Because Banebots was out of stock we went a different route this year. We 3D printed wheels (~4" OD out of PLA @ 60% infill) and used Polyurethane Rubber Tube as the tread (McMaster 87235K79). Just cut to width and stretch over the wheel. We had lips on either side to retain the tread. These worked fantastic and the wear was nothing compared to Green Banebot wheels (we didn’t have Orange to try). Just be sure to clean them in between matches. These collector wheels went through 2 regionals, champs, IRI, R2OC and are perfectly fine. We did replace the tread for IRI but we didn’t need to.
You can also do this with Vexpro pulleys as a wheel (kind of hokey, but works).
It doesn’t make a huge amount of sense to use the pulleys as hubs for small OD wheels if you have the ability to hex broach something… but if you don’t it’s not an awful way to do it (relatively low cost and weight).
Quite a few teams this year made wheels with this tread and loved it.
We put it around a chunk of plastic rod we had lying around and cut it on a band saw. Worked very well. But basically wastes the rod (creates nice hockey pucks). You probably could just cut it with a band saw without the rod and be fine.
During my pit walk at St. Louis this year, I got a chance to talk to a few teams that used similar wheels.
One of the nicer methods of creating these wheels seemed to be to push the tube onto the hub, put the assembly in a lathe, and cut off the excess plastic. If this proves to be unstable, the above idea with putting a plastic piece inside all the way might be better.
My old taem used blue McMaster drive rollers for our intake this year. We tested the intake to death, trying almost every traction material and wheel we could get our hands on. At first it seemed like nothing beat orange / blue Banebots, but then when Banebots ran out of stock, we put these McMaster wheels on. These wheels work the same if not slightly better. Trust me, they’re worth it. And you’ll never have to replace them due to wear!
You may have seen these wheels on frisbee shooters in 2013; I think 341, 2056, 1114, 254, among others all had them. 2056 used one as a shooter wheel in 2012 as well. They’re pretty nice. The only catch is you have to make a hub for them, though I’ve heard you can make a Vex VersaHub work in a pinch.
Vex Versa Wheel w/ tread. This was used on our practice bot since February. Never been changed. The notch at the bottom of the tread is from it rubbing against a bolt before we noticed. We went with 3D printed wheels for weight.
I’m curious as to the difference between these and the ones similar to what we used (McMaster 87235K79). From a cost comparison at same width wheels you are talking ~$8.30/wheel vs ~$30/wheel. For our collector we used the 40A.
We used the same polyurethane material, but for hubs, we lathed the tread off of old Banebots 3-7/8" wheels and attached with adhesive and screws. We’d do this again, in a pinch. We recycled, in a rush.
The polyurethane material is definitely the way to go. We tested pretty much everything out there and that was the most durable, highest traction materiel we could find for manipulating both totes and rcs. The trick is keeping them clean. Wiping them down in between in match does the trick. The best thing about it is that you can get for any much any size intake roller you need maxing out at 4 inches. We just stretched it over a 4 inch andymark performance wheel because that’s what we had laying around at the shop. It required no adhesives just relied on the friction between the materiel and the hub to hold it and it worked great. The only thing we did was machine it down drastically to save weight. 179 Used them as well at IRI and they 3d printed plastic hubs for them. Originally they tried to make them out of abs but the hubs where not holding up do to the loads and impacts however after they switched to pla they held up great. Maybe someone from 179 can provide a little more incite on printing methods ie infill, wall thickness,and print direction.