Introduction: Home Made Mecanum Wheels
Hello folks, welcome to my tutorial on homemade Mecanum wheels which were made from metals and wood.I had made four of them and they were designed to fasten the movement of a vehicle in a compact area. Every wheel works perfectly performing all the functions of that of a mecanum wheel.
The Mecanum wheel is one design for a wheel which has the ability to move the vehicle in any direction. What I mean by any direction is that, apart from moving like a normal vehicle it can also move horizontally, diagonally and can even make inclinations of any angle. It is sometimes called the Ilon wheel after its Swedish inventor, Bengt Ilon, who came up with the idea in 1973 when he was an engineer with the Swedish company Mecanum AB. The coolest part of these homemade mecanum wheels is that the entire building price cost me a meager Rs 800/- whereas if you were to buy them then they would have cost you Rs 22,000/- (4 wheels).
Along with making of mecanum wheels I have also included a small tutorial on how to build vehicle that could accommodate the wheels.
So lets get down to business………….
Step 1: SOME BASIC KNOWLEDGE FOR CONSTRUCTION
I have always had an interest in mechanical field and hence knew how to work with different types of tools and this in turn reduced a lot of my time to learn them. I have mentioned some of the things you need to be good at so that there is no wastage of materials and also that you don’t end up in the hospital.
1. Cutting metal pieces using grinding cutting machine.I have used cutting machine for cutting the sheet metal. As an alternate you can also use computerized cutting.
2. Working withthe lathe machine. You don’t need to know all the operations but you definitely need to how to handle the following ones.
3. How to drill using vertical drilling machine and hand drills.
Step 2: SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
While using cutting machine be extremely careful. Wear safety glasses and gloves to prevent from hazardous effects. Take help of experts to cut the sheet metal and drill holes.Use the lathe machine in the presence of an expert.Be safe and have fun.
Step 3: MATERIALS AND TOOLS REQUIRED
1. 1ft x 1ft -16 GAUGE galvanised metal
2. Aluminium Frame 3m
3. 1 square feet aluminium sheet
4. Square Wooden Blocks.
5. Cycle Tube 2 role
6. Plywood 2 square feet
7. Spur gears
8. Plastic pipe
11. Metal rod
13. Screws and nuts(4mm,3mm) loads of them.
15. 100 rpm motor x 4
16. U shaped Aluminium strip 6m
1. Drilling machine.
2. Cutting machine.
3. Lathe machine.
4. Grinding machine
8. Bench wise
Step 4: THE MAKING OF THE WHEELS
Construction of mecanum wheels requires a lot of energy and patience. It took my friend a week to complete the wheels as well as the vehicle. The design of entire vehicle is first designed in solid works.
But instead of making twelve rollers you can change the design and go with eight rollers also like what we have done. Then the dimensions of the wheel are printed on a paper and the paper is pasted on the metal sheet to make the cutting easy.
Using the cutting machine cut the sheet metal to the outer lines of the sketch. Now give some good surface finish to the cut surface using the grinding disk and for clean finishing use files (more shining). The finished product is shown in the image section.
Use chisel and hammer to cut the portions which cannot be cut using cutting machine. Use files to make sure your work is neat and tidy. Next you will have to drill holes of 4mm on the leading edges using hand drill machine. Now with the help of bench vice bend the edges of the cut to angle of 45 degrees. Once you have bent all the edges your work should resemble something like whats shown in the image. Each wheel requires a pair of these and hence four wheels will amount to eight.
Once you are done with two of them and use 4mm nuts and 4mm bolts to clamp them. Make sure they are not tight as this is just to make sure that all the angles and holes are proper. Next with the two of them clamped make holes at the centre of both the metal sheets so that there is enough space for the metal shaft of the motors to pass through. You can also make your own metal shafts if the motor shaft that you are using is fragile or weak. We made our own metal shafts of 11cm long, passed it through the holes at the centre and then welded them permanently.
Once this is done it is time to make the rollers. Take wooden pieces and place them on the lathe machine. Make a barrel shaped roller of length 5cm long with 4cm width at the centre and 3cm width on the edges as shown in the figure. Cut the pieces using hacksaw and use sand paper to clean any rough edges. Each wheel requires eight rollers and hence a total of 32 for four wheels. Pack cycle tube around the barrel shaped rollers to maximize the grip. These rollers have to be place between two metal which we bent to 45 degree using the nuts and bolts. Spacers are then used if the rollers are loose. Then the motors are fitted into the wheels using shafts.
Step 5: THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE VEHICLE
For the construction of the vehicle, take 2 aluminum frames of 60 cm each and placed them parallel to each other. Then to make a rectangular base join two U shaped aluminum strips perpendicular to the 60 cm strips and bolt them at the ends using aluminum L clamps. Then drill the clamps at the required position and join them to the rectangular base.
Next task is to fix the motors bases to the aluminum frame. Mark four rectangular shapes on the side of the aluminium frames that is two on both sides. These rectangles must be big enough so that the base of the motors can go into them. Use nuts and bolts them to place the motors permanently. Now all 4 motors are fixed at the 4 corners of the frame. Now the rectangular base is ready. Now to place the circuitry cut 60*40(l*b) wooden plywood and place it on the rectangular base.
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