The need for custom wheels in RC Drift has never been bigger. Whether you are making a replica or just want to stand apart from the crowd, it never feels complete until you have the exact wheel model from the 1:1 world.
Because I found myself in that situation, I had to give a shot at 3D printing some kind of remedy, here is what happened:
From the get go I questioned if printing the entire wheel was even worthwhile. Turns out that having a single color wheel would be more tedious work down the road for paint prep and getting the right finish, so I opted to start with Tetsujin barrels to at least cut down the work in half.
After a couple tries, I came up with a few good results, but new challenges. The first one being that the Tetsujin barrels are a patented design, and that would shut the door to possibly selling the product out to you guys. The second issue was the support: see in 3D printing, when printing cavities and other hollow structure, you need to add a printed support. They look like squiggly lines supports that prevent your part from collapsing during the printing process. Here is where they became problematic, the hex of the wheel is filled with the support and breaking them off is a real pain in the @#%! RESULT: FAIL
I then went on to the MST barrels. The MST barrels are pretty good to work with as well. but the same issue of support materials showed up. Also at this stage I realized there is some slight issues when it comes to concentricity with the printed product. The custom faces, despite looking decent fitted inside the barrels, did not seem to want to spin straight at low speed until they harmonized at speed. Not really what I was after because this could potentially create major wheel hop and reduce chassis performances. RESULTS: FAIL
Just as a I was about to call it a quit, I remembered these wheels I had gotten a long time ago from when I bought the EA TT-02 GRT. These wheels were basically StreetJam Knock offs of the disc wheels. After a bit of research I found out that StreetJam actually makes a reversible model now available in may colors. I ended up ordering a bunch in all offsets to do some test. The great thing was that now, I did not have to worry about concentricity as much as the faces would only be a disc to be sandwiched between the rim and the wheel nut 😀
This cut down the printing time by almost 3 and is making it even more affordable to you guys.
After a quick sanding, an acetone vapor bath, and some paint here is the result.
The next step will be to see how good concave designs will come out, but so far, flat faces are a go! You can reach out to us with your request, however please note these wheels will be produce in very small quantities as they require a lot of finishing time that could prevent me from fullfilling the rest of your orders 😛 (we wouldn’t want that lol).
Prices will vary on printing time, complexity, and finishing time, but so far starting price will be around $25 for custome printed faces, light finish, and acetone bath. This will leave the final finish work and paint up to you.
If you are interested in getting yourself a set, feel free to fill out the form below with your info and face request. We are listening.