pic: VEX Mecanum Project:Done(ish)

Finally stopped prolonging the production of the VEX Mecanums I designed this past year. This is the resulting robot for a senior project that teamate, Ron Leibach, and I created. The wheels are made of 3 parts: the hub, spoke, and roller. We reproduced the wheels by using a urethane plastic from Smooth-On, the same company team 357 has used for their rollers in the past. After making the wheels, we have come up with a few design modifications to make them perform better and will be much more meticulous in our pouring technique to produce a better wheel.

Thanks to Andrew Adaman and Team 357 for helping consult with designs and manufacturing techinques.


They look good, they remind me of my mecanums from a few years ago, except well, better. How’s your speed with those because when I had mine they would strafe super slow? Also is there any kind of lubricant or anything between the rollers and the hub?

Here mine if you wanna check them out. http://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/photos/28631

Currently strafing is a bit slow, but tomorrow heat shrink will be added to the rollers for traction and graphite lubricant to reduce friction.

The plan for the next iteration is to use 1/4" shaft and bearings to have a very smooth roll.

Never thought of heat shrinking the rollers… might have to try that

I might have to try to make me some after I finish my vex tank with CMU cam.

Wow Chuck, thats absolutely amazing!

you need to tell me when your presentation is, I need to see that thing.

Very nice design, Chuck. Good job getting this done.

Andy Baker

Here’s a short video of Chuck & Ron’s Vex Mecanum robot.


This is a great example of how the FIRST community inspires and supports an idea. For three years both of these students were exposed to 357’s Jester Drive and the process for molding/manufacturing wheels and hubs. That initial spark and solid relationships turned into a project idea, and, with support from 357, Andrew, and others the project turned into reality.

While this is not the first or last Vex Mecanum drive we will ever see, it certainly was a fabulous learning experience for the students involved that brought together a well developed “at home” process (357’s roller/hub design), the use of our 3D printer, and the award winning Vex platform. All that and a great application of our school’s required senior project.

Chuck will be studying Mechanical Engineering at Drexel in the fall and Ron will be attending Case Western for Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering.

Now they both need to do well because everyone knows. No pressure, guys :wink:

so… Where are you selling these babies? :slight_smile:


VERY impressive work gentlemen. I guess I’d better watch my back if I want to keep my job!

Kudos on an excellent design. It is especially cool that you actually took the time to get these built. Anyone can draw something in CAD, but it takes some real work to get a design fully functional. (It also shows real character to continue to improve a “completed” design.) I imagine you learned quite a bit from this process.