Introduction: Sugru Wheels

Picture of Sugru Wheels

If you ever had dismantled an old printer you should know there is interesting material inside it... if you never did that so it's time to begin ;-)

Step 1: Wheels Invasion

Picture of Wheels Invasion

The small plastic wheels you see in the picture come from a pair of printers. If you're luck you'll find wheels already with a good anti-slide rubber band, but in some cases they lack it. Anyway you can build easily by yourself a nice tire to make the wheels work better on your robots. To do that you'll need a small package of Sugru, this should be enough for a pair of "tires".

Step 2: The Belt

Picture of The Belt

After choosing the color you like more, cut in half your sugru mass, and rolling it over a flat surface transform it into a long thin cylinder, measure it to reach the length equal to wheel diameter.
Now wrap it around the wheel and push it with your fingers so it will stick on the surface. You have to cover all the external surface with that quantity of sugru, maybe it will not be enough to coming out from the protrusion on the border, but don't worry about that. 

Step 3: The Engraving

Picture of The Engraving

When the sugru is all around the wheel, make it rolling on a damp towel or something soft as a sponge, so it will remove your fingerprints and any irregularity. 
Now we need to find a way to make the sugru hanging out to reach the ground, because in this status the protrusions will make the wheel slipping. You need something similar to the little cogwheel you see in the picture. Maybe you'll find something equally effective. Make the cog roll over the sugru and at the same time push it so it will engrave lot of slots in the soft material. In this way the Sugru must rise up and occupy a greater volume, protruding over the borders.

Step 4: The Exception to Murphy Law

Picture of The Exception to Murphy Law

When you have done with the first wheel wrap the next one, flatten it, dampen it, engrave it, and miraculously it will come out much better than the first one! This principle is the only one going against the Murphy law...

Step 5: Use Your Imagination!

Picture of Use Your Imagination!

Now you've finished the first two wheels for your robot... yes, there is still a lot to do to make it like a robot... but you're patient, aren't you? ;-)


TheMeltyBotBuilder (author)2014-05-06

hi there, very good instructable, will this stuff bond to steel or aluminium?

yes, it adheres on my keys very well...

thanks. howstrong is this stuff?

very similar to hardened silicon, but a bit more hard... as for resistance it's quite strong, I think same resistance of silicon, but a bit less elastic... ;-)

thanks, I'll make my own wheels like this soon. great instructable by the way

cobourgdave (author)2014-03-04

Neat! It is the last thing I would have thought about doing. Definitely going to try.

Many thanks

Patrick S (author)2013-07-31

Sweet! How much grip do they have? If pushed hard against the ground do they retain their form? This will be very useful in one of my projects, thanks!

andrea biffi (author)Patrick S2013-07-31

I'm planning to write a new instructable about tires making... wait a few days :-)

robotmaker (author)2013-05-26

nice job,they look like omnibot 2000 wheels i need to replace
i also build and design robots for a very long time
for a very good controller board check out EZ-ROBOT board

xenomachina (author)robotmaker2013-06-06

Ha! I was thinking the same sort of thing. I have a few Tomy robots (Spotbot and Dustbot) and the original "tires" have disintegrated. I'd actually been thinking to use Sugru for this for a while, but hadn't thought of the (clever) idea to use a gear to make treads.

Edgar (author)2013-05-28

Find some hand-moldable Plastic, you can even make some Gear-Wheels...
Voted and gone to the Blog, along with your Spot Light idea:

andrea biffi (author)Edgar2013-05-29

thanks Edgar, your blog act as a boost on my ibles!

Edgar (author)andrea biffi2013-05-29

Nice to know that. :)

Mic100 (author)2013-05-29

thank you this will help me for my future robot

mdeblasi1 (author)2013-05-28

Oh, my god!
how did you know that I was planning to make a robot!!!

andrea biffi (author)mdeblasi12013-05-29

I think that a pair of weeks before Drone contest ending a lot of people is planning to make a robot ;-)

Edgar (author)2013-05-28

Find some hand-moldable Plastic, you can even make some Gear-Wheels...
Gone to the Blog, along with your Spot Light idea:

k2iran (author)2013-05-22

nice! hmmm... i have to find this sugru thingy somewhere!!!

mr fix it (author)k2iran2013-05-28

try to use OOGOO ... it is as good as sugru ... and it is home made a search for oogoo on this site and you will find all you need ( i love instrutables)… I have used oogoo or equivalent for years and it all came out perfect . On instructables they use silicone compound and starch to make oogoo…I also used acrylic compound and starch or sand … epoxy glue and flours or metal dust…wood glue and sawdust …good luck…

bird123457 (author)2013-05-28

Great idea!! Loving it!!

vincent7520 (author)2013-05-27

Nice !
An other argument against those who prevent you to make an other pile of useless stuff in the workshop !!!… ;))
Thanks for posting !

HansAs (author)2013-05-27

'In case it hasn't been mentioned, "Sugru" is the Gaelic word for play . . .
Presumably because it handles like play-doh!

lindarose92 (author)2013-05-22

Questa quindi è una parte del tuo famoso robot? :D Dai dai che voglio vederlo!!!

andrea biffi (author)lindarose922013-05-22

ahah pleaseee that's a secret!!

Bill WW (author)andrea biffi2013-05-26

There are no secrets with Google Translate!

lindarose92 (author)Bill WW2013-05-27

hahaha! I am sorry I revealed your secret Andrea! :D

lindarose92 (author)andrea biffi2013-05-22

Tanto non capiscono...... hahaha :D

projectsugru (author)2013-05-23

WOW, this is pretty darn clever. Do you think you could make functional cogs with this technique ?

I think it's too soft, maybe you'll have to produce an harder version of Sugru... ;-)

Mistwalker (author)andrea biffi2013-05-26

I actually think you could make functional gears this way, depending on what you want to use them for. They couldn't take a great deal of force, but I expect the plastic gear and the sugru wheels you made there, if put together like gears, one turning would cause the other to turn.

Kjetil Egeland (author)2013-05-23

Thanks for sharing....;) From now on, I will NOT throw away anything electronic gadges and tools. No mechanical machines or metal. I will just put another wing on my house for storing these potentially goldmines :) And at the same time buy shares in the Sugro company..;)

ahah! I've half house full of junk!
Can I suggest you the book "Junkbots, Bugbots & Bots on Wheels" by Dave Hrynkiw and Mark W.Tilden?
Good for Sugru ;-)

robotmaker (author)andrea biffi2013-05-26

i also have the biggest house full of junk,printers has so many parts for robots
also one of the biggest collections of robots 93
have to check out the book MR TILDEN is like the father of robotics with the wowwwee line,so his book must be very good

vishalapr (author)2013-05-26

This is great! I wish this ible was up about 2 weeks ago when I was struggling to find perfect wheels for a small robot of mine :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an Italian freelance structural engineer, graphic designer and photographer, and I'm teaching physics in Waldorf schools. I always investigate electronics, robotics and ... More »
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