Introduction: Is this right for me?
Before embarking on this journey, the first question to ask yourself is, "Is this for me?".
Well, it might seem a little intimidating at first, and honestly, it sometimes is too. To build your own Funwheel, you would need at least a basic understanding of a VESC, some soldering skills, basic electronic knowledge (what's battery positive, negative), and some experience or know-how of handling lithium-ion or Li-po batteries. If you have a 3D printer and some knowledge to operate it, that will make your Funwheel a lot cheaper, otherwise the 3D printed parts can be purchased from folks in the community or other channels.
If you've already worked on FPV drones, or electric skateboards, or even electronics projects like Arduinos, or used 3D printers, then you will be right at home. if you have done other projects that require troubleshooting for hours, sh!t not working for no reason (programmers hello..), and have experience pulling your hair out at your DIY projects, this project will be a piece of cake for you.
If none of the above is you, but you've got heart, you wanna dive into this and do it, then the Fungineers team, and the Funwheel Community is here to support you with your (sometimes) stupid questions, on our Discord Channel and other forums.
Well, if you're still reading, then you're just as miserable as we are, and would rather spend your weekend making your wheel spin rather than partying, then welcome aboard. You are now a Fungineer, and we will take you on a magical ride. We promise you won't regret it.
The good news:
Although all the above might seem daunting, the truth is, building a Funwheel is now easier than ever! When we started 3-4 years ago, there were no products available and we had to literally invent some products to make it easier for people like you. Alright enough self-righteous banter- lets begin!
Step 1: Planning your build
You know what they say: Well begun is half done. So the first question you should be asking yourself is, what am I building? Here's some questions that will narrow down your preferences:
1. Do I have an existing XR that I want to convert to a DIY Funwheel?
If this is the case, you can reuse the XR battery, the XR motor and XR rails. Or You can pick and choose depending on your liking and requirements.
If this is you, then please follow this separate guide: Convert your XR to a Funwheel - Step by Step guide.
2. Do I want to Build a Funwheel from Scratch?
If you dont plan to use any FM parts (ahem), which I would highly recommend you dont, then keep reading!
Step 2: Getting/ Building all the needed parts:
Ok, now that we know we want to build a brand new Funwheel, we need the following parts to be either bought or built:
A. Motor: There really is no debate about this one. The Superflux is the most powerful and resilient 6" Hub motor on the planet. You can buy it here from the fungineers store.
B. Rails: You would need a set of rails. Some old XR rails from the used market will do too, but why not get yourself the Thunder rails, with variable position settings, with free Aluminium lids and gaskets to support your 3d printed enclosures.
C. VESC: You would need a vesc too, of course. This is the controller of your Funwheel that actually does teh balancing and driving. We recommend the Little FOCer built by our very own community. There are also cheaper alternatives like the SPintend Ubox that would work just fine.
D. Battery: This is a big one. Typically, a 15S2P battery would be enough to compete with an XR, but our Funwheel ST design allows for a 20S2P 18650 battery to be easily fit in the Battery box. There is also a version of the battery box that can fit a 20S2P 21700 battery!
The bigger the battery, the more power you have (more speed and range!), here is a video explaining which battery is best for you.
Typically, we would build our own battery, but building Lithium Ion batteries is no easy task and requires delicate care.
Here is me building a 20S2P battery for my very own Funwheel ST.
If battery building is not your Forte, here are some Battery builders that we recommend:
F. Enclosures and Hardware:
G. Wiring Harness:
Step 3: Printing Your Funwheel Parts