a big time saver. I also think it looks cooler and it seems stronger.


Michal_Kaczorowski 03-31-2021 12:34 AM

This looks awesome! Where do you got the truck? It's also 3D printed?

Pah co chu puk 03-31-2021 03:34 AM

Yes. The CCKW truck and the Ben Hur trailer are both 3d printed. The truck is RC.

Tanque 03-31-2021 04:40 AM

Extremely cool! I've always liked pontoon/ bailey bridges.

Have you guys ever seen the "Flotation Bridge" and Bailey bridge training kits the US Army had made up years ago?
I have many parts of one of the Flotation Bridge training kits. They've become pricey if you find a nice one and most sellers
don't have complete nor manuals for their use. I believe they were closer to 1/8 scale but I've never checked to be certain.

British Training Kits

Training Bridge sets

Pah co chu puk 03-31-2021 06:03 AM

WOW! That British model is amazing. It would be cool to see it in person.

I'm shooting for a more humble version of a model like that. Mine will also stack the truss panel box beams vertically, and the columns to break up the free span can be done. I have enough wood planks milled out now to make 12 feet of road deck for the bridge. That's a bridge 190 scale feet long. Or (2) 90 foot long bridges.

Pah co chu puk 04-01-2021 08:59 AM

5 sections done now. 37 3/4" of road deck. It took the 40 lb. load test, slight sagging, but it held for 10 minutes just fine.


RichJohnson 04-01-2021 10:07 AM

That is amazing work man. I love it. I wish I had a need for one so I could influence you to make me one lol. That is so impressive.

RC_BobM 04-02-2021 08:38 AM

Super cool! Very nice job! Everyone needs a Bridge Too Far!

TXtanker 04-08-2021 05:50 PM

Having gotten to drive an actual M4A1 Sherman across a bailey bridge many times since 2011 that is one perfect example of of one!!

TXtanker 04-08-2021 05:53 PM


Pah co chu puk 04-08-2021 06:34 PM

Originally Posted by TXtanker (Post 12672315)
Having gotten to drive an actual M4A1 Sherman across a bailey bridge many times since 2011 that is one perfect example of of one!!

WOW! Lucky you, that sounds fun.

Thanks for posting those pictures. I just completed the ramps, and it looks like I got the curb a bit wrong, but otherwise they look a lot like your pictures.


totolitoto 04-12-2021 03:32 AM

Beautiful work !!!!!:eek:

Pah co chu puk 04-13-2021 08:07 AM

Thank you!

6 truss sections long now. That's 60 scale feet. I did a load test, with 40 lbs. at the mid span. No problem.

Some specs.
6 truss sections long. (60 scale feet)
43 1/2-inch free span.
45-inch road deck without ramps.
60-inch road deck with ramps.
15 inches wide outside to outside.
10-inch-wide road deck. (wider than true scale so my Abrams can use the bridge too)
Ramp angles are adjustable for terrain.

Pah co chu puk 05-28-2021 04:51 AM

I deployed the bridge at Tankland for a real world test.

Pah co chu puk 05-28-2021 07:09 AM

Here is a colorized version of the movie for those of you who enjoy the nuances of Olive Drab. The bridge is painted Rustoilum Army Green.

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