Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Magnet Toy

by DrWeidinger, published

Magnet Toy by DrWeidinger Sep 18, 2011

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This magnet toy is great for exploring geometric shapes and the awesome power of MAGNETS. It is inspired by natural geometry and buckyballs, which are way too much fun. Unless you eat them. DO NOT EAT THE MAGNETS.


First, print the part.

Then press a spherical 5mm rare earth magnet into each chamber. You should have to press pretty hard to get the magnet in, and once inside it should be able to freely rotate. This lets the polarities automagically align.

The more pieces you print the more shapes you can make. Enjoy!

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great job! very kool. hey i have 3mm magnets could you modify this to fit them? thanks for sharing!

Hi Doc :) You have inspired me to create my own version of these. I have been working on a part like this in secret, but now that my printer is finally running a bit better with the new hotend I am ready to start prototyping :)

Nice work here!

I printed these 9 at a time on my solidoodle2 at .3mm to use teach some 3rd graders about magnets. I ended up with 36 in the end. I found that if I stopped the print before it printed the last layer I could get the magnets in easier and they still would not fall out. The teacher loved them so much she wanted to know where she could buy some for the class! I gave them to her so that future classes could make use of them.

Hi Doc!

These are Absolutely Awesome!

These were the first things I printed when getting used to the UP! printer.

I've printed about 20 for my nephews so far!

Just one little note - I've noticed that there are 3 hairline cracks in the middle of the design (kind of like if one arm was made and rotated - at the joins).
On the UP! printer make sure you check the "unsolid model" box, otherwise it creates a bit of weakness in the middle.

Other than that - t
hese are loads of fun!!!
Thankyou for posting!!!

Sweet - just ordered a set of 125 5mm dia spherical magnets from amazon for $14 with free shipping. Now I've got to get printing!

I like the creative name, magNEATO.

I printed out several of these and popped in some buckyballs. Awesome! Showed them off to some friends who really enjoyed playing around with them.

Thanks for the awesome design, DrWeidinger, and also to mkellner for the derivative which speeds up mass production :-D

I printed them raftlessly o
n a Thing-O-Matic with an automated build platform perfectly.

How did you design the geometry for the pop in feature? It's perfectly sized to allow the buckeyballs to roll around but still be captured. I can't think of an app yet for it but I can imagine some sort of magnetic buckeyball bearing.

Hey, good to hear you're enjoying these!

I arrived at the current side through the always reliable trial and error.


What size magnets did you design for 3mm, 6mm? something else?

This was built with 5mm magnets in mind, which is the size of a buckyball. If you have other sized magnets you can easily scale the model with ReplicatorG and some math.