Friction and Trackballs

I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this question, but here goes…

What have people found to be good for ‘gripping’ the trackball? Non-slip matting for drawers slides right off, and rubber wheels slip a bit, too. The tread from the InnovationFirst traction wheels grips ok, but not great…

Ideally, we’d like to pick up the ball and hold it rather firmly – so does anyone have any suggestions as to materials that will ‘stick’ to the polycanvas cover?


“The Grapes of Wrath”

actually we found non slip drawer covers to be very grippy, far more than the rubber from traction wheels. I’d recommend buying different brands and find the grippiest because ours is incredibly grippy (sorry i do not know the brand off the top of my head).

From what I know there are two kinds of non-slip matting: There’s the more foam-like kind which is typically very sticky to almost everything relatively smooth. Then there’s a more rubber-like kind that really only sticks to glass or smooth plastic but not much else.

In general I think softer gripping materials will provide you with more grip. Or you could just squeeze the trackball with lots of force; either one should work.

We want to make a C-shaped ‘claw’ that has no moving parts except for rollers on the end that will ‘suck in’ and ‘spit out’ the trackballs – so we need something nice and grippy on the rollers.

We’ve tried a variety of materials – 3M Aluminum Oxide 320 grit circles actually grip pretty well, but I think they’d have to be replaced often, and might, just might, violate the rules because they are technically an ‘abrasive’…

Of the four brands of non-slip matting at the local hardware store, none grip effectively.


They’re sold at Target.

So far we have found that the only thing that effectively sticks to the track balls is dirt and dust, and we have a very dusty work area. We may have a gray track ball by the end of build season.


I had the idea of carpeting the other day… anyone have some samples to try? Probably not field-style carpeting, but more bedroom style stuff. I imagine it working good, but that’s no substitute to a test :slight_smile:

Ok, we’ve found the ubermaterial… Red gasket rubber from the local hardware store acts like sharkskin gloves on a football – it’s fantastic, cheap, durable, and easy to replace.

Life = good.

Thanks for the ideas, all!