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BB King - the 3D Printed Roller Bearing

by ErikJDurwoodII, published

BB King - the 3D Printed Roller Bearing by ErikJDurwoodII Jan 26, 2013

Featured Thing!

Description

Is friction giving you the blues? BB King is here to help!

This is a proof-of-concept print to evaluate using standard BB bullets as the rolly bits in a 3D printed bearing. I'll be using what I learned from this in some projects I have coming up!

VIDEO: youtu.be/3pl6-AXtWZY

I'm using 6 mm plastic BB bullets and I printed my prototype in ABS at .1 mm layer height, 10% in-fill and with 3 shells on my original Replicator.

I had to scale the model up a hair and that is reflected in my THING file. The STL files are original scale.

ENJOY!

If you like what I do and want to help me do more, please consider supporting me on my Patreon page! patreon.com/ErikJDurwoodII Thanks!

Recent Comments

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Why did you put it vertically.. Ah well `admesh --x-rotate 90` it...

Thanks for noting that, i'll check the BBs first then i suppose. Also it'd be nice if the bearing size matched existing bearings.(so it can be used as a replacement... if the requirements match.

NIce!

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Instructions

Print - you may have to scale up the model if you don't use my THING file or you have a different size of BBs.

Load - Fit as many as you can leaving one out to fit the key in.

Lock - slide the key in to long the bearing tight.

Comments

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Jasper1984 on Oct 6, 2013 said:

Why did you put it vertically.. Ah well `admesh --x-rotate 90` it...

Flugal on May 3, 2013 said:

NIce!

cthree87 on Mar 5, 2013 said:

Works surprisingly well. Nice design!

LarryTollette on Jan 30, 2013 said:

Have you thought about making the key in two parts, fitting one key part in from each side and having them snap in or perhaps permanently gluing them in place? I think this might allow another bb to be inserted.

STIdeas on Jan 28, 2013 said:

Nice work

densohax on Jan 28, 2013 said:

Why the HELL is that Featured?

DFarms on Jan 28, 2013 said:

it would be nice if you made a version that had a cage for the bearings too, that would improve efficiency.

ErikJDurwoodII on Jan 29, 2013 said:

I'm looking at that. I want this to be something that could be printed "wrong" and have a chance at being somewhat useful. At the scale of this, a cage would have to be printed along with the inner and outer race and the print paused just after the mid-point to load the bearings (like toni1727's derivative) and then be enclosed bu the rest of the print. I think a greater diameter bearing would work well for this. I would just have to have the cage be "forgiving" enough to print alright with the many printers out there.

laird on Jan 28, 2013 said:

This is very nice. Two tips for people printing this:

- 4.5mm BBs are quite common. This is designed for 6mm BB's. If you scale this by 75% it'll fit 4.5mm BBs.
- The easiest way to fill it is to first push the 'key' into place, then pull one end back so that you can drop the BBs into the proper place one at a time. I wasted some time trying to put the BBs in before I figured out this trick.

Given that, one suggestion for Erik - you should put the bottom half of the 'key' back onto the inner bearing, so that only the top half of the key is missing. That way you can put the BBs into the bearing exactly as it sits on the build plate, then when it's done you can slide in the 'half key' to plug the hole and complete the bearing. I don't know that it's easier than the "push the key in and pull one end out" but it's more obvious.

Jasper1984 on Oct 6, 2013 said:

Thanks for noting that, i'll check the BBs first then i suppose. Also it'd be nice if the bearing size matched existing bearings.(so it can be used as a replacement... if the requirements match.

ErikJDurwoodII on Jan 28, 2013 said:

That is a good suggestion! An earlier version of this I printed only used "half" of a key but the issue I had was due to the size of the print, the displacement of material (which varies with different printers and print settings) made the channel too snug and I had to relieve a lot of material to get it in. This design uses the flexibility of the plastic to have a bit of give to allow the key to wedge itself in without needing any relief after printing. This also minimizes the extra ridges inside.

Still I would like to fit that one last bearing in and a half key would allow for that. I didn't print the other design at 100 microns so maybe I can try that.

Thanks!

mechadense on Jan 26, 2013 said:

Thats the way to go. Printed ball bearings need to be post assembled to have a nice tight fit. Only a cage is missing - but then how do you get the last ball in? Makes me wonder how steel bearings are filled.
ps: Compliments to the nice front image.

satoer on Jan 28, 2013 said:

This is how they assemble steel bearings:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

ErikJDurwoodII on Jan 26, 2013 said:

Thanks on all counts! Yeah 6 mm is pretty much the standard. Though there is variability in the actual product. My BBs measured to be on average 5.8 to 5.9 mm or so. The bearing is nice and tight though, not really any lateral shift and I didn't add the last bearing as it would have not added really any extra surface for rolling though it would make it a tad quieter.

EricYoung on Jan 26, 2013 said:

I wanna roll, roll, roll forever
I wanna feel the beat go on

Nice work man :)

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