Bobble Shakers !

by EricYoung, published

Bobble Shakers ! by EricYoung Sep 13, 2012

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Salt and Pepper shakers that will ever so sneakily bobble and wobble their way into your life :)

Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD1UP_NhgT8

The weighted, round bottom of these shakers makes them wobble and spin around without tipping over. If you use BB's to weigh them down they'll also make a cool Maraca-like sound when you shake them. Bonus!

I used a .5mm nozzle with .15mm layer height in PLA for my build and the threads came out perfectly on my super-duper Tantillus printer:


Steps: (look at the PDF assembly drawing for pictorials and BOM)

  1. Print each part. Remove the support portion of the BottomHalf piece and sand down the rounded bottom so it's nice and smooth.
  2. Fill the BottomHalf piece with a weighty material. I used BB's as the weight because they're heavy and make a cool shaking sound when you dispense the salt/pepper, but all kinds of other things would work too. If you use a fine-grain material like sand then I'd recommend gluing the seam between the TopHalf and BottomHalf pieces so the material doesn't fall out.
  3. Balance a #8-32 x 1 inch long (or M4 x 25mm long) flat head phillips screw on the top of a screwdriver as shown in the second attached image, then lower the TopHalf piece over the screw carefully so that the screw goes through the hole.
  4. Put a few drops of glue in the hole of the Plug piece and then insert it into the hexagonal hole in the bottom of the BottomHalf piece (careful not to spill any of the weight material :)
  5. Place the TopHalf piece onto the BottomHalf piece and tighten the screw into the Plug.
  6. Fill the TopHalf piece with salt or pepper or whatever else you want, twist on the Cap and bobble away to your hearts content!

The Solidworks file attached has the TopHalf, BottomHalf and Cap parts all in the same file (as separate/split bodies) if you want to play around with the native file and change stuff. I was thinking of making a Cap with the Steven Colbert bust, but haven't tried yet ;)

There are two different Cap piece STL files - one with a rounded top and one with a flat top

Be sure to use 'food grade' filament when printing the parts if you're concerned about the health hazards of your spices coming into contact with non-food grade plastics

You can mix in a lighter weight material with a heavier material to get a good weight for the base. I ended up using BB's and little plastic pellets in about a 1:1 ratio myself, which gives a nice bobble effect when 3/4 filled with salt.

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Just added a couple larger cap STL's (the 37mm ones) after BrokenDrum informed me that most printers probably won't be able to  make the originals with a tight enough tolerance. 

Thanks to BrokenDrum for the heads-up and for the STL's that he created - I should have posted them a couple weeks ago when he sent them to me, but got lazy.

I love it when design, aesthetics and functionality comet together and when it's then still printable ;-)
Great idea - just printing it in translucent PLA with a 0.35mm nozzle and 0.25mm layer height - let's see how it comes out.

and please: more of that.


Sep 19, 2012 - Modified Mar 31, 2015
EricYoung - in reply to Helmi74

Thanks Helmi. It means a lot to me that you'd say that because functional/aesthetic design is something I'm trying to move towards in my designs.

lt;- two thumbs up

They would be good on a sail boat :) rolling with the waves rather than sliding
amp; tipping over.

Thanks heaps Micheal. I was thinking about your boat idea because I really like the application and it occurred to me that if you dipped the bottoms in a vinyl dip (or other grippy material) the shakers wouldn't have as much of a tendency to slide along a surface. The vinyl dip is available at most hardware stores and it's meant for dipping the handles of tools like pliers and wrenches etc.

Now all I need is a boat