Screwless Cube Gears

by emmett Aug 1, 2011
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Every time I try to print the large gears, it layer shifts in the exact same place. Does anyone else have this problem or know of a way to fix it?

What program did you use to make that?

Looks like your design was good enough to use as the model for Autoblog's Tech of the Year Award. Nicely done.

Hi, may I know the height width length of the cube after assembled?

question for CURA settings. when I import the pins and slice the file. cura fills in the small gaps in the pins. I have had it happen with other prints and haven't been able to figure out how to tell cura that it shouldn't fill in the small gaps. I appreciate any help!

Nevermind! I figured it out. If somebody is having the same problem, turn down your horizontal expansion

Hi, I'd love to print this model and I'm sure it will be great, but do I have to print all of the files in the download folder?

this is my question

This has been one of my favourite prints so far. Very well constructed, easy print, and visual appeal. Thanks for posting this excellent item.

Thank you. Is looks very cool. For assembly (100% size) i redrill holes in central part to 7.5mm and it work well.

Hi, This looks cool. One thought though is that you might want to approximate the date of each of your update comments since it is a bit hard to tell the order of the UPDATES (and the links)...or just number the updates from oldest to newest. I realize that this is not totally necessary since all the things have dates of creation, but it would make it a little easier for newbies to find the latest greatest version. Great design!

Comments deleted.

Can I sell this on easy I put you the link

Just printed this GEAR CUBE model! Check out my time lapse video of the print:


The pieces are a bit tough to rotate, but overall a great model! Thanks emmett!

I took it and printed it. And sold it to my classmates at 10 dollars.
Did I commit an illegal act?

nope. It's not violating any laws cuz you're not selling the designs commercially, you are basically printing it for yourself, and then giving it to someone else for $10.

dude i was making spinners for friends and sold em for $15 and i sold over 10 of them.... lol

doin the same with spinners:)

Yes, KjetillN has it right. You can read the CC-BY-SA license on the sidebar; I used it specifically so that you can sell copies if you want (and a number of people do). Just please attribute the design to me with my full name (Emmett Lalish), assuming you start selling them more broadly.

Nope! Happy selling:
You are free to:

Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
for any purpose, even commercially.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

Though you must:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

What are the dimensions of the completed cube??

Nice job I'm actually watching my printer print your cube right now. I'm kind of a number I just got my printer last night. It's a flash forge creater pro and I love it so far.

I have the same printer and I am doing the same thing xD!


i tapped mine in with a hammer but being very gentle... maybe lube them up a bit with something...? but i literally got a hammer and put it on a table and just give it a little tap. i seem to remember i tapped the pin at an angle to get one side in then used hammer to tap it round... the whole process was lots of gentle taps cuz one big one will just snap it... :/ again, maybe a bit of wd-40 or something to lube it up? i got lucky so dont quote me on any of this :D

currently printing this half scale the pins are a pain butt i finally got them all in the core

Ouch! This thing hurts to assemble :)

should i use supports?

i have not tried but i think it doesn't

Just an FYI, I printed one at 300% size (PLA @ 20% infill 0.2mm layers. Used one color to print one large and one small 'corner' and a single color to do all pegs and center piece). Only thing I did was remove the EL in meshmixer purely for aesthetics
Worked out to be a little over a kilogram of material.
Works perfect, a few of the pegs cracked on the inside when pre-flexing them but it turns nicely and looks great.
As a size comparison, I have a galaxy s6 and the assembled model is the same height as my phone. Great conversational piece.
Post processing it needed a little sanding on the visual areas but thats it. Because I knew I was going to be doing a bit of post sanding, I printed it with 4 shells (probably overkill but didnt want to have to reprint this monster)

I printed this out and it will not stick together. the pins keep falling out of the middle piece so I printed them with a greater infill, it still falls apart every time I turn it. I can't get a full turn out of it. Has anyone had this problem or have a fix for it?

Are you scaling it at all?
I had that problem one one of my attempts (I was trying to make a larger version) and I didnt scale all of the parts the same. Stupid mistake but when I redid it, each part scaled up the same it worked perfect.
I found the best results with 20% infill at 0.2 lifts.

Comments deleted.

how long does this print take?

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nice! Can't wait to print!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments deleted.

Never print it with zero infill because the pin holes will get damaged

I have a 20x20x20 cm(assembled size) version that suggests this is bull.
I printed it ages ago though and I can imagine, it was tough getting those pins in there without breaking the thing.
The center did have insides to make assembling it easier.

Will it work on a print bot simple?

is there somewhere i can download the larger of the two pins please?

Or if you can split the pins? Thanks

painters tape and aqua net for pla, abs slurry for abs

Would this model be scalable or would the fittings come out different for the different pieces?

I have to say these gears have become my taunting nemesis. I've tried at least a dozen times to print the gears in ABS, but the 'tips' of the overhang curl up as the nozzle departs. After a few layers, it looks like upward flower petals, and eventually the nozzle will fold them over into globs or whack the part off the print bed.

The center prints fine, and if I run a bit of fan, I can sometimes get a useable print, but it's not nearly as nice as the pictures seen here.. the gear teeth are lumpy.

Would these print easier if the cube corners were lying flat on the bed, instead of hole-side-down?

I saw a few other people having problems with the gear tips in these comments. I posted a picture of a failing print.

apply glue from an elmers glue stick to the bed before using abs and it will work!

You're describing exactly the reason I switched from ABS to PLA. It is possible to print these with ABS, but it's very difficult and failed prints from corner curling are common. PLA's lack of shrink makes it much better for steep overhangs and dimensional accuracy. Plus you don't even need a heated bed.

I'm expirience the same problem with PLA. I used few colors and always get curling on overhang. I tried to speedup perimeters print and it helps a little bit. I think the problem can be because of J-HEAD IV construction. It's too close to print. And when it print infill near the overhang edge - the edge is curling up.
Maybe duct fan can help. (I have 50mm fan cooling all near hotend)

How to print on cold bed? I can only print when bed has about 70 degrees.

I had problems like that at first and it was because the temperature were to high for PLA. I lowered it to 215c and attached 2x 120mm fans on either side of the printer. Now I get solid overhangs :)

Not sure about a cold bed, It's always messed up when I've tried it. I use a silicone glass surface and set it to 70c. If your not using glass set it to 40c.

I am using a reprappro huxley with a .3 nozzle. I am having an impossible time of printing the bigger gears because of the overhang. what settings do you use to keep the tips of the gears from failing? I have tried printing cooler but around 190c my layers start losing strength. I am also using active cooling. Help would be greatly appreciated!

check out a new forum? the3dconnection com

This was by far the best designed print that I've done to date on my Printer (Solidoodle 3). My printer is calibrated pretty tightly, and yet I still find myself having to adjust models to make things work most of the time. This Printed effortlessly the first go and putting it together was a snap (pun intended). Everything fit snug and rotates easily. Keep up the good work.

When I run the plate through slic3r, only three of the gears gets sliced. The other is just not there. It shows as green in the object position window and the others are magenta. Anyone know what it means? I'll print them individually so no biggie...

I'm seeing the same on Repetier 0.90C, and Slic3r ignores that one gear. The "Normals" show "Not Oriented" on that object, though I couldn't tell you what it means.

how small do you think it could be scaled before the pins became too weak for it to work properly?

Hey has anyone made these out of anything other than plastic? Has anyone machined them out of aluminum or steel? Also is there a solidworks file for all the parts? If not where can I find the exact dimensions for gear pitch and everything so that I can model it

Not that I know of. I didn't model them in Solidworks, I used OpenSCAD (which is free). The .scad file is a text input file to OpenSCAD, which you can change if you want to alter the design.

hey does the larger pin go on on the large gear or small gear? i used the B files. Also which face do the corresponding gears go into?

Hey emmet, I can't find the "pinpeg" module in the scad files. I have cubeGears3.scad and pins.scad. Am I missing another file? Thanks.

pinpeg is in pins.scad. Perhaps you haven't pointed OpenSCAD to the proper directory?

Ahh, I had the wrong pins.scad. I downloaded v1 instead of v2. Thanks.

Does anyone know if it's really "legally safe" to use this desing for commercial or artistic use? I'm interested in creating a pubblic big motorized sculpture of it but wouldn't get in trouble with the creator. Is emmett the real creator or did it inspire himself from some other works/artist who could afterwards sue me?
Thanks a lot.

As with all art, I was certainly inspired by others, but as far as I know this is sufficiently different from anything that came before that no one else can claim it. Your project sounds interesting; would you mind emailing me (elalish@gmail.com) some details? I'm curious what you're planning for the attribution and share-alike portions of the license.


I was just wondering, since I printed out the plates, I am a bit confused about how to assemble it, or which pins (ling or short) go into which gears. Any help?

Hi Emmett,

I run a mall kiosk to advertise my 3D services company. On the kiosk we have a hobby-level 3D printer constantly printing out trinkets to introduce more people to the technology.

I would like to display and sell your designs on the kiosk.

Since our location is not web-based, is there some way you would like us to attribute your designs to you in addition to your full name?

Brian Arandez,
Thingify, Inc.

Hi Brian,

Well, you could put a QR code that points to this webpage, or note that the design is open source and can be found on Thingiverse. Ideally you should probably put the little CC-BY-SA license logo somewhere. If you want to mention I'm an aerospace engineer from Seattle, that's cool, but not necessary.

Hi Emmett,

I just wanted to show you how we are giving attribution at our kiosk. Take a look:

Let me know what you think.


Awesome, thanks. That looks great. How are they selling?

We've sold around 5 in a month. But they do attract a lot of attention and everybody loves them.
When asked what it's for we tell people that we play around with it all the time and that it helps us think better.

Hey emmet, We love your work with both you heart and cube gears and we would love to turn any object in to gears like a gnome or angry bird, we are new to openscad and have looked at your script but are not sure how we could design something similar. Is it possible to create a negative that you can subtract from a model to create the parts and then print them. We would love your help

Ryan King
The 3D Library

This is a complex file, so I'd recommend you play around with OpenSCAD a bit before you delve into this. However, the HeartGears script contains a module for your base object, so ideally it should be pretty easy to put in your own. Click on the gear_mashup tag and you can see all the other versions people have already made.

These are so cool. I saw one at the Montreal Mini Maker Faire this summer and just had to make one. Sinces then we've printed a bunch and personalised them with words and logos.

We used OpenSCAD for the lettering, and Inkscape and OpenSCAD to make the 3D logo stl files.

I tried printing the center piece but most of the holes came out squished(flatter) any Ideas? Other then that its perfect and my z-axis is calibrated correctly

 nvrmind found the problem

This is one of the best models I have printed. The tolerances are excellent, everything fits together easily and nothing is loose. Plus the gears turn really easily. I dont know if all the screwless gear items are this well made but definitly excellent work! And credits to everyone who made this possible!

This is a really cool part. I printed one of these for my desk, and now everyone in my office wants one (I work with a bunch of huge nerds, myself included).

I have found that setting the filament diameter right is very important. My first one came out perfectly. The filament was slightly smaller on the second one and it didn't fit together nearly as well... the gears work themselves loose over time on that one.

i'm new to this. so you'll have to excuse me. not sure if you call this curl, as its happening on the higher layers. but certain parts will start to curl upwards and eventually get higher than the nozzle. this eventually causes the object to break away from the platform and much failure to ensue.

i'm using rafts on the ABP-- yah, i plan on switching to just the HBP soon. using the latest TOM w/ mk7 extruder and the default SF35-Thingomatic-ABP-mk7 profile (slightly modified to make the raft easier to remove).

i was having this problem originally on the 20mmbox and someone told me to swit
from Skeinforge 47 to 35. that fixed the problem for the box. and while i haven't been printing flawlessly (hugely common problem for me is a really crappy top layer), this high level curling had gone away.

the center of the gear cube printed well enough (though i had to add 10% fill to keep
the top layer from being a huge mess), the pins seem to work, and the larger gear printed pretty well. only the smaller gear is giving me problems now.

anyway, sorry if this is the wrong place to go for someone who needs this much help. but its really not clear where to go to get help on how to s
ystematically fine tune your makerbot and software settings.

i know you poste this a while ago, but you have got to try to slice with with slic3r 0.92 it came out perfect! My printer is calibrated down to 0.015mm though.

Hey, I had the SAME EXACT problem... I saw that your using the ABP, i was too.... i sent a not to Makerbot support and they suggested to switch to the HBP with an aluminum build plate, which I did... All of my prints have been great... Because the ABP has that plastic belt it tends to heat unevenly and the belt it self changes shape.. The aluminum wont.... I hope this hepls :)

You picked one hell of a tough object to calibrate on! It is a tricky process, though there are guides online if you look around. I'd recommend getting your machine finely tuned on simpler objects and then trying this again.

It looks like your issue might be heat related. I always print four little gears at once (using Multiply), which allows the layers to cool enough before being printed on again.

Do you have the solidworks files or source files for whatever program you modeled it in?

You must be new here :). I use one of the most popular CAD programs on Thingiverse, OpenSCAD, because it's free, open source, and cross-platform. It takes a plaintext input file, which is downloadable on the left: cubeGears3.scad.

So I downloaded OpenScad and opened the drawings....I guess I just need to read up on how the program works...I don't see any solids in the display

I tried using F5 to render it out and OpenScad keeps crashing. I'm much more familiar with Inventor and SolidWorks so I have no idea what's going on. I would love to design one of these myself but I'm not really sure where to start.

I just got openscad crashing on me to while f5'ing, DL'ed "pins.scad" from http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:10541http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... into the same folder and it worked without crashing.

Hope this helps (BTW was using cubeGears3.scad)

Pin Connectors V2
by tbuser

This is a pretty complex model to start learning OpenSCAD on. I'd follow some of MakerBlock's tutorials online and use that to get the hang of it. Then I think you'll have no trouble making derivatives of these cube gears (many others already have: just look at the gear mashup tag).

works perfect!!! thank you

The center and gears printed beautifully but I can't seem to get the pins right on my Cupcake Ultimate. I've tried a bunch of different settings now but there's never a well defined bump at the end of the pins, there's a grove in the middle so the pins can squish together but without the bump at the end the pin is either big enough that the cube gears won't spin smoothly or loose enough that the gears fall off. Has anyone else run into this?

That's odd; are you printing really fast? If there's any slop in the belts, that could be the problem.

No, I even tried turning on cool, and setting the minimum time per layer. I'm thinking of modifying the scad file and making the bumps at the ends wider, but I assume the reason it isn't working is that I've got something tuned wrong, and I'd rather fix the tuning problem so it doesn't keep coming up. There isn't really any slop in the belts but I'll try tightening things up a bit more before my print runs tonight.

Thanks for the tips Emmett.I should have caught that myself. My X belt idler had loosened up and I hadn't noticed. It's printing much better now :).

I just built my TOM MK7 with RepliG026 and this was one of my first prints. It turned out great except for the center. I printed the Bcenter and no matter what way I orient it, when it gets right above the last set of holes it freaks out as pictured. It skips a bunch of rows of the edge and the infill goes crazy and all over the place. I have tried regenerating the code with different settings, etc with no luck. Anyone else having this problem?


I just uploaded a new center piece, BcenterFlat, which will probably skein easier. That definitely looks like a SF bug, which there's not much you can do about. If the problem persists, try unchecking "infill in direction of bridges" in carve (that is the source of many bugs). And always check your gcode with something like skeinview or pleasant3D to make sure it looks good before you waste a bunch of time printing it. I hope to see your successful print up here soon!

Ha. I literally saw the new piece right after I posted that. Already printed and worked great. Not familiar with the programs but will check them out. Thanks for the quick response and new part.

Any particular settings for the little gears? I seemed to have to pull my feed rate WAAAAY back, like I normally print at 32 mm/s (cupcake) and to get the gears to print right i had to turn it back to 10 mm. Also, first object layer was printed at 50% that speed, just so everything would adhere. I tried both 0 and 1 extra shells, and ended up on 1 extra shells with the above settings. On 0 shells it was depositing too much plastic, but with 1 extra shell, i couldnt go faster than 10 or else the first layer wouldn't adhere to the HBP. Running white ABS, at 225C, 110 on HBP. I clean the HBP every 3rd print or so, and I print raftless usually.

The big gears and center piece printed fine (although the center piece I had to put onto a big edge).

I've been printing them at 42mm/s on my TOM. You're printing onto Kapton, right? Perhaps you're not starting close enough to the platform? I use one extra shell and zero infill.

Ah that might be it. I'm using 1 extra shell and 30% infill. Yeah I'm on Kaptop, and I've got the nozzle right up against the limit where the extruder might not actually have enough force to extrude, haha.

Hey man, nice to have met you at Maker Faire this weekend. Everybody thought your cube gears were pretty much the coolest thing we had to show off. Keep up the awesome work! They even work when scaled down a lot.

Yeah, good to meet you too. Were you the one who was talking about some new skeining engine? If you have a link, I'd like to look at it.

SFACT wasn't building walls from the microcrack, so I bumped s to 1.0. Still nothing, so I looked at View-
gt;"CGAL Grid only". I don't see any indication of a slit there either :'(

Strange; I'll have to look into it. The slits should be pretty easy to remove from the code if they're giving you trouble.

Nice... although the Bcenter STL is full of hairline cracks that play merry heck with SF.

Not an OpenSCAD user so I can't fix it there... started doing it in Sketchup but lost the will to live (far too much time spent fixing STL's in sketchup over the past month).

Any chance of a fixed version?

Actually those two hairline cracks are intentional (see description above). They cause SF for form interior walls that support the angled holes, which otherwise have a bit too much overhang to print well. Let me know if your Gcode somehow ended up unprintable.

I actually found that the combination of provided orientation of the part and the cracks in it combined to cause me issues with curling. I flipped the model onto one of the larger faces and had much better luck printing it. Need to print the rest before I know if its really ok though.

Hi! I'm new in the 3D printer. I bought a ultimaker few days ago but I haven't got the best resolution in my prints. Someone can help me? Which are the parameters that I can change to have more quality print when I create the G code?

Thanks for all.

Great work

This is a fairly challenging print; I'd recommend lots of test cubes and simple shapes to make sure you really understand how your bot works and get everything calibrated really well. There are lots of good resources online to get you started. Once you can print simpler shapes really well, you can work your way up to stuff like this.

Printed these perfectly.

An improvement would be to add a slight larger hole at the end of each current hole, so that the pins will latch firmly in place (because of the step between the small and larger hole) and spin freely, rather then being a friction fit as it is currently.

Agreed. It might help if the pins were sized to "bottom out" in both the gear and the center piece, because I noticed there was a different fit and different amount of wobble on the pins that I pressed into the gears first versus the pins that I pressed into the center first. Maybe there is a correct way, but the results should be the same either way.

Also, I noticed the center piece was a tighter fit, resulting in pins with bent ends that would no longer fit without excess wobble if put into a gear. As a result, I have one pin with both ends bent so that gear slips when turning.

Yes, the holes are intentionally a tighter fit on the center block, and hence the pins are intended to be inserted into that first. I often twist them into the tightest position once they're in. Then the gears can be put on, which should spin easily around the pins. With only one side of the pins acting as a bearing there is less slop in the mechanism.

If the pins are too loose or tight, you can try scaling them slightly (to account for calibration differences).

Hmm, i am of the opinion that the ends going into the center should be a peg then, instead of a pin.

That's how it is on the first version (you can still download it here). Also note the comments toward the bottom where the discussion was launched of why this pin design would actually be better than the original peg design.

O, sorry you misunderstood i think.

I like the separable pin design, but rather then a pin to pin design, a pin to peg design (with the peg end for the center) might be better, as most of my play is coming from the center holes being so short, and thus not supporting the pin adequately.

You may be on to something; I'd like to see what you come up with. The scad file is included for just this reason. Modify the design to your heart's content.

Yup, will do, need to fix my printer first though, think my heater resistor broke :/

Great idea!

Can't get mine together, the big pieces were no problem but with the four big gears installed I can't for the life of me get the small gears snapped in...


I found it was easier to put the small gears in first, then it was easier to twist the large gears in because they have more space to twist them in.

Printed just fine for me, including the ultra-narrow center piece, on a HBP at 110c using ABS at 220c. No raft, just anoutline.

printed out very nicely but it so so stiff that there's no way it's turning and the pins don't stay in. i suspect there's something off in calibration if this is staying together and spinning well for others. using .4mm layer height .6 extrusion width from fact (1.5 w/t).

i'm not seeing how the layer height could be issue, except for maybe the pins?

is there a way to salvage this one by converting it into the one with screws?

Hmm, how can the pins be too loose to stay in, yet too tight to turn? Did you try the first or the second version?

The square corner ones look very clean, and professional! They look better than the cut corners in the old version. If someone was selling this, I would buy it!

Thanks, and lucky for you, it's free. If anyone else wants to sell them, be my guest. That's why it's under a BY-SA license.

And done! http://www.etsy.com/shop/PlasticFusionhttp://www.etsy.com/shop/Plast... . I tried to credit you with the CC-generated block O' HTML, but apparently Etsy doesn't like foreign HTML in their listings so there's a URL instead.

I've adapted the screwless version to use hidden screws and nylon spacers from McMaster Carr instead of pins, and scaled them down so they print fast enough to make selling them economically feasible. :)

Awesome, I'm glad to see my designs being opened up to a wider audience. I'll put your link up at the top.

This was a fun print. I truly enjoyed making this cube. It runs smoothly. There were a few buggers on one or two teeth of each of the small gears but these were easily removed with my trusty X-Acto knife. Several of the holes in the center piece had a stray piece of plastic that was very quickly removed with a drill. I fully recommend printing this item and I hope you have as much enjoyment as I did.

This is a continuation of my other post. I noticed that the center piece is on the heated platform on one thin edge. Unless someone can give me a reason not to, I thing I'll revolve the part so it sits on one of the wide faces. I think this will make the part more secure during the print.

I just made one - I placed the largest face of the centre section on the platform (after 3 failed attempts at the default). Worked fine, and the cube all snapped together with no trimming or drilling necessary :) I used the Print-o-matic setting in ReplicatorG 0025, with 0 infil and 1 extra shell as suggested.

Yeah, I could not make it print on the thin edge even though I'm using a super sticky kapton taped alu build platform set at 95deg.

Rotated and printed well!

Very 8-) design. Thanks!

I've had a similar issue with the central part detaching from the heated print surface (75C). I'm fairly new to printing with PLA so the fact it stays glassy for so long might require a fan just concentrating on the print area for a while. Hopefully have pics up soon! :D

The reason it's on a thin edge is so that the holes can print better (less overhang, more symmetry). It prints great on the HBP, but if you're building on a belt it might have too much flexibility. You can also go into the SCAD and make the edge cuts deeper so it has a larger footprint to sit on.

I am printing on my HBP. I'm going to give it another shot.

I tried Bcenter.stl as a test piece. I went upstairs to get a drink and when I got back there was all the ABS plastic balled up on the tip of my TOM MK6+ extruder tip. :(

I'm going to give it another try tomorrow.

Can someone post a video assembling and spinning?

Horizontally printed pins are vastly stronger than vertically printed ones, so this should fix any problems people have been having with pin breakage. This one also spins more freely thanks to the longer bearing surface.

That's awesome! Now they're also perfectly square and look easier to print. By the way, I made yet another update to the pin connector v2 that has an even better shape you might want to look at. :)

Hi! Amazing print, I have printed off three of the bolt ones and they are awesome! I have tried to print the new gears off and have had some problems. I'm hopping you or someone can advise me.

I am getting a lot of curl on the gears and am not sure what the settings should be in the Infill and Cool sections you mentioned. I have 2 shells checked off. I am also using reverse settings of 75ms. My other settings are similar to yours that you mentioned.

Could you give me some more details? I want to print this off, it is so awesome!

Curl can be tricky. If the plastic is curling off of the build platform, make sure the build platform is as level and sticky as possible (kapton tape makes a great surface, especially if cleaned with rubbing alcohol). For warping plastic, It can help to blow on stubborn prints for the first few layers; it can help break the warpage cycle. You shouldn't have to anymore once the corners have stopped curling. Failing that, you might need to change the temp settings of your nozzle and HBP. Good luck.

Thanks for the tips! I gave up on the automatic build platform for the kapton tape and heated build platform combo a while back and have had great success perhaps it is time for a fresh layer. Cheers!

I've printed these out a few times and I can't get the gears to snap in to the center piece without snapping the connector off....5 for 5 now :(

A long time ago I printed the ellipse gears in PLA and the connector on that snapped as well.

I haven't tried to print this yet, but maybe the connector walls need to be thinner to work with PLA, or maybe split them into more segments.

Opening up the hole is probably the easiest fix though, I agree.

I'm running a 0.35mm nozzle with 0.25mm layer height and 2.1 pwot. I may try them at beefier layer height....what did you print yours at?

I used a 0.4mm nozzle with 0.33mm layer height and 1.6 w/t. I didn't have any problems with them breaking (in fact I've disassembled and reassembled the same pieces a number of times now). I use ABS (which is much less brittle than PLA), so if you're using PLA, that could be a problem. You could also try opening up the tolerance a bit in the SCAD file if the hole just seems too small.

Thanks...I am using ABS... I think it is my layer height that is the issue. I'll try some at a larger layer height and reduced w/t.

Might also want to take a knife and widen the lip of the hole a bit. Also, if you take the connector push it in with the flat side down pushing flat side in first at an angle, it can sometimes help it flex and squeeze in better.

Good stuff! It's about time we got rid of the bolts :-P .

Awesome idea!

Those are some beautiful pictures and excellent print quality. When I saw the thumbnails, the sides looked so smooth and shiny that I thought you must have rubbed them down with acetone or something.

Any hints on taking such quality pictures? I have a particularly hard time taking photos of bla
ck PLA parts.

Thanks, the secret to good pictures of black parts seems to be lots of light. The flash doesn't work so well because it doesn't know what to focus on until the light is bright, so you usually need a separate source (unless you have something better than a cheap point-and-shoot). Those shots had direct sunlight on them; otherwise a desk lamp is often good. I usually aim until I get a good reflection off the plastic so you can see the grain well.

Building this right now on an UP! 3D Printer. Looks awesome.

Can you please do a screwless heart gears?

That'll be tricky. Notice how I print these gears upside-down from how I did in the previous iterations? That works here because there's a flat surface on the outside to build from, but not so on the curvy heart. I suppose the heart should be possible with support, but that still feels like cheating.

It could be possible to make them adaptable to the plugs themselves. Then you're only changing the holes. The plugs would print out in a single plate.

Hey emmett, my pin connectors are flat on one side so that they can be printed horizontally. You could then make a pin with a pin on both sides which could be used connect two parts together that have holes on each side. :) I hope that makes sense, basically if you have 2 parts that are female, you can make a peg with a male on both ends.

That's a good idea; and if one hole is tight and the other loose it might not even introduce extra play. I'll work on that. Maybe next weekend... ;)

So... incredibly... awesome!!!

Super awesome!