Sugru Wheels

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About: 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 science in general, I'm a passiona...

Intro: 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

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

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

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

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!

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? ;-)

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    34 Discussions

    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... ;-)

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    cobourgdave

    4 years ago on Introduction

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

    Many thanks

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    Patrick S

    5 years ago on Introduction

    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!

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    robotmaker

    5 years ago on Introduction

    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

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    xenomachinarobotmaker

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    Edgar

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Good!
    Find some hand-moldable Plastic, you can even make some Gear-Wheels...
    Voted and gone to the Blog, along with your Spot Light idea:
    http://faz-voce-mesmo.blogspot.pt/2013/05/rdas-em-sugru-e-uma-corrida-de-hot.html

    2 replies
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    Mic100

    5 years ago on Introduction

    thank you this will help me for my future robot

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    andrea biffimdeblasi1

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

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

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    Edgar

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Good!
    Find some hand-moldable Plastic, you can even make some Gear-Wheels...
    Gone to the Blog, along with your Spot Light idea:
    http://faz-voce-mesmo.blogspot.pt/2013/05/rdas-em-sugru-e-uma-corrida-de-hot.htm

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    k2iran

    5 years ago

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

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    mr fix itk2iran

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    try to use OOGOO ... it is as good as sugru ... and it is home made ...do 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…