by gzumwalt, published

Carousel by gzumwalt May 20, 2013

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Miniature Carousel.

A miniature carousel designed using Sketchup8 (free version), and printed with both Makerware and ReplicatorG on a MakerBot Replicator2. The design is very tolerant of low infill and single shell printing, thus minimizing plastic consumption as well as build time.

I've now built four of these, two using Makerware, and two using ReplicatorG. While ReplicatorG did a slightly better job, Makerware was slightly faster. Both worked, albeit with some additional trimming using a modeling knife with the Makerware print.

The first photo is of the Makerware version at .15 layer height and 1 shell. The second photo is of the Makerware version at default medium print settings. As can be seen, decreasing the layer height from the Makerware default medium print settings layer height of .27 to .15 improves the looks, however the build time is increased.

Video of prototype at youtube.com/watch?v=0wqBTI5HUPs.

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Thank you for your kind words and motor source!

Regarding measuring motor current, I place a 1 ohm 10 watt resistor in series with the motor circuit and place the scope probes across the resistor. 1mA of current will be represented by 1mv on the scope. I use a digital scope that has memory, averaging and peak detection which assists in analyzing the performance of the designs I build that are motorized.

Hope this helps and thanks again for your kind words!

Hi Gzumwalt, Your designs are absolutely Fantastic! Thankyou very much for posting!
If it helps any... don't get your motors from SciPlus - they're a rip-off!
Try these at Deals Extreme -

From what I can see these are the same as the SciPlus ones, but only $6.60 USD.
I got the one with the additional plastic part included for the motorized marble machine - works great!

I'm printing this Carousel now as I type! :) Thankyou again!

You will need the motor, some wire, soldering equipment and a power supply as described, plus a 3D printer and PLA. If you've got that, you've got it made.

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1) Carefully examine Carousel.skp. You will need to print 6 Flag.stl (well, you do not really need the flags, but the wife wanted them, so if you do too, then print one for each horse and one for the top of Canopy.stl), 5 Horse.stl, 1 Base.stl, 1 Bottom.stl, 1 Top.stl and 1 Canopy.stl. Print your parts in the color(s) of your choice then assemble following the Carousel.skp diagram.

2) Buy this motor: 6VDC 45 RPM Pinky Finger Sized Gear Motor 1" Long x 15/32" x 3/8" from either amazon.com or directly from sciplus.com/p/MICROMOTOR_47952 (this is the same motor I used in the Marbelvator design). In this application, I run the motor at 1.5 VDC and as such the motor requires 10 to 20 ma to run which is suitable for a small power supply, battery and/or solar panel use. Solder the obligatory red and black wires (about 4 inches each) to the motor plus and minus terminals respectively. Slide the motor into Base.stl, wires first, such that the motor wire terminals are parallel with the large rectangle at the bottom of Base.stl. Route the wires through the wire trough on the bottom of Base.stl. If you cannot find a 1.5 VDC power supply, use a 3 VDC power supply and use two 1N4007 diodes (or equivalent) to reduce the voltage.

3) I found if you print using Makerware, you will need to trim the flag staff and horse insert with a modeling knife.

4) It is helpful to test fit the motor output shaft on Top.stl before assembly. Make sure the motor shaft flat aligns with the flat in the hole in Top.stl before insertion.

5) If you have questions, place a comment and I'll try my best to answer them.


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Hulksmash on Jun 3, 2013 said:

Any chance on other animals?

gzumwalt on Jun 3, 2013 said:

They are fairly easy to make and print. What did you have in mind?

Hulksmash on Jun 3, 2013 said:

If i make this max size would i need a diff motor?

gzumwalt on Jun 3, 2013 said:

The motor is currently pulling 10 to 20ma so I would say you could increase the size and still use the same motor.

Sasha on May 22, 2013 said:

I was just wondering if it would be difficult to use a wind-up mechanism from some cheap wind up toys... Will print it tomorrow, try to get a couple dollars toy and try to fit it somehow.

gzumwalt on Jun 3, 2013 said:

Wind up motor would work, but the carousel would have to be redesigned for it to fit.

MarkTecWizard on May 21, 2013 said:

How does the output shaft move the carrosell

gzumwalt on May 21, 2013 said:

The output shaft of the motor is inserted into a hole in the center of the underside of Top.stl. Bottom.stl is attached to Top.stl via the 5 vertical supports. When the shaft rotates, Top.stl and Bottom.stl thus rotate together. Canopy.stl is for decoration and just goes along for the ride.

knarf2011 on May 21, 2013 said:


gzumwalt on May 21, 2013 said:


This is a very easy build with a short build time and snap together construction.

Hope you like it.

GregFisk25 on May 20, 2013 said:

Looks great but those motors are very expensive.

gzumwalt on May 20, 2013 said:


Yes they are very expensive. I've tried less expensive motor / gearboxes and find the same disadvantages; noise and higher speeds. I'm still looking. If anyone locates one, let me know and I'll try it out.