Blog 33: DIY formula to creating high grip & comfort wheels
Hello everyone and Happy Thanksgiving!
I'm the designer of Hollow Wheels, a mechanical engineer with a background in designing everything from race car engines to sensor-embedded clothing. I've released and manufactured 20+ products and manufactured hundreds of thousands of units. But how did I get to that point? I'll tell you how. Today, I'm sharing an overview on how you can create your own customized wheels for monster grip, super comfort, or personal expression. It's the same process that I used to develop and fine tune the Hollow Wheels.
Hollow Wheels are light, absorbing large impacts and offering high grip with an integrated suspension insert for a customizable ride. It took 3 years and numerous iterations to design them.
Creating your own production ready wheels involves many iterations and user feedback before considering the expensive step of making molds, used to cost $20,000 to $50,000. But you can do it much cheaper, for as little as $300-1,000. Here's a guide on making your own wheels using urethane 80A or softer that lasts and without breaking the bank. If you have this equipment, then cheaper still - about $100 in materials. You'll need:
- 3D Printer (Creality is great and cost)
- PLA 3D printer filament (I like anything by Overture on Amazon)
- 3D modeling program (FreeCAD)
- Vernier caliper for dimensional measurements
Additional validation equipment can be explored in future posts. Get cast urethane from www.bjbenterprises.com - the best and easiest to work with.
1. Create the solid model of your wheel
2. Design a mold for urethane casting
3. Cast the urethane
4. Pop it out of the mold and ride!
Ask for feedback, make iterations, and repeat the process. Stay tuned for the next post on how to create the actual mold!
By the way, I am having a big Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal. The Hollow Wheels are on sale for as low as $129.99. With a purchase, you'll get a free pulley conversion kit, belts, bearings, and free suspension inserts, which is all worth $90 in value.