A definitive answer to whether or not PLA will work for wheel pulleys?

I’m working on my firstbbuild and 3d printing some wheel pulleys (credit @JuniorPotato93). Unfortunately, the printers I have access too are only allowed to use PLA. I’ve scoured the forums and some say PLA will disintegrate and using it on wheel pulleys is a death sentence. Others say that they’ve used PLA pulleys for hundreds of miles without so much as a ding. Has there been any consensus reached for this? I really don’t want to pay $75 for a set of a metal ones but if it’s my life on the line here…

That depends on how you ride. Maybe it would work for slow, flat cruising…? But sanity-check: this is the part which handles ALL of the motors work or power. Wouldn’t you want it’s reliability to be high? Also, there are cheaper than $75 solutions all over the place


as above, depends on how you ride. If your dumping alot of power through it, I wouldnt use PLA, its brittle and fatigues quicker than ABS/Nylon/Acetal. What wheels are you running? theres alot of options for comercialy available products that are made from resilient materials. If youve got your heart set on 3d printing and you can only access PLA, jump onto 3dhubs and find someone nearby that can print in more exotic materials. I purchased an Evolve drive gear last week from them, cost me $38 australian delivered to my door. I print ALOT, and i only use PLA for prototyping due to ease of use and printing.

I’m sure a forum member could print you something for a small fee

I see the largest problem with PLA to be the fact that it can be worn away from the pulley. The belts people use usually have a rather rough texture, now have that running over your pulley at a few k rpm, there is gonna be some friction.

But I will still test the PLA pulley, I am less afraid of this, since my pulley is going to be huge… spinning a 200mm wheel. So the stress will be distributed over more teeth, I hope it will hold up, I will see. My other option is to mill it myself, which is expensive… No one I have seen sells pulleys with so many teeth

PLA will absolutely work for 8" wheels! I just use PLA plus on my current build (hyperhubs + 15mm belt)

But i am going to test PLA vs PETG side by side on my next Iteration (Superstar hubs).

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More force on 36T pulleys tho, you can preheat PLA to make it stronger, check out Youtube

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I thought that process only made it harder…not so much stronger? or is it more like anealing to get the stress out of it?

I can print a pulley from ABS for you. PM me if you’re interested.

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I am testing 40T pulley in DAS FILAMENT PETG right now on my dual 6374 build. I am thinking of printing in PC if it doesn’t work, that shit is crazy strong and temp. resistant.

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Installed them along with new 107mm abec 11 and rode a couple of miles. They seem to be working great. Time will tell if the abuse and vibrations will kill the 3D printed pulleys.

So, Here is my experience: Used pulleys printed in ABS - lasted 100 miles before the tooth profile became very thin and the belt would slip. Used pulleys printed in PETG - after 100 miles showing very little signs of wear. Used pulleys printed in Nylon - no signs of wear after 300 + miles and used on non-bolted, Evolve style pulleys with good success. Granted, I have only used PLA for prototyping. It seems to brittle to use for wheel pulleys, in my opinion.


abs 100% infill here, approx 300 miles, good as new. pla worked fine too again 100% infill, only changed them because i printed them as a stop gap until id mastered ABS, I need the heat resistance as i keep my board in the car often. I have no doubt petg would last too.

There so many variables when 3d printing, two people could print the same thing with drastically different results. If its designed and printed well they will last.

Printed some 36T pulleys in Taulman 910. Seem to hold up ok, but because of shrink/warp, the accuracy is not perfect and they wear down the belts faster. I think PETG has an advantage there, but I would get some alu pulleys for safety reasons.