Back in May 2007 AndyMark, Inc. contacted Print To 3D to create a 3D prototype of a patent pending mecanum wheel. A mecanum wheel is a special type of wheel designed for multidirectional movement which is used in a wide variety of applications including forklifts, wheelchairs, and robotics. AndyMark designed this new 6" mecanum wheel to be ambidexterous which allowed them to save in manufacturing costs. Their previous 8" mecanum wheel design was not ambidexterous which resulted in higher manufacturing costs due to having seperate tooling for left-handed and right-handed wheels. Since the market for these wheels is small, keeping the overall manufacturing cost of these wheels down is very important for AndyMark.
AndyMark makes most of their products for robotics applications and markets them mostly to FIRST Robotics teams and hobbyists.
AndyMark was able to use our prototyping services to confirm that the side plates of these wheels assembled as planned before ever putting them into production. In addition to assembling pre production prototypes, AndyMark was also able to display these models to customers and their engineering department. By using our services AndyMark was able to get their wheels to market just in time for the 2008 FIRST Robotics Competition which started in January.
The prototype wheel plates FDM 3D printed by us:
The production wheel:
The wheel assemblies from AndyMark are now available on their webstore.