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Making Tires with 3D Printed Molds

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Making Tires with 3D Printed Molds

Old 05-25-2023, 12:57 PM
  #136  
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The last test failed, like the previous ones. Discussing with the resin manufacturer, I got some hints of what could work, and I will retry soon with those new enhancements made to the models.

Beside this, I was in a vintage event last week-end (Montluçonnaise 2023) with 16 of my cars and ran almost all of them, and that included both the Samurai and the Ninja with printed tires on the offroad track... The printed tires performed well in both case. I'm very happy with the traction and they way the cars behave with them...

And there was a short movie made at the end of the Samurai run (the last few minutes of the run unfortunately)...
https://www.facebook.com/660479312/v...3463924952838/

The Samurai is light and there was plenty of grip with the tires... And that was somewhat similar for the Ninja : plenty of grip, with a layout close to the Optima. I was really surprised how well this one was during the run. And with a Sport Tuned motor, there was largely enough to open wide, with a very predictable behavior, like the Turbo Optima or the Javelin (but lighter than those)...

Tires conclusion : they work well on the track. I can improve the printability by changing a few things in the internal design, and once this will be done, they will be ready for publication...
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Old 06-10-2023, 11:46 AM
  #137  
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A lot of good info here. Nice effort, and thanks for sharing!!

How do the molds hold up? ever consider using silicone molds off of 3D printed positive forms? Might be more work with supports etc. to deal with, but just throwing it out there.

Last edited by Rallyfever; 06-10-2023 at 11:49 AM. Reason: rewording
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Old 06-13-2023, 06:44 AM
  #138  
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The molds hold up pretty well. I've not had a mold really noticeably degrade with use - if anything they get easier to use. The only time I've broken molds is when I didn't use enough mold release and I had to rip the mold pieces apart to get back the o-rings and hardware inside.

I haven't been very active on this project recently. For a while I was making tires to sell and that was just burning me out. Now that I've had sufficient time away I'm ready to get back into it without the stress/pressure of trying to sell anything. I want to experiment with silicone because it's cheaper and easier to work with than polyurethane but more importantly I think it will be grippier. Right now I'm working on a new tread pattern that I'm calling MAC - it's a repeating pattern of plus and multiplication sign shaped treads. I thought it was a neat idea and it looks good in the model. Anyway, the plan is to print a mold and make 4 tires to try out on my 1/12 buggy using a cheap 30A silicone like the kind you can find on Amazon.
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Old 06-13-2023, 01:16 PM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by RC10Nick
The molds hold up pretty well. I've not had a mold really noticeably degrade with use - if anything they get easier to use. The only time I've broken molds is when I didn't use enough mold release and I had to rip the mold pieces apart to get back the o-rings and hardware inside.

I haven't been very active on this project recently. For a while I was making tires to sell and that was just burning me out. Now that I've had sufficient time away I'm ready to get back into it without the stress/pressure of trying to sell anything
Since I started my 3D printing journey, one of the reasons I share files is because I don't want to produce or print for anyone else than myself because my standards are not the ones a people who would pay for a printed parts... Many people are contacting me and the only thing I'm doing is defering and saying that the time I'll share files when I'm sure they are right and easy to print with proper instructions, and it is not perfect yet. And I'll look carefully at what you are going to do with 30A shore silicon, as there is no resin for 3D print with a shore that low (and I may need to get some tires for some on-road cars)
I've run my Ninja over the week-end among other cars, and since I wanted a video I handed my remote to someone else to drive it for me...
https://youtu.be/T727VPwwQPI
Like for the Samurai, the tires work pretty well, and over the time of runs, there is no notable wear, which is quite expected on this type of track...

On the other side, I still did not succeed to print other tires with the second candidate resin. I was about to give up, and the resin manufacturer provided few elements in addition to those provided earlier. I'll have to test with the resin I still have, but this resin witha lower shore seems quite difficult to print compared to the other one. Not sure it can work, but I still need to try. I also need to test out the printed mold for Big Bear tire halve. The injector will need a reprint, I have the needed o-rings, and I should be able to do something here within the next few weeks...
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Old 06-14-2023, 06:33 AM
  #140  
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Yeah, the standards for a tire I'm comfortable selling are way higher than the standards for a tire I'm happy to use myself and also higher than the quality of tires I'm able to consistently make every time. In the end it lost any fun it originally had and I just wasn't making enough. I may still sell tires from time to time if I hit on something really good, but for now I'm only going to make and work on things I WANT to make for fun, not things I think will sell.

I'm glad to see your printed tires are working well. I hope you can figure out your resin issues.
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Old 06-16-2023, 11:58 AM
  #141  
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Well, it's a partial success...



I had some very old 30A silicone sitting around I thought I'd try. Not all of it cured, and when I was trying to figure out what happened I noticed the part B looked like it separated in the bottle so I think that explains the problem. I couldn't seem to fix it so I just tossed it

Otherwise I was still able to got some useful info out of it. I really like the tread pattern and I'm pleased with how well they came out in the final tire. That's going to stay. What did cure is more than tough enough that I'm confident it would survive use as a tire on a 1/10 car without tearing. What I'm less certain about is how well the silicone will stay glued to the wheels. I glued up this tire (the part that cured) to a wheel this morning and let it sit for a few hours. I could pull pretty hard on the tire and the glue seemed to hold really well, but there was one spot that didn't stick as well and I was able to pull it up with some effort. Once that part pulled up, it wasn't too hard to get more to pull up. I have a feeling that keeping the silicone glued to the wheel is going to be the hardest part.
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Old 06-17-2023, 05:55 AM
  #142  
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Not sure for the silicone, but I can tell that with rubber or with resin printed tires, the internal diameter being smaller .5mm compared to the diameter of the rims slot make a good fit and with walls at 30° around the slot (to avoid support while printing the rims), the tires are not moving... I guess that you may have an issue with more power, but ultimately, I believe reducing a bit more the internal diameter of the tiere will make it strong enough...
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Old 06-20-2023, 02:45 PM
  #143  
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I learned that lesson very early on. Tires with the same diameter as the mounting surface are a pain in the butt to glue. And glue is very necessary with a rubber this soft and tires spinning even moderately fast.

I went on Amazon and ordered some cheap silicone. It's the "Let's Resin" brand 30A silicone. I've made two tires with it for my 1/12 buggy and so far so good. There's some slight cure inhibition, but weirdly only on the outside of the mold. Everything inside the mold always cures fully. I don't understand it but it's not causing me problems (yet) so I'm just rolling with it.

I've glued up both tires and ran them around my basement track and with a 4wd car it's much harder to tell how much of a difference they make compared to the stock tires. I've also been running them pretty gently because I don't want them to rip apart before I've had a chance to try them at an actual dirt track. They certainly feel much grippier in my hand.

Anyway, here's some pics:



If anything I like the way silicone looks better than polyurethane. It seems to have more of a matte appearance. Another nice perk of the silicone is I haven't been using any mold release even with a brand new mold.

I'm debating if I want to test these 1/12 tires before making some 1/10 tires or if I just want to jump right into making 1/10 tires. I'm leaning towards "eff it, just do what you really want to do anyway" and having a hard time coming up with a counterargument other than "it's gonna cost more $$$ especially if it doesn't work out."
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Old 07-01-2023, 11:09 AM
  #144  
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Decided what the heck and made some 1/10 buggy rears with the silicone:


I ran them at the track last night and they were awful. I didn't even run them long enough to see if glue would hold up they were that bad. I think the 60A polyurethane I use for carpet tires was better on the dirt than these things were.

I think the issue is even though the silicone feels very grippy when I'm just holding it in my hands, if I press the tire really hard into a surface it just feels a bit greasy and slides around. It's almost like it has less grip the more you load it.

Not sure what's next. Maybe I'll get some Vytaflex in a softer shore rating and experiment with that.
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Old 07-01-2023, 12:04 PM
  #145  
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Yeah , I pretty much consider using silicone for really light stuff, or like you said its "greasy " feeling .. It works for the micro scale cars because they are under 200g rtr, so they dont seem "squirmy" unless your pushing things really hard. Oh ,and the silicone doesnt like dirt at all.. best hook up is on clean surfaces.. Main thing I really like it for is running on clean linoleum tile or smooth finished concrete, but anything dusty it just picks up the dust and it clings to the silicone. also , try those tires again in a couple weeks .. the silicone seems to continue curing for days/a week after the initial cure.. They get less greasy as the cure progresses.
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Old 08-05-2023, 04:19 PM
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Hello all,

Really enjoyed reading this thread, I have been wondering about the production of RC tires for a long time as well and have found some interesting resources.

The following is a thesis by a university of Twente discussing all stages of RC tyre production based on rubber compouds: essay(.)utwente(.)nl/94874/1/Lagerweij_MA_final(.)pdf (sorry remove the parenthesis, im not allowed to post links sorry.)

Hope you find it helpful.

Olivier
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Old 09-13-2023, 08:12 AM
  #147  
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Another follow up on the silicone 2.2" buggy rears:

+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


I've been using them to test and tune my buggy on my basement track. They survived for a while under 17.5t power, but with a 10.5t in my car now the tires are starting to rip apart. Before they started ripping they still drove and felt like a "real" tire - no weird wandering or squirming. They transitioned from gripping to sliding and back just like a normal tire. They just felt like the wrong compound tire, that's all. Everything else feels pretty "normal" about them.

Now that these are ripping apart I'm thinking of getting some VytaFlex 40 so I can make some more tires to run on my basement track. I think for now that's where I'm going to get real value out of these tires - using them to drive for fun at home without burning up my good race tires.
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Old 10-31-2023, 05:30 AM
  #148  
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I finally bought myself some Vytaflex 40A well after the end of the outdoor racing season. I've been having a lot of fun with my Mini-B recently on my basement track and needed some new rears and figured it would be more fun to make some tires rather than buy any. I printed out a new mold with my MAC tread design and made two tires with enough So-Flex II mixed into the resin to get roughly a 30A hardness. After a heated post cure these tires feel pretty soft, pretty close to the JC greens I've been trying to target for the longest time. On my basement track they are awesome! They might be the grippiest tires I've made for my Mini-B. It's the most grip I've ever felt on a surface that wasn't turf/carpet. The only downside is at 30A they're wearing down pretty quick on the concrete floor but so far I haven't noticed any performance drop off. I might try 40A next time to see how the grip levels and wear rate change.


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Old 10-31-2023, 06:00 PM
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Nice tread design. Thanks for the updates
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Old 11-01-2023, 07:39 AM
  #150  
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Thanks! Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks its a decent idea. I saw AKA has been working on a somewhat similar design, the Lux. Their X's are all connected diagonally and their +'s are 4 smaller pins in a + shaped pattern, and their tread pattern is packed much more densely than mine, but it's easy to see they had the same basic idea I had and maybe even around the same time. I first posted my design back in June. The first results I can find on google for the Luxs are in the August/September time frame. Based on how long it probably takes Aka to design and produce a tire it's not unreasonable to think we were both designing similar tires at the same time! How cool is that?

Anyway, today I went through and updated my first and second posts in this thread. I made the first post more of an overview of the project and added links to the various resources I've produced over time to make it more of a starting point for anyone looking to try this on their own. The second post has been re-formatted and updated with all of my latest knowledge on resins and print settings for the molds. Since I'm no longer selling tires I plan on dumping as much info as I can and sharing more of my most up to date mold designs with the goal of hopefully making this project easier to get into for others.
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Last edited by RC10Nick; 11-01-2023 at 11:08 AM.
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