Wind-Up Engine V1.2 Updated - Fully Printed

by cymon, published

Wind-Up Engine V1.2 Updated - Fully Printed by cymon Dec 8, 2012

Featured Thing!


WIP. So far there has not been a successful 3D printed engine but this is the idea: A 3D printed spring's energy is captured and released to a series of gears. The design so far is promising but needs work.

Update with upload of V1.2: joesmakerbot.blogspot.com/2013/01/fully-3d-printed-engine-update-2.html

Recent Comments

view all

I will try next weekend if not this one. I've havent attempted to build the model yet so it wont just be printing the springs. I'll post a video when I do :)

Lemme know how it goes.

have you tried or considered making the spring with nylon?


Liked By

view all

Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag. Print Thing Tag


Refer to the exploded diagram as you read these steps.

1. Print the spring in ABS with zero fill layers, zero infill, and 4 extra layers. (Not discounting PLA, but I don't know the settings.)
2. Cut the spring at the obtuse angles to make 2 springs. Flip one so that their curves compliment each other (like a flat DNA helix).
3. Print the rest of the pieces with your normal settings.
4. Place the springs inside the case, side by side.
5. Put the drive gear with the straight line of teeth on. Line up the groove beneath the teeth onto the ridge on the case, putting the arm through the hole into the case to cap off the end of the case to compress the springs. (Does anyone have better names for these parts?)
6. Put GearIn1 in the left most hole on the case so that the teeth mesh with the drive's straight teeth.
7, Glue the pin in the GearFloater. Put it in the next leftmost long hole
8. Put the GearOut1 (with the shorter secondary gear) in the next leftmost hole.
9. Put the two GearOut2s in the last two holes in the case.
10. Put the HolderPlate into the slot in front of the GearIn and bend it to snap into the slot above it making sure the floating gear peg goes into the hole.
11. Take the holderArm and hook one side into the HolderPlate, wrap it around the output gears making sure the pegs hold the gears in place and hook it into the case, pushing the drive gear in slightly and locking it in the case.
12. Glue the key in the hexagonal hole in the GearIn1 gear (not shown in exploded illustration).

Wind up the engine to compress the springs. Then let it go. The output gears should not move when winding and when released they should each move at gradating rates.

As of this time the actual output speeds and whether they can be slowed down is unknown. Also I suspect that the spring will break frequently so I made easy access to replacing them. Kind of like batteries.

If this works it can be used to (briefly?) power an action.


You must be logged in to post a comment.

MiguelAlvarez on Apr 8, 2013 said:

have you tried or considered making the spring with nylon?

cymon on Apr 8, 2013 said:

Lemme know how it goes.

18reedau on Apr 8, 2013 said:

ok I will

18reedau on Apr 8, 2013 said:

I tried it and it worked most of the time but the floater gear was the problem because it doesnt engage the other gears most of the times I tried it. You asked for ways to make it work and I messed around with it for a long time and I made it work.

cymon on Apr 8, 2013 said:

That's cool. I agree that the floater gear didn't exactly work as advertised. I'l admit I don't really know what I'm doing with this stuff most of the time. Upload a remix so I can try it out.

18reedau on Apr 5, 2013 said:

i had an idea i found that if you made the second
hole on the left side of the gear in the top right corner over to the right more you will be able to fit another big gear with the wider little gear on it will fit together and it will all connect together.

18reedau on Apr 5, 2013 said:

When the plate piece was done it started warping because it was done and the others were still building that was the only problem I had.

cymon on Apr 5, 2013 said:

Well, until you started putting it together. Sorry, I should update the description, this doesnt' work.

latigerlilly on Jan 19, 2013 said:

saw your youtube video and you said it has too much friction. use graphite. very similar to your engine is the 3d printed gun magazine on defcad website where all the censored / deleted by commieverse gun files have gone to live. anyways, they had jams with the gun magazines until they used graphite lubricant. use graphite and the gears should turn with little friction. good luck!

pintokitkat on Dec 10, 2012 said:

Struggling with instruction 2 - cut the spring at the obtuse angles - I can't see any obtuse angles.
I like the idea of the curves complimenting each other 'Oh, you are a lovely curve'.

cymon on Dec 10, 2012 said:

If you print the spring as described all you get is the outside edge of the shape, 4 shells wide. There are 4 corners, 2 acute, 2 obtuse. Cut the obtuse angles. Hope that helps.

There's a new version of this coming up soon. Just need to put all the new gears and what not on a plate. Used blender's gear tool this time.

cymon on Dec 9, 2012 said:

V1 printed and there are some tolerances off. Back to the drawing board.

mattvenn on Dec 9, 2012 said:

looks amazing! Im confused as to how it is possible to print the  big box as it has 90degree overhangs on the top of the large hole. Will that because this is a work in progress?

Emmet_Brown on Dec 9, 2012 said:

You can take a look at my chair thing: http://www.thingiverse.com/ima...

It hangs a little down. Depending on your settings and the plastics you use, it can be a flat bridge.
For PLA you just need to warm the piece up to 60-80 °C and then you can bend it very easily.

cymon on Dec 9, 2012 said:

90 degree overhangs shouldn't be a problem if you're bridge settings are set right. Full disclosure, mine aren't. I had to do some cutting. V2 may have a slightly different shaped hole for that reason.