Picture of DIY Custom Robot Tires made from Sugru
Need tiny tires for your robot? Make them from Sugru!

This instructable describes how to make custom silicone tires for a robot, connected together with an axle.

Materials for two tires, connected by an axle:

2 Dry Erase Markers (to use as a mold for the size of the tire)
Paper (for wrapping around the marker to prevent sticking)
Tape (needs to be removable, painters' tape will work well)
Popsicle Sticks (for molding and fashioning)
1 Axel (depends on the drive system of your robot, probably a wooden dowel will work)
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Step 1: Prepare the 'mold' for the tire

Picture of Prepare the 'mold' for the tire
Choose markers that have the inside diameter you want for your tire. 

Cut a paper strip to wrap around the marker.

Wrap the paper around the bottom of the marker, then wrap the tape around the edge of the paper. 

This will create a mold to use for the tire and spoke shape, and prevent the Sugru from sticking to the marker.

Step 2: Make a tire

Picture of Make a tire
Knead the Sugru into a somewhat flat piece. 

Wrap it around the paper. 

Roll the marker on the table gently to help distribute the Sugru evenly on all sides.

Step 3: Add treadmarks to the tire

Picture of Add treadmarks to the tire
(Gently) create treadmarks using the popsicle stick.  These will improve the tire's grip on surfaces.

Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 for second tire

Picture of Repeat steps 1-3 for second tire
While waiting for the first tire to harden, repeat steps 1-3 for a second tire, on a different marker. 

Step 5: Remove (hardened) tires from molds

When the Sugru is dry, remove the tape from the marker.

Carefully pull the paper off the marker, removing the tire with it.

Step 6: Attach tires to axel

Push a large kneaded wad of Sugru into the center of each wheel.

Push an axel into the center of the wad of Sugru.  

Note: we used a plastic knife because it was convenient, you will want to choose an axel you can drive with your robot. Possibly a wooden dowel.  

Gently roll the axel and tires  to make sure it's centered. 

Allow 24 hours to harden.

Enjoy your custom-made DIY tires!
m6demir1 year ago
danilo.bar12 years ago
Mmm...I see impractical.
It 'really hard that the tires, at the end of treatment, have the same diameter.
This difference will result in a tendency to turn to the right or to the left and not to go right.
You could fix this by the driver sofware, but I see complicated and expensive...
What do you think?