Parametric ball bearings

by holgero, published

Parametric ball bearings by holgero Jan 6, 2013

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A derivative of http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:19468 . My printer didn't print it (the balls didn't stick to the bed and printing with raft was no good either), so I had to change it a bit.
And as I don't have SketchUp, I made a openscad design that had the same dimensions as the original and added some sort of support structure there.
It is usefull either for bragging or to include it as a part in your thing.


Use the stl directly if the dimensions (inner radius 11 mm, outer radius 30 mm, height 10 mm) fit your needs. Otherwise use the scad file and adapt to your needs (rendering to stl takes quite some time on my PC, but yours may be faster).

Slice (I used 0.3 mm layer height, 2 extra shells (in an attempt to avoid the warping of the balls) and no extra support or raft) and print (I used ABS). Then try to clean up the balls as much as possible as long as they are still fixed by the support structure. I first cut the ring like structure and used a needle file to remove the bumps from the balls. The last step is to cut the balls loose from the bearings. (After that it is quite difficult to clean them any further.) Enjoy!

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Updated the scad file: new parameter allows to tune how large the space around the balls is. (Default is 15% larger than the ball diameter).

Printed a small one (ri=3, ra=11.5, height=4.5).

Slightly improved the scad file: now calculates the number of balls needed to fill the perimeter.

Thanks for taking the time to do this, especially to make it parametric. What were the tradeoffs for the support structure underneath?
I think I'll try printing this in nylon when I get it set up.

Well had to clean them up. So I cut them with a wire cutter and used a needle file to remove the remains. If you look close at the picture you will see that the shape of the spheres is quite potato-like. The thing works to demonstrate its purpose but I think it could be running much smoother.
I have no idea how that would work out with nylon, though.