pic: 2nd mecanum prototype

And here is the second design. It is made with the same material for the plates and for the axles, but we rounded sections of a 3/4 inch dowel on a lathe for the rollers. Most (5 of 6) of the rollers turn freely and it seems to work a little better than the first attempt. With a little modification (bigger plates, slightly bigger rollers) it should work just fine!

It’s a neat wheel, pretty easy to make the rollers and side plates, but they are traction impaired…any ideas how to get some gription on it? or alternate materials that would work in place of wood, be sort of easy to get hold of, and easily machinable?

you ever see that red grip stuff that you can dip your tools into? im sure it would work great!

868 molded ours with a rubber compound.

first we milled out the mold from aluminum (which is probably the hardest part of the operation)

then we got a 2 part rubber mixture, mixed it, and poured it in (we used one of smooth on’s products)

last we put it in a toaster oven to speed the reaction up, then popped the rollers out after 30-60 mins.

Very easy to make (once you had the molds), and easy to mass produce.

Good Luck!

I know of one team that made their Mecanum rollers out of polyurethane. These were not as grippy as rubber, but that would probably be better than wood.

How did you make the metal plates that hold the wheels so accurately and precisely?

Steve used a hand held drill and tin snips and pliers to make the plates.

you guys do BEST?

nope never heard of it till now…


this is what you’re talking about, I assume?

Be very careful with the wooden rollers. Unless you have a precise way of making them (lathe)…they will not come out as planned.

I used a sloped wooden cylinders back when I was in 7/8 grade on a Junior Solar Sprints Cars.(“Freak on a Leash” and “Frank the Tank”) Some sort of CVT…but ultra simplified with only acceleration. Tried to do sandpaper on drills just didnt work out the way planned. So contacted the local high school shop teacher and he helped me out with lathe. He also was the first person to introduce me to FIRST and got me hooked.

thanks for the advice…I have a (very old and worn out) lathe, but even so it takes a while to figure out how to set everything up right so the rollers come out right, concentric with the center hole, etc.