I have seen many designs for a double wheel flywheel, but have not seen any for more wheels. Besides space concerns, would there be any reason to not do a triple flywheel at 120 degrees apart? or a quad flywheel? With these the ball would only touch the wheels so the surface would not be effected. You would also have a greater contact area-time which would result in a better energy transfer.
In theory more contact on the ball sounds better, because it allows for better transfer of energy. But from my experience with wheeled shooters I have noticed that eliminating more variables leads to a more accurate system. With more wheels you would have to account for slight differences in the motors, axles, mountings , ect…
Another thing to think about is spin on the ball. With the multi wheel design some irregular spin could occur, which could also decrease accuracy.
In conclusions if it can be done with less wheels then you would probably find more success with a simpler system.
If you think it’ll be better, then you should try go for it and see for yourself if there are any upsides you can see compared to a 1/2 wheel shooter.
I myself see that it would either use/have:
- more than 2 motors
- a lot of parts/gears if you want to keep it <= 2 motors
- inconsistencies if motors/rpm output rates become different speeds and fight against each other.
A 3 wheeled launcher might actually work better than a 2 or 1 wheeled launcher if you gear them together so that there are not inconsistencies with spin and so that you can do it with 2 motors.