2019.05.21

omni-wheel-01

I was at a robotics event a while back and saw so many omni wheels I got inspired to try to design one. I remember looking up omni wheels years ago and seeing how expensive they were, so 3D printing my own seemed like an obvious choice.

omni-wheel-model-01

I mostly succeeded in designing and making one, but it’s also quite a bit of a failure. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun exercise, and I tend to enjoy a design challenge, but these aren’t gonna work.

omni-wheel-03

I had planned on brushing Plasti Dip onto the wheels to give them some grip, or maybe casting them from Silicone. (Someone else suggested printing with TPU filament.) If I get back to this project I might consider some of those ideas…

omni-wheel-model-02

So where was my big mistake? When I modeled this, I did not model in the hardware. Sure, I modeled in the holes for the hardware, and what I thought was enough space for the heads of the bolts, but the bolts stick out just a bit too much. As I said, this was a fun exercise, and maybe I’ll revisit it in the future but…

omni-wheel-02

I went looking for omni wheels again and found this VEX IQ 63mm Omni Wheels (2pk) for about $10, which means for $20 I got 4 really nice omni wheels. They might also serve as a reference if I try redesigning my wheels, now that I have a good example to go from. Maybe my choice of 3mm hardware was a poor one. Hmmm, I’m already thinking about the next iteration.

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