pic: Wheel Idea 1


My first wheel design. I know that it is not structurally sound, and that it would not be usable. I was hoping that the wonderful people of Chief Delphi would be able to help me out on how to help it along.

(Yes. I know the spokes are off sync. For the sake of judging, please pretend they are in sync. I will fix this on my second go around)

Wheel diameter - 4.25"
Axel - .5" for now. Will be taken down to 3/8" next go round.

Thanks everyone,

P.S. Sorry for the poor picture quality. I didn’t realize I forgot to change the resolution of the picture. Here is a link to a better resolution.

It’s kind of hard to tell with the grainy picture, but it appears that you have a fillet all around your spokes and where the spokes contact the hub/rim. These will be nasty to machine, so you might consider increasing the radii of the ones going in the same direction as the axis of rotation of the wheel (the ones that can be cut by a mill bit when the wheel is laying flat), and getting rid of the other ones completely (if this is confusing, just tell me).

Also, how are you CADing the spokes? If you try a circular pattern, you shouldn’t end up with spokes that aren’t “in sync,” as you put it.

Good start, though.


First off, just a couple of quick questions. Is that made in Solidworks and why is it rendered so small? :wink:

Now to some suggestions:

-Are you planning to go “live” axles? If not and are planning to go dead axles, the bore has to be .875 or 1.125 due to the fact you have to press a bearing in there with an ID of 1/2" or 3/8".

-Also the sponsor that does our wheels, they like to buy 4" rod stock. Then pocket out the wheel which their CNC lathe and then take it on mill. After that they come back through and shave it down to 3.875.

Example shown here. When that pic was taken it was 4". So I took it on the lathe the at work and shaved it down.

-How thick is the hub? Since a lot of weight is there.

-How are you planning to attach this to a sprocket (or is it a “Live” wheel). If you are going to attach a sprocket to it. I recommend using a 1.875 bolt pattern which interfaces to all of AndyMark’s aluminum sprockets.

-How thick are spokes? I usually make the spokes between 3/16" and 1/4" thick. Also may want to go with spokes like this since thisor increase the contact with the hub. Btw that wheel linked is super thick, it could go on a diet. :wink:

-Last question, I promise. How heavy is it?

Great start and continuing CAD’n away.


P.s. If you need further detailed help please send me a PM or IM.

Thanks for the hint. I’ll be sure to get rid of those. (I should thought about that…)

I am still learning Solidworks. Using inventor I would have just done a circular pattern. With SolidWorks I still don’t know where that is.

Yes, it was indeed made in SolidWorks. (Which I am finally getting the hang of.) I forgot to change the resolution… Ill post a link to a bigger one.

Honestly I don’t know the difference between “live” and “dead” axles. Could you possibly explain that RC?

On spoke thickness… Not very thick. I’ll probably end up changing the whole spoke design. Right now its still in the design stage.

Weight… I can’t find were SolidWorks says that yet. I’m going to keep looking. But as I said. it’s not final yet. :stuck_out_tongue:

Next to “Linear Pattern” there should be a small arrow. Click it, and it shows “Circular Pattern.”

A “live” axle is when the axle is connected to the wheel in a way that it spins with the wheel (key/hex), and the sprocket is attached to the axle (key/hex). So the sprocket spins the axle, which spins the wheel. The axle is supported by bearings.

A “dead” axle is where the sprocket is attached directly to the wheel, and bearings are on the wheel. The axle doesn’t spin.

Sounds Great.

The difference between dead and live

Dead is where there is a bearing in the wheel and it freely spins on a shaft.

Example 1 - Wheels freely spin on the axle and power other wheels through sprockets which are connected to the wheels.

Live is where the wheel has some sort of spline (such as key) or hex so that the wheel turns the shaft.

Example 2 - The Gearbox powers the shaft through sprockets, which turn the shaft, which turns the wheel aka “Live” Axles.

Weight is found by going Evaluate -> Mass Properties. But you have to set your material on the feature tree. If you confused on material, just plug in aluminum t6 6061.


Well that was easy… Thanks alot! :smiley: Going to make my life so much easier. :smiley:

Ah. Ok. That makes sense. Our robot last year had dead axles. Thanks for the explanation. :smiley:

Ah. It says mass is .50 pounds… (Akash beat you to the material. :P)

Great start Rion, you’re definitely getting there. 1st smart move- learning Solidworks haha.

RC and Eugene already gave any suggestions I had, so all I can offer is help with rendering if you need it. Let myself or RC know if you have SW questions.

A good way to learn about good and strong wheel designs is to search through CD and also features on AndyMark wheels. The Performance Serieswheels are some of the best designed you can find out there.

Keep it up dude.:slight_smile:

I have to second the importance of considering the construction of a part when designing it. I know your not to the building stage yet, but its good to keep in mind from the point where you start drafting out the details. I’ve learned this the hard way. One year I had the welder put our frame together before I had the machinist drill our holes for the shaft. Needless to say, neither was happy with me. If you consider the construction while designing, it saves you from the disheartening changes that completely change your vision at the last second.

Other then that: I like the way it looks. I can’t really judge it much more then that because I’ve never really designed a wheel myself.

PS: Fillets and Chamfers are a draftsmen’s best friend. They tend to make everything look better. However, they are also the machinist’s enemy. Would you rather befriend the fillet or the machinist? Choose carefully.

Right sized fillets in the right places can also make your part much stronger.

I would rather befriend the machinit of course. But am also going to be keeping in mind this. The cutting bit is round… Some fillets need to be made and wont be hard to do.

A few more SolidWorks tips. Define the material in the part then the material will pass to the assembly, drawing and analysis.

  1. Right click Material in the FeatureManager. Select the Material.
  2. Click the ConfigurationManager (yellow icon on top of the FeatureManager)
  3. Right click Default in the ConfigurationManager. Select Properties.
  4. Click the Custom Properties button. Select Material from the drop downlist. Select Material from the Value Expression box. The material is now assigned.

When you go to the assembly the mass of each part will now be included. When you go to the drawing, the material will be displayed in the title block and the inserted Bill of Materials (use the BOM material template)

You can add many custom properties to your parts. Some of the ones that help with robot part design are part number, description, surface finish, and you can create custom properties such as cost.

Remember in millimeter-gram-seconds, you are calculating mass.

For a pretty photorealistic image, try Photoview 360. This is a seperate application outside of SolidWorks 2009-2010. Marie