by MakerBot, published

Wheely by MakerBot May 25, 2012

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Wheely by MakerBot is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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Wheely, Pullus Sine Fuga Ex Machina.

 Wheely is a domesticated subspecies of the common Flightless Aircraft.   

 Found in the disused aerodromes of the southwestern deserts, Wheelies descend from earlier generations of autonomous UAV's.  They live in rigorously organized communities called squadrons and spend most of their lives socializing.  

 Largely ambivalent to other mechanical organisms, Wheely retains his ancestors ability to detect electric fields.  

Created By Michael Curry (Skimbal)


Wheely is intended as a project for the skilled maker. To complete this project, you will need to read a circuit diagram, solder a wiring harness, upload a sketch to an Arduino, and assemble a precisely designed Japanese gearbox.

Printing on the MakerBot Replicator takes approximately 30 hours, and assembly time is 4 to 6 hours.

Refer to Wheely Instructions.pdf for detailed assembly instructions.

-Michael Curry (Skimbal)

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Beyond just printing the parts; which I have had a chance to do. Has anyone successfully gotten the arduino code to work properly with the motor driver board suggested in the instructions. I'm thinking perhaps the code is so outdated now that it no longer works. If I follow the instructions, I am unable to get the motors to run.

Hi Chris,

What I am doing is that I connected an xbee to the pololu motor controller. So I can send wireless the serial commands from an other arduino. When I am finished I will share the code here.

How do you print in 2 colors? Also, how can I print multiple parts in one build? i'm using a replicator dual extrusion. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


I have loaded the wheel into replicatorG and with the default size; it gives an error that the object is bigger than my replicator can print, does anyone know how to get it to work, and are there any other parts like this?

It gave me the same error, but I went ahead anyway, eyeing it cautiously.. but it worked! Hope yours does too!

Thanks for responding, did you have the wheel centered, or did you move it?

This is a fantastic project! Thank you for sharing

Are the left and right rockets backward for anyone else? I ended up having to place the left rocket on the right side, and vice-versa. This is assuming that the left side means left side of Wheely when it is facing away from you (as if you were both staring in the same direction).

So I printed a wheel/tire, and while I found it to be perfectly round, the edges (top and bottom when printed) seem to have a different curve and/or height. Is this just mine or have others seen this too?

I had the same problem, it has something to do with the plasic curling up as it prints, the bottom, overhanging, part of the wheel ends up being less round. My remedy for this was to split the wheel into two halves and then add screw holes so I can screw the two halves together.

Nice bot!

I am printing it now. I wanted to see if you could upload the SKP file for the treaded wheel? I wanted to see if I could add a second color to the tread pattern using the dual extruder. Thanks!

Has anyone printed Rocket Right or Rocket Left? It appears that the nose of the rocket is lifted from the bed just a bit. I keep having the nose lift off the bed and I know my bed is plenty sticky. I am trying a slightly higher temp to see if I can get better stick.

So nothing seems to help. The rockets won't print without lifting the nose off the platform and warping the print. Has anyone been able to print one? :(

It looks like the rocket stl files are rotated a little off so they aren't flat. You'll need to rotate the model by a few degrees so the base is flat on the ground.

I am using an ultimaker and slicing with Cura. I had the same problem with the rockets being not completely flat. I easily fixed this by using the "Cut off object bottom" feature with 0.5mm setting.

Just out of curiousity I wonder if anyone has had success printing this yet. These have been the toughest prints I've had to try and get working.

The tail doesn't seem to be working. I can't slice it either with Slic3r 8.2 or with Kisslicer either. I've tried running it through Netfab and it doesn't make a difference. When I try and view the STL I get an error saying that the file is invalid.

Also on the rockets left/right they seem to be slightly tilted, so only about 1/2 the first layer prints. Then on the second layer it tries to print the entire rocket outline, but of course fails because it's too high off the bed.

Can't wait to get this resolved, I've got the electronics ready t
o go!!!

This is absolutely wicked awesome! I see it took 30 hours to print but how long to design and develop? This reeks of hours behind the scenes. Very inspirational, way to kick it up a notch! :-D

Great robot.

I will need/ask the assistance of a friend for the arduino stuff, but please explain what makes it move around? I don't understand the sensor meaning.....

rgrds Thomas

This is very awesome. Videos please!

Super Awesome. My kids have been bugging me to make one of these after they played with them at the Maker Faire. How did they hold up in the robot petting zoo?

Another masterwork by Skimbal!