Waterfuge: The Classroom Water-Powered Centrifuge

by JosiahDesigns, published

Waterfuge: The Classroom Water-Powered Centrifuge by JosiahDesigns Jan 2, 2017
1 Share
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Order This Printed View All Apps

Design Tools


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


Thing Statistics

3440Views 500Downloads Found in Biology


This is the Waterfuge, a remix of cathalgarvey's "DremelFuge - A One-Piece Centrifuge for Rotary Tools".


My idea behind the Waterfuge came from a few different criteria.

One of these was to make a centrifuge that uses a renewable energy source in some shape or form. Why you may ask? To help the planet, of course! This led me to base the power source of my design off of the basic water wheel. The Waterfuge is powered completely by water running on a small little drum wheel, which then moves all the gears and the actual centrifuge.

Another was to make a centrifuge that is classroom-friendly. By this, I mean that I wanted this centrifuge to be able to be made and used in one classroom that has access to a 3D printer. By using simple materials found in schools like clips, pieces of a plastic straw, and some glue, the Waterfuge can be made and used in any classroom with a 3D printer!

I also loved the idea of a DIY centrifuge as soon as I saw "Dremelfuge" in the Remix Challenge collection. I knew as soon as I saw this design that this was what I had to remix for the challenge. I wanted to take another spin at this whole DIY centrifuge thing, and the Waterfuge was the result!

My Reason For Designing the Waterfuge

By designing the Waterfuge, I hope to bring about the idea of using renewable energy sources in creative ways to make usable machines. I also hope that by being a high school student myself, I encourage other young makers to be creative and to create something that is truly unique!


Now, I'd also like to mention that actual usability of this machine as a centrifuge.

For the design, I tried to take advantage of how gears and cogs work in order to reach a high speed. On the centrifuge, I used a gear that was exactly half the size and has half the amount of teeth in order for it to spin about double the speed of the drum.

However, this speed isn't enough for spinning down the samples in the tubes. By using this simple mechanic however, I believe that the speed that is needed for an effective centrifuge can be achieved by using a geared system.


Link to the Waterfuge in Action: https://youtu.be/4FG33qHkRNM

Link to the Assembly of the Waterfuge: https://youtu.be/DTcbeyFjtac

Alterations to the Original "Dremelfuge"

The only changes I made to the physical "Dremelfuge" was that I made a bigger hole in the center of the thing. Also, I added a gear to the bottom of this part. These two things are the only changes that I made to the original "Dremelfuge" file.


I've released the Waterfuge under the same license as the "Dremelfuge", which was Attribution and ShareAlike. Releasing under this license, I satisfy all criteria that cathalgarvey's "DremelFuge - A One-Piece Centrifuge for Rotary Tools" entailed. Changes made to the original thing are indicated above.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:



Simple White


Doesn't Matter






20-30% (Details Below)



When printing, I've found that the only real thing to worry about is infill with the two plate pieces. These need to be printed at 30% infill at least, so that the rods don't snap off.

As for the other pieces, 20% infill will suffice.


As far as supports go, the only two pieces that I needed them for was the drum piece and the centrifuge itself. The plates and other gears print fine without support material.


For the plates and gears that print flat, a raft or some kind of skirt might not hurt. The plates could possibly warp, and everything would be easier to take off the printer with the use of a raft.

However, I honestly didn't use any type of skirt and just used a ton of glue from a glue stick and blue painters tape and they worked fine.


I like printing at slower speeds myself (around 20-30 mm/s). It wouldn't hurt to print the plate pieces at this speed at least, but better built printers will be able to handle faster speeds.

Extra Assembly Details (Extra Details)

There are two gears used in this thing, one being thicker than the other. Although they look similar, please note this difference when assembling the Waterfuge.

When gluing the cap onto the rod in step 4 of the assembly video, a dab of elmer's glue or super in the bottom of the cap should work fine. Make sure to place the cap with glue on the rod when the thicker gear in on the rod already. If not, you won't be able to put the thicker gear on! Make sure no glue gets on this gear as well.

The straw pieces don't need to be exact measurements, but I found that using a straw that is 85mm and one that is 50mm should work fairly well. Again, these don't have to be exact.

There are pictures above that visually show these extra details for reference.

If there are any other questions regarding assembly of this thing, make sure to leave a comment. I can help you there!


As a quick sidenote, I've included all of the print files as separate files as well as one big zip file. You may choose which way you prefer to download.

How I Designed This

A picture of the design in Tinkercad.

How I Designed the Waterfuge

The Waterfuge was designed completely in Tinkercad. I used some cylinders imported from 123D Design since they are a little more spherical, but besides that, this was all in Tinkercad.

More from Biology

view more

All Apps

3D Print your file with 3D Hubs, the world’s largest online marketplace for 3D printing services.

App Info Launch App

Auto-magically prepare your 3D models for 3D printing. A cloud based 3D models Preparing and Healing solution for 3D Printing, MakePrintable provides features for model repairing, wall thickness...

App Info Launch App

Kiri:Moto is an integrated cloud-based slicer and tool-path generator for 3D Printing, CAM / CNC and Laser cutting. *** 3D printing mode provides model slicing and GCode output using built-in...

App Info Launch App
KiriMoto Thing App

With 3D Slash, you can edit 3d models like a stonecutter. A unique interface: as fun as a building game! The perfect tool for non-designers and children to create in 3D.

App Info Launch App

Print through a distributed network of 3D printing enthusiasts from across the US, at a fraction of the cost of the competitors. We want to change the world for the better through technology, an...

App Info Launch App

Quickly Scale, Mirror or Cut your 3D Models

App Info Launch App

3D Print a wide range of designs with Treatstock. Easy to use tools to get the perfect result. The global 3D printing network that connects you with high-quality and fast working print services nea...

App Info Launch App

I am impressed everything fits that nicely – how did you came up with the design? Did everything fit on the first try?

Thank you for the feedback!

Honestly, the idea just kinda came to me. I wanted to make something fun out of the dremelfuge design, and a water mill seemed like the perfect option.

As for everything fitting, it took me a couple of tries. At first, I had the upper gear too far forward on the base plate, and there was nothing holding it down. After making a new base plate model, making a cap for the gear, and extending the width of the gear, it worked like a charm!

I can imagine. Cool! Thanks for sharing

This is a great design! I'd suggest making this an educational thing so that teachers can use this for their class.

I think that's a great idea! Currently, this model is in the Remix Challenge though, so I think I'll wait until the competition is over to make any edits. Thank you for the suggestion! :)