Caged Ball Bearing

by blecheimer, published

Caged Ball Bearing by blecheimer Mar 5, 2013

Thing Info

3334Views 951Downloads
Report Thing


A real ball bearing needs a cage to separate the balls. So I changed my first ball bearing ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:56298 ) to 8 balls and added a cage.
I was a little suprised that the cage really improves the function of the bearing.
You can see the difference in this video:

If you want to print this bearing you will need a well calibrated printer. Use a layer hight of 0.1mm. After printing all parts (and the cage in particular) must be deburred perfectly.


  • Print the parts (flip inner_c_2.stl and cage.stl)
  • deburr them (!)
  • load the balls
  • insert the cage
  • snap-on the inner part
  • let it roll

Thing Info

3334Views 951Downloads
Report Thing


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

Congrats, you set a new standard in personal 3D printed ball bearing quality.
What about a printable raceway grinder and polisher. possible / beneficial ?

Thanks for your comment!

I do not think that it is necessary to polish the raceway. The balls are running in the same directions as the layers are printed, that means the friction is quite low.

I print this bearing with a layer hight of 0.08 or even 0.05mm. I can hardly feel the layers. Therefore I am more concerned about the plastic balls. They have some nasty burrs and need to be cleaned.

I used G&G Bio-BBs 0.20g 5.95 +/-0.01mm diameter and it works perfectly. "The same manufacturing process as the precise steel ball bearing"

I just ordered some steel BBs. Let's see how good they work.

I was concerned about the layer change positions but you probably spread them out and with your layer they almost vanish.
Sad news that those balls are of such poor quality.


  1. Is there a reason why you uploaded nner_c_2.stl and cage.stl "upside down"? I used Pleasant3D (OS X) to invert them.

  2. Which Slicer did you use? (I generally use slic3r)
  1. I design the parts in assembly position. When I export them to STL they can be upside down or even sideways.

  2. I am using Cura. Cura let's me position, rotate and flip the parts before slicing.


IIRC, 'real' (steel) bearing are made without any forcing or anything to put the balls in, removing the cage allows the balls to all fit in on one side.

It should therefore be possible to make a caged bearing with a monolithic inner race.