Ideal Durometer for Shooter Wheel

If you’ve tested out different durometers for shooter wheels, which ones are giving the most powerful and consistent shots for you so far? I know the best thing to do would be to just test them with our own shooter, but I’d like to save a few hundred bucks and some time by narrowing it down a little bit if possible.

So, I won’t directly answer your question here (I will say we’re going with 60A durometer solid wheels from WCD, but we have additional testing to do, please don’t take this as gospel), but I will say that in general:

Rigid ball? Aim for a squishier wheel. The wheel will comply to the ball.

Squishy ball? Aim for rigid. The ball will comply to the wheel.

There is a lot of nuance in the above two statements, and I’m sure others could find examples of why those don’t always apply. I know I’ve personally violated that rule for a robot that shot literal basketballs, but we somewhat added a very small degree of compliance by wrapping tape around the wheels (mostly to get compression).

(Somebody please sanity check me here with the above)

As always, testing/prototyping is a great way to determine what you need. In case you don’t have the resoueces, if you haven’t already, take a look at the Open Alliance posts here on CD and take a look at what other teams have found.

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We have tested our shooter with the blue 50 DM andy mark wheels and it gets good range and consistency. One thing we noticed is that at full rpm the wheels do stretch quite a bit and might create some consistency issues over time. We are going to try the 60 ones next to see if there is a difference.

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