Feb. 20, 2015 | By Alec

Dedicated readers might remember some of our earlier reports on the exploits of Swedish designer and 3D printing enthusiast Daniel Norée, who was been quite successful with his open source OpenR/C community. Dedicated to developing 3D printed R/C racing cars, he has spent hundreds of hours creating very cool and extremely fast cars. Anyone interested in 3D printing a racer should definitely check it out.

His enthusiasm and dedication have also attracted quite a crowd of like-minded people, who contribute and benefit from this active community. Among them is the Swedish mechanical engineer Thomas Palm, who has recently developed a set of different 3D printed wheels and tires for Norée's cool OpenRC Truggy.

As we reported in early February, Thomas’s designs include 36 different combinations of wheels and tires that you can choose any combination to fit to your own RC vehicles. All the tires were printed in a material called Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) at 85 Shore A, though you could have similar effects with filaments such as Ninjaflex. As to the difference between 3D printed wheels and the standard wheels, Palm says: "the grip with the 3D printed snow tires are awesome on the sand and more easy to steer but the torque is a bit much if you don´t like wheelies. On the other hand if drifting is your thing go with the tires with less grip."

At the time Thomas also developed a more dangerous version of these highly effective wheels, featuring spikes for the ultimate grip and a dangerous edge. "I of course acknowledged the need for spikes on the 3DP RC tires and I designed these wicked tires, I was very afraid to release them though," he tells 3ders.org. "Even if my tests show them to not break down (I don't want to send the screws all over the place like lethal projectiles), lots of worries still exists that prevents me from releasing the STL-file."

Because let’s face it: spikes can be a bit dangerous. As you can see in the video above, they can cause serious damage to anyone they hit and you can imagine what would happen if an enthusiastic kid tries to grab the car.

But then there’s also the danger of the wheels breaking and sending spikes flying. After all, 3D printable filaments can behave strangely when confronted with extreme cold (when driving on snow) or in heat (when driving on the beach). Especially in very cold temperatures, the wheel could shatter on a hard impact. "Spinning on ice and then a sudden grip on for instance tarmac could result in broken rim or screw-holders and dangerous projectiles will endanger everyone close to the car," Thomas explains. Problematically, Thomas has not yet been able to test the results for himself, so he cannot completely predict what will happen.

This is all very unfortunate, as the design is great. Revolving around the same design strategy as his other wheels, this edition features 18 3,5 mm screws that are assembled by bending the tracks and screwing them in from the inside. They should, especially in icy conditions, provide great traction. While they might be released in the future (after considerable testing), they will sadly remain off limits for now. 



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Skip wrote at 2/22/2015 10:09:47 PM:

Actually, this is trying to combine a snow tire with an ice tire. Skip the paddles and run the screw from the inside for and ice tire, or skip the screws and run the paddles for snow and sand....

Michelin Dan wrote at 2/20/2015 1:51:46 PM:

The band could also be HDPE (milk carton) easier to work or nylon strip, just something flexable thats strong and won't shatter in cold temperatures.

Michelin Dan wrote at 2/20/2015 1:45:33 PM:

Solution :- Use a steel band inside the tyre (loose fit), drill this to take the screws all the way through still biting into the tread as above. Should the tyre disintegrate the band holds the screws together and is less likely to fly off.

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