The "Revolver" - One Colour Print version of this Challenging Revolving Puzzle

by muzz64, published

The "Revolver" - One Colour Print version of this Challenging Revolving Puzzle by muzz64 Feb 17, 2016

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The "Revolver" is a 3D printed puzzle with 41 independent moving parts that revolve / slide around a two part Retainer. The prints are all easy and straight forward and the result is really impressive...

This is an alternative to the 6 colour version that features shapes that need to be grouped to solve the puzzle instead of grouping colours. This will suit people without enough filament colours or who don't want to go to the trouble to make it colorful. Refer to http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1341294 to view the colour version.

This is similar to a Rubik's cube in that the aim is to align / group matching shapes but there are two puzzles in one with the Revolver as you can align rows or columns to have all the same shapes in a line.

One space is left to allow for the Sliders to move one space at a time. This means you need to plan your moves as you move towards your goal... of course you can pull it apart if you get frustrated with it and realign it that way but if you're really up for the challenge glue the thread so it will never come apart!

The parts are all easy prints and assemble is very straight forward. This 'shape' version does not need different filament colors like the 6 colour slider version . The images provided creates a great result. Black is used for the Retainer. All Revolvers and the Sliders are best printed in the same colour.

As you need to leave one Slider out to make a space for movement it is recommended to leave out one of the vertical bar sliders ( | ) as the slot in the underlying Revolver looks similar so the empty space / gap is less noticeable (Refer to images for additional information).

To achieve the end result does take time but it's well worth the effort. Print each .stl separately (Retainer / Revolvers / Sliders). Most machines capable of printing fine detail and good slicing apps should have no problem with the fine tolerances in this print.
Watching it come together is satisfying... once it's together, and with the Slider shapes well messed up, it can be very frustrating... until you solve it and then it's very satisfying again!

Print the puzzle... then see if you can you do it? And, if you do... post images of your success!

Please refer to the print instructions and images for additional information. A zip file has been added with all of the slider files so they can be printed individually if necessary.

Note: If you like this check out all my other fun and practical designs.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:








0.20mm / Standard in PLA


3 Shells / 35% Infill for the Retainer file. The Revolvers and Sliders can be 2 Shells and 20% Infill


Easy prints however the 'Retainer' file needs to be printed with 3 shells / 35% infill to ensure it is strong enough when screwed together. The other parts (Revolvers and Sliders) can be printed with 2 Shells / 20% infill as they don't need to be as strong.

Note: Most accurate machines / good slicing apps should have no problems with these files however the tolerances are fine so other less accurate machines may not slide / rotate as easily or screw together easily. This has been tested on a Replicator 2 and 5th Generation Replicator with great results.


Assembly required... but it's quick and easy!

Remove the Raft then assemble the Sliders into the Revolvers. Make sure they all move freely / smoothly as the Sliders need to be able to move from Revolver to Revolver to solve the puzzle.

One Revolver needs to be left with only 5 of 6 spaces filled (i.e. leave one out) as a space is required to allow you to move the sliders around one space at a time. This is what makes it challenging... like a Rubik's cube but round with rotating / sliding parts.

Once the Revolvers / Sliders are assembled carefully place them onto the long part of the retainer. Once all are in place screw the second part of the Retainer (with the thread protruding) into the assembled Retainer / Revolvers / Sliders..

You only need to make it finger tight as you may need to unscrew it later if you can't solve it... although try not to cheat!

You can glue the thread so it will never come undone if you are up for the challenge...

Please refer to the images provided for additional information. A zip file has been added with all of the slider files so they can be printed individually if necessary.

QUICK TIP: As you need to leave one Slider out to make a space for movement it is recommended to leave out one of the vertical bar sliders ( | ) as the slot in the underlying Revolver looks similar to the slider. This make sthe empty space / gap less noticeable.

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Trying it in abs. So far so good.

Great design! Really was easy to print once I fine tuned my slicer settings. I did experience some resistance when assembling but that was due to poor bed adhesion when printing the revolvers but only on 2 of the 6 and easy to fix with an razor blade. Appreciate you sharing this print!!

Pleased to hear it worked out well for you...

My parts hardly slide. Any help or solutions?

Dry PLA is far from slippery so try giving the moving parts a light spray with a silicone lubricant. This will become completely dry, so not sticky, but very slippery. As long as there aren't and significant parts that bind (which can be cut/sanded to fix) they should all slide well...

I hope this helps.

That suggests the egdes haven't printed as well as with many machines. Although it will take a bit of time check for any rough areas / dags of plastic and remove. You can also run some fine sandpaper over the sliding surfaces. It shouldn't take much...

However the best/easiest thing is to use any light lubricant on the sliding surfaces. I use a silicone spray and it works brilliantly.

I hope this helps.

Is it possible for you to make the sliders separate in the file, so that i can edit the shapes as my own?

Message me your email address and I'll send them there... I don't want to post more files as it could confuse other members as to what they need to download.

Could you send them to me as well?
[email protected]

is there a video on how to put it together?

Sorry no video however the images provide a step by step guide. .. it's easy!

All the best

Printed the rotary there is some inconsistency with the top of the pieces, the printer was doing single dot printing pushing the ete from 3 hours to over 10 this was printing 0.2 so should it be printed at 0,1 for accuracy?

looks like the top of the T on the rotators was not classed by the slicer as solid.

The Sliders - printing on Fine is showing as going to take 5 hours to print, we shall see....

First layer is showing that there is a hollow triangle in the middle of all pieces which will cause slowdown
i will meshmix and see if i can solidify it for faster printing - that didnt work, now trying with 100% infill.

Sorry to hear you are having issues with this... to date over 15,000 people have downloaded and printed this with very few reported issues. However, I checked all the files in my Mesh Checker and no errors showed up so it has to be a slicer issue. You shouldn't need to print at 100% infill... but what may help is rotating the file by 15 degrees on the virtual build plate in your slicing app before slicing it. The app will read the file differently and establish a different tool path accordingly.

Users of Slic3R and Cura seem to have issues with detailed things like this at times and minor changes can resolve the issue... I hope this helps.

All the best

I dont have much access to settings i am using the SW and built in slicer that came with the printer

That explains all... the fact is every machine and slicing app work differently and some cannot deal with more complex designs. The Revolver has worked well and with no issues for most people but the few who do have issues are running the less known machines and apps. The mainstream machines and apps usually cost more but are also more refined...

So my suggestion is to try repositioning (rotating) the file in your slicer before slicing it so it will read the file differently and change the toolpath. That may help it overcome whatever it cannot deal with.

Failing that try scaling "all parts" up uniformly 3 - 5 %. This will have a similar effect so the slicing app handles it differently and also larger makes everything a little less detailed so it becomes easier to deal with.

I hope this helps...

As the parent of a color blind son, thanks a ton for making a shape based version. Really makes things better for him!

Thanks for telling me and I'm pleased it is of value!

Really nice puzzle! I solved it a couple of times, but now i'm having some issues with last layer :P

I love it! It will be going in Christmas stockings this year :-)

I did the puzzle in an hour it was so funny

thanks for this

Pleased to hear you solved it!

I printed this. came out very well, my only issue is the first layer is a little thick to ensure bed adhesion but that thick layer prevents sliding the pieces without a TON of work sanding :(

That doesn't sound good at all... the design is not like this and they have printed well for me (on my MakerBot's) and plenty of other members here on Thingiverse without this sort of issue... no sanding/clean up required. On this basis it has to be something to do with the slicer settings and /or machines accuracy/precision on the lower layers. In addition, are you using a raft... this is recommended as it can leave the base edges cleaner (...but not all slicing apps / machines create as good raft with easy separation as others).

This is all I can suggest to help but hopefully you have everything sliding smoothly now albeit after some sanding.

i would recommend to do a raft so that the raft gets mashed down but the peice won't

It is really cool, good job
if only the small pieces has a curved tip holder
like this:
/ \
| |
\ /

so it can slide easy even if it is not perfectly aligned,
it is a bit hard to align and hold it to the 0.1mm to be able to slide parts
I will reprint them if they are improved

I've printed quite a few of these now and they slide fine for me... as long as the print is clean (no excess filament etc.). However, to make them slide really well I give all contact surface a quick spray with a dry silicone lubricant. This can make a big difference. It's not wet/oily but changes it from being dry unlubricated surfaces trying to move across each other to mildly slippery surfaces that slide much easier... well worth doing!

here is an trimmed corner slider, I printed it, it is very easy to slide

you don't have to care about aligning revolvers any more,
they will auto align correctly while you slide

unfortunately, I don't have the knowledge to apply the same trim to all sliders

hope you find it good suggestion and add it so we can reprint sliders, it is really cool puzzle

it slide about fine, it is just hard to align them exactly side by side to start sliding in
I'll try curving them and send you a copy

interesting change but that is quite a significant chamfer applied to the edges. This shouldn't be necessary with a precise / well set up machine and slicing app as advised before. The design actually has a radius on all surfaces to help with ease of movement and all the (20+?) I've printed don't suffer from this.

My concern about the mod is there are areas that don't look clean. Some of the edges look quite jagged... so on accurate machines tat is what you will get which could almost make matters worse. The real issue here is that no machines / slicing apps work the same and what one deals with really well another won't to the same degree... but that's all part of the challenge!

All the best

Hi! Man, the top part of the female retainer is a little bit fat, that doesn't cause issues with the revolvers? Maybe the revolvers doesn't fit...

That's not like that in the design or been an issue for thousands of other people who have successfully printed this (refer to the images etc).

This will be a slicing app or machine specific issue. Unfortunately not all machines or slicing apps are as precise as others and with detailed designs like this with fine clearances that is all important.

A solution that often works is to uniformly scale all parts up by the same percentage (5 - 10%). This makes it less 'finely detailed' for want of a better term.

Hopefully this helps....

hey can you send me a separate part of the retainer i had some issues with it, the screw and small part printed realyy good but the large one did not
can you send me the files please.

No problem... just message me your email address.


Good design, although a lot of cleaning is required when printing with PLA.

Thanks for the comment... the design itself won't determine what clean up may be required. That will be a result of the accuracy /precision of your slicing app and/or machine. I've printed lots of these on my MakerBots with next to no clean up required. Filament and the effectiveness of your filament fan also contribute to things like this.

obgryza paznokcie :D

Very nice design. I printed one out in ABS and everything went together nicely. The only "issue" that I have is that the pieces (the sliders) are just a bit too loose. Now it may be my print settings and the fact that I'm using ABS, but a bit more of a snug fit would be better.

I would love to get a copy of whatever cad files were made in order to make this. I would make a few modifications and make a model that can use a dual extruder (make the shapes a different color on the sliders). I would also probably put a bit more of a round shape on the revolvers so that pieces slide into position a little bit easier.

Overall a very nice design.

Thanks for your comment... all edges possible have a fillet (rounded) edge to help movement however all machines print and slicing apps deliver slightly different results. A quick spray with a dry silicone lube helps make things slide really well...

This is a cool "thing". For those of you wanting a single model to print rather than a group... If you are using KisSlicer load the STL up onto the build plate with all 6 sliders. Then click the extruder mapping windows in the upper right corner. These are the windows that show a small graphic of what is on the bed to be printed. When you do this a mapping screen will appear. You will see that there is a mesh line for each of the 6 pieces on the build plate. Click each of them that you don't want to print and then select void. You will have to void each of the items separately. The line on the mapping screen will show which ones are void. Now when you do the slice only the remaining pieces will actually be sliced and put in the g-code file. There is a downside to this if you use a raft. The raft will be big enough for all 6 parts regardless of how many you void. I don't know how you would do this with Slic3r but there may be a way.

from my understanding slicer cant, cura can however split one object into multiple parts and programs like netfab that modify stls can as well

Is there any way to get just one of each shape type without having to split it like a file with just one row of sliders? When I try to split it into parts my computer becomes really slow and my slicer wont respond.

Hi... I've been asked for this before and can provide them as separate files okay. However, from past experience with things like this, I don't want to post them on Thingiverse simply because too many files causes confusion. People don't always work out what they need and don't need.

Anyway, message me your email address and I'll send them that way.

After 3 hours, it finally responded. I am aware of how it can be confusing, but maybe in the folder with the .stl files, make another folder with separate parts?

I can't see any option to allow you to create a folder... if there was a way to do as you suggested I would, However, the easiest thing to do is to email them through. You can send me a private message with the address.

You can put each individual stl in a zip file, and upload the zip.

I've added a zip file with the individual slider .stl's. Hope this achieves what you want....

I'm not the one who requested it, just thought I'd propose a solution :)

I'm already printing the model you posted and have decided that the model you posted was pocket size, and have decided to scale it up to 1.5 for a desk size, which I have decided is best for a puzzle laying around the house, rather than one that could fit pretty much anywhere.

REQUEST: After 5 attempts at printing this, I suggest an upload of each part as a single unit. I printed the sliders and 4 of them came loose which ruined the rest, same thing happened with the revolvers as well. Each print costed about an hour of wasted time. the "All in one" approach is nice to have but I'd rather print them out in smaller groups for less of a risk.

happy to provide you with separate files by email but I don't want to post them... the reason being that when I have done that with complex things in the past I get inundated with questions about what people need to download. I always make it as clear as possible in the instructions but people seem to get confused sometimes when there are several alternatives for the same thing. Keeping it simple seems to work better for most people... this is also why I listed my colour version and single colour version separately.

If you message me your email I can send the individual slider stl's for the single colour version.

Just one question, as nobody else has reported having problems with this but lots of people have had great results, if you're having build plate adhesion issues are you using a raft? That usually helps and if your raft setting in the slicing app is set well to suit your machine it should snap away cleanly. I appreciate these are small pieces so adhesion could be an issue but raft should resolve that... I must have made a dozen of these with no problems. Just a suggestion...

I can't slice shape sliders in cura. But I like this thing

I haven't heard of anyone else having issues slicing this but not all slicing apps work the same... try rotating the part on the slicing apps virtual build plate as that will change the tool path and/or scale all parts up a bit 3 - 5% may help it deal with the detail

Thanks for the answer. After 10 minutes cura sliced the model but i don't know why.

Pleased to hear you got it sliced okay... thinking about the cause it has to be either Cura struggling with lots of curved surfaces and/or you need better graphics processing power in your computer to deal with things like this Anyway... have fun with it!

This is so cool. Good job making it.