Thoughts on 3D printed pulley system?

I am under the impression that pulleys will wear down over time and the teeth will start to decay but this is my best option given my time constraint (Class Project Due Date).

What do you guys think about 3D printing both motor and wheel pulleys with an aluminum motor mount? Is this a huge waste of my time by chance?

  • I assume a few people have given this a go with mixed results and I would love to hear them! Any harsh criticism welcome.

Wheel pulley can certainly be 3D printed, you just have to choose right material…

this guy makes them from ABS+ I don’t know much about 3d printing but I would use fiber-reinforced nylon…there are sometopics about this already…just try to search… For a Motor I would use steel pulley, 3D printed would wore out quickly (by my opinion)
1 Like

I say print with whatever you can get your hands on for the deadline and worry about a permanent solution later.


PETG works too for the wheel pulley. Have a hundred miles on mine so far with no wear. I think the motor pulley might not work for long, but those are cheap to buy in metal.

1 Like

As for printing wheel belt…

From an FRC robotics thread that i also use! Not sure if it will work for our high torque applications…

Edit: thought you ment the belt sorry but people have printed belts!

1 Like

i have printed a few and i find after 30-50 miles i start getting problems with them slipping due to wear so i went over to aluminium.

1 Like

For the wheel pulley they work great, not so much on the motor, since you have few tooth in mesh with the belt the forces that the teeth has to endure is way higher

My 3D printed motor pulley lasted a couple kilometers until a teeth broke apart, on other way the wheel one has more than 500Km so far and only now I’m beginning to see wear

Both printed on ABS, other material have better wear resistance and should last longer

1 Like

Oh that is super cool! I didn’t even consider being able to actually print the belt but I guess it does make sense for a prototype build. Thanks :slight_smile: