Business Card w/ Working Planetary Gears

by staffert, published

Business Card w/ Working Planetary Gears by staffert Jan 13, 2010

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We love phooky's work.

When we saw the card, we needed to make a few for our selves.

Now the guys here never leave to see a customer without a sample card in their pockets. Yes, all the gears turn.

Hope this gives back a little to the community.

Had to redo the card back file as it omitted the sun gear, also resubmitted the ring gear as it was corrupted.


  1. Print using favorite 3D printer.
  2. Post finish, sand, paint and season to taste as desired.**
  3. Assemble with your own flavor of glue. (We use cyano-acrylate)
  4. Feel smug & cool.

** We like to use our colour (color) 3D printer to really make the card pop! If you want one like that too, just call us at www.protofacturing.com.

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Mar 10, 2015 - Modified Mar 10, 2015

When I try to slic3 this to print, I keep getting errors:
01:18:43.437 : Unable to close this loop having 1 points
01:18:43.437 : Unable to close this loop having 1 points
01:18:43.437 : Unable to close this loop having 1 points
and this repeats for many many more lines, ending with:
01:28:02.187 : => Processing triangulated mesh
01:28:02.687 : No layers were detected. You might want to repair your STL file(s) or check their size and retry.
01:39:44.843 : => Processing triangulated mesh
01:39:44.906 : No layers were detected. You might want to repair your STL file(s) or check their size and retry.
01:41:04.359 : => Processing triangulated mesh
01:41:04.406 : No layers were detected. You might want to repair your STL file(s) or check their size and retry.
01:43:40.828 : => Processing triangulated mesh
01:43:40.875 : No layers were detected. You might want to repair your STL file(s) or check their size and retry.

At first it said the model wasn't manifold, and I used netfabb to repair it, then the above happened. What have I done wrong?

I'm going to print this because my 3D printing youtube channel is 3DP (3D Printist)

Oct 22, 2014 - Modified Oct 22, 2014
staffert - in reply to The3DPrintist

Dude, as long as you give credit where credit is due. FYI my real name is Sean Taffert. www.taffert.com.

To all that have had a hard time printing this object....
This was printed on a Z-Corp 650. It was printed in pieces and assembled.
It can be printed on most other machines, as long as you think.
Yes, it may need support material, but you can always redesign it.

I am a bit confused.
The Front.stl has nubs on both the bottom and the top of the object, making 90% of it overhang. So you must print with support.

The pictures of your card make it look like the top is level on the top side. If that is the case, you could print without support and life would be easier. Perhaps you just sanded it smooth?

Sadly it's unprintable because the gear clamp doesn't sit on the build plate!!!!

Others have had no problem, just reposition the shell on the base. I don;t know what software you use, but it shouldn't be to difficult.

any chance of storing the stl files also in DXF for us laser engraver guys?? thx GMT

Now THAT is a business card!

Why, thank you.

Files need to be blown up by a multiple of 25.4 to be the correct size for a business card(my guess inches used instead of mm). Also card front.stl gets errors when try to slice and the clips on it make it unprintable anyways on a makerbot once you pull that piece out of the full thing. removing the raise edge on the top side and flipping it upside down though would make it printable.

STL files don't have units, but yes, it was done in inches.

It has to be assembled, so I don't see why you can't print the individual parts. Others have done it.

I would print this on a Makerbot in a hackerspace, which mean I would have to pay by the minute. I would love to make this, but I don't know if I can afford it. How long will it take to print everything out?


We could print one for you, but the issue isn't print time, it's consumed material and assembly.

I could make you a deal on a kit that requires assembly.

contact us. http://www.protofacturing.comwww.protofacturing.com

Does it use up a lot of material? Because the place I go to has materials included in pricing, but they probably have a cut-off to how much you can use.


I also updated the back of the card to include the sun gear merged into the back so one less thing to glue.

The sun+ring file doesn't seem to be downloadable. I have a sneaking suspicion this is because of the + in the name.

Just use the full kit for now, I will have to fix that tomorrow at work.

That is gorgeous! I love how the planet gears are almost completely exposed.

Back at ya!

Nice work on the gear evolution. That must have taken some time.