Many robot builders and RC enthusiasts find themselves turning to 3D printed tires. The benefit is you can make them in any size and style you want, and they’re as readily available for as long as your home printer is still working. [Michael Rechtin] printed some up and decided to see how long they’d actually last in use.
[Michael] printed a pair of tires for the test. One was made in TPU on a typical FDM printer, while the other was printed in flexible resin. The tires were then installed on hubs and fitted with gear motors for drive. The assembly was then fitted to the end of a test tether that would turn in circles for hours to put mileage on the tires.
After many hours and around 10 miles of testing, both tires were showing signs of wear. Notably, the resin tires showed a lot more wear than the TPU version, suggesting the latter material is a better choice for printing hard-wearing tires.
Overall, it’s reminiscent of the tether testing we saw from [rctestflight] recently. There’s something compelling about thrashing something round in circles to learn something in the process! Video after the break.