#2232: TreeWheeler

In a conventional spoked wheel, most of the stress is concentrated where spokes meet rim.

One solution is to beef-up the outer ends of the spokes, but this boosts the moment of inertia enormously, overcoming any benefit from the use of lightweight alloy, for example.


Today’s invention is therefore to manufacture wheels which have a strong but lightweight, triangular mesh of spokes near the outer edge.

The form that these wheels might take is indicated above and is based on a Wolfram Demonstrations Project.

This kind of fractal-based design allows for a more effective distribution of stress and might be made relatively easily by additive manufacture using a 3D sintering machine (if they can do gearwheels then roadwheels should also be feasible).


  1. Does this reduce the amount of metal needed?

    + Add a “twirl” in the mesh to compensate for the forces when the wheel is at top speed/ full break.
    + if some of the spokes are pistons it might help with breaking.

    • I believe it could be designed to achieve a much better than current combination of strength per unit mass. Actually doing the design calculation is non-trivial (especially with a copy of Mathematica). Since the lightest wheel is one with thin spokes and the strongest is a solid disc, it seems to me that some intermediate solutions which are significantly better. Clearly a wheel with several fat spokes is in this category of better solutions, but I’m sure it is not the best. Only now do we have the ability to a) undertake the analysis and b) manufacture the result.

      If anyone wants to fund a design project, then I’d be happy to contribute.

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