Hovercraft - Introduction to Electronics



Use 3D printed parts, basic electronic components, and step-by-step instructions to build your own hovercraft. This project can be adapted to test 3D printed propeller designs and develop custom bases, hovercraft skirts and aesthetics.

***see Hovercraft_Assembly_Instructions-Explore_Making.pdf in Files

How I Designed This

The Hovercraft is designed using SolidWorks. Many advanced design techniques were used to design the part, but one key technique that is important for the designs functionality is press-fit parts (guard that must press into the intake). To design these parts we left a 0.3mm gap between the guard and the opening in the intake. The guard is 49.7mm in diameter and the axel intake opening is 50mm in diameter.the axel shafts are 8mm in diameter.

Overview & Background

We created an affordable hovercraft with broad appeal. It requires students to be precise but also allows creativity in the personalization of the board.


  • Follow instructions to create a functional HoverCraft (***see Hovercraft_Assembly_Instructions-Explore_Making.pdf in Thing Files)
  • Demonstrate understanding of an electrical circuit to power the craft
  • Understand weight balance and any possible adaptations required for function
  • Use creative design to personalize each craft


grade 7 to adult


Electronics, Physics, Math, Design, Art

Skills Learned (Standards)

  • Understand the wiring requirements and completion of circuit
  • Document the process of creating a HoverCraft and any alterations done
  • Change weight balances to affect function


Students can work in groups of 2 or 3, promoting teamwork and reducing material costs. If teams used, we recommend having the students switch roles every 5 to 10 minutes so all students assemble, read, and document. One suggestion for homework is the documentation of their process.

We've worked hard to create a step by step assembly guide. Please also see the document in files.

You can extend the lessons by including challenges for the HoverCraft (races or stability). For art classes, students can decorate the foam core base or add 3D printed pieces to give each HoverCraft different properties.


One hour is sufficient for basic activity. The extensions can take 30 minutes to several hours depending on the depth and number of extensions added.


  • 3D printed parts (as uploaded here)
  • double-sided tape
  • breadboard
  • battery holder
  • 11 x #2 screws
  • motor (size 130 DC toy motor)
  • foam core
  • disposable plastic table cloth or plastic bag
  • screwdriver
  • exacto knife
  • ruler
  • marker
  • Rubric/Assessment

    Students could be assessed on the following:

    • Documentation of the process
    • Completed Hovercraft that can race others
    • Understanding of the relationship between balance and motion

    Handouts and Assets

    Hovercraft Assembly Instructions

    Design Files

    File Size

    185 KB
    Hovercraft Assembly Instructions - Explore Making.pdf
    2.16 MB
    Control Bar.STL
    172 KB
    610 KB
    681 KB
    Propeller (2b).STL
    210 KB
    Propeller (3b).STL
    217 KB


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