pic: Team 60 Prototype Wheels

The wheels for a new prototype. The wheels are 4" and each weighs less than .5 lbs. All the parts were made on a harbor freight micro-mill I’ve converted to cnc and a 7x10 lathe. An entire wheel including sprockets takes about 2 hours from start to finish. I’ll post more parts as they’re finished.

Those wheels look awesome!! great job!

My question would be, how is that mill working for you? is it worth the money or should we wait and look into a more expensive mill?

Larger Mill!!! The extra money will go a long way. Look for one with an R8 spindle. The heavier the better. The micro-mill uses an mt2 taper which is hard to find tooling for and tends to cost more; forget finding anything other than collets. I’ve spent more money on tooling and vises than I did on the mill. The spindle is also underpowered limiting cuts to .030" at 15fpm to avoid stalling. It also requires constant maintenance or it starts to fall apart fast. We use a full size bridgeport and a much larger harbor freight mill in the shop.

Hope this helps.

Great thanks Brenton, If you were to do it all over again what mill would you buy?

If you’re looking for a mill to convert to cnc I’d go with harbor freight’s small mill. It weighs over three times as much and cncfusion sells a conversion kit that includes ball screws. I will warn you that making your own cnc will require a huge chunk of time, and learning how to use it effectively will require even more. If you’re looking for a manual mill I’d ask some of the machinists that float around these forums. They know much more than I do (I have a degree in textile design, robots are just a hobby).

Nice wheels and nicely photographed. I too have a CNCed HF Micro Mill and while small, it’s still quite useful. The extended Y axis kit is a must, and the long table kit is nice too. Understanding its limitations, it is a decent machine if you have no other.

I totally agree, for the price it can’t be beat. I’ve also fitted my mill with th
e extended x and y axis kits. A spray mist coolant system is also a great purchase, they can be found for around $30 but do require a small compressor. It totally eliminates welding chips to your endmill and makes a huge difference in the finish without the mess of a flood coolant system. It also helps your endmills last longer.

Just a quick question, where can you get cheap misters, I’ve looking for one but haven’t found a cheap one. At the shop its all flood, but on the one of the manual mills I wanted to add a mister.


A question from looking at the picture: Do the two sides just clamp down on the tube, or does the tube interlock some way I’m not seeing?

Enco Spra-Kool Midget Model #505-2124, $39 right now but it goes on sale often. It hooks to a bolt. I have mine attached to a magnet for easy moving. It’s easy to use, the one problem I have with it is you twist the nozzle to adjust the flow, making it dangerous to adjust while the machine is running.

The tube and tread are clamped by the side plates. The fit is tight, neither move at all.

Thanks so much. That helps a lot

Do you just glue the treads on???

I bet they do the same thing that they and 254 have been doing for years, judging by the picture. It looks like they clamp the tread on by using the lip milled into the rim and tightening the two sides together and then pop rivet the ends down.

Some may argue that these wheels require a lot of work to manufacture. When you look at it from that perspective, you aren’t gaining a whole lot over something like an AM Plaction wheel in terms of cost and weight.

Simply put though, I’m inspired by this. I love the sprocket design. The wheels look fantastic and the design looks rugged. Great job. Nice photography as well.

Exactly right. We’ve been using the clamping design since 2001 and shared it with 254 when we started working together. The one thing we do different is we simply glue the ends down instead of using pop rivets now days (we can change out all the tread on the robot in a few minutes without having to bust out the drill).

We have access to a much larger cnc with an auto tool changer during build season. That machine could turn out all six wheels in under an hour easy. The material that goes into making one only cost a couple of bucks, but don’t be surprised if we go with Plaction wheels on future robots.

Found my new desktop

I agree… these are awesome wheels. Kudos to Brenton and team 60.

I like the wheels, they have a very high aura of quality, and look similar to the type of part aerospace would make.

at 1/2 lb though, I imagine you could easily make them lighter. Visually I can see they have at least 3 times the spoke material versus 4" wheels I’ve successfully run.

Also, out of curiosity, is this just for fun, or is 60 ditching the live axled “west coast drive” for good?

One thing you might consider is using the sprocket mounting screws to hold the wheel together, so that you need less screws total. With so much material on the sideplates, I think they would be plenty stiff for this to work. Also, you might consider using a smaller sprocket to save weight in sprocket weight and chain weight.