Flying Tourbillon Model 1.5

by A26 Jan 9, 2018
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I cannot for the life of me get spring 3 to print right, on the initial layer towards the center it for some reason does not extrude and then causes residual filament to drag over outside of where it stopped messing the whole print up, tried with multiple stl's and filaments and leveled bed several times. has anyone else had this issue?

I am trying to make/print your file for a student and my machine (da Vinci miniMaker by xyz printing) is telling me it cannot print because I have PLA install but need "anti-bac"....can you explain what I might be doing wrong?

The holes that keep framea-3-PLA and frameb-3-PLA together, are too tight they are both 51.962mm.The holes in frameb-3-PLA should at least be 0.05-0.01mm larger then the pillars on framea-3-PLA

What did you use to hold the pieces together.?
I printed the "non PLA" version and ive no clue what your using to hold this thing together.

Comments deleted.

Are the holes in the Flywheel for weights? I tried using 4-40 set screws but are way too large. What are you using?

If I only want to use 2mm metal shafts instead of PLA and 608 bearing, what files do I need to print?

Some notes for you after finished the print:

  • 1 shaft is 22 mm, the other 2 should be more than 18 mm, may be 19 mm, so the the spring would have space to spin.
  • I use standard PLA, not sure about my printer's precision but I print standard 12tesc, anchor, spring, the others printed with the PLA version because the holes in the first 3 are too tight for the shaft.
  • Shafts are very easy to buy at my place, 150 mm each rod, only need to cut them in the workshop (at my university).
  • Bearing is easy to get too, will need some oil to smooth it. Also need 1 layer of paper tape to ensure tight fit (in both diameter)
    Nice model overall. Very interesting to watch.

My build notes:

• The required shaft lengths are 22mm, 18mm, and 18mm.

• I found 22x2mm steel rods from uxcell on Amazon (Example search: https://smile.amazon.com/s?k=22x2mm+steel+rod)

• I cut 4mm off two of them easily by inserting 18mm into a drill chuck, then using the drill to spin them and a hacksaw to cut them. See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQ2_n3va5S4

• Modeling files enable carefully filing parts to ensure precise fits. Eg:

• Loctite Super Glue Gel Control has cool levers on the side of the bottle that make it really easy to apply precise amounts of glue.

• The shaft was too loose inside the 608 bearing. I also just wrapped it with some masking tape, then cut through the overlapping areas, then removed the extra tape for a perfect fit. Needed two layers.

• The 608 bearing was also too loose in its socket, so after aligning it carefully, some super glue held it.

Nice design. Thanks, A26, for creating it!

Wish this worked, however the frame for PLA pivots does not work. The hexagons are the exact same size, meaning that you'd have to have a perfect printer, and such one doesn't exist. I've been trying for about 3 weeks to get a frame to work as I really want to make this model, however I've hit a wall and may just give up because no matter what I try I can't get it to work. :(

Have you tried increasing or modifying some files in Tinkercad or some other easy 3D designing program?
EDIT: He made a few versions of the same file, spring for example, try the model labelled simply "spring".

Could you please put all the parts on one file so people with large printers can just print it in one go.

Hi, really looking forward to printing this, just wondering which parts I should print as it is a bit confusing which files I should print and which ones I don't need to print? Thanks!

ones labled PLA_shaft are for if you are going to use pla filament as a shaft ones without are for metal shafts and if your using flexible material use the thicker spring

Thank you for sharing this model! It's an awesome piece of engineering. It took about 4 hours to print using my Prusa Mk2.5, and it was an easy assembly. I printed mine using PLA, and used 1.75mm filament for the pins. The longest I've gotten it to run on a single wind is about 72 seconds.

Thanks for the great design, but it's kind of difficult to figure out what set of parts to use to get the maximum efficiency version. It would be great to have a remix for each version

Once a download is done, and one opens up the image file to get an idea of which part is which, it would be nice to have a actual part name associated with the part instead of a long number like that which is assigned to random pics stored on a phone. It's hard to match up a image tp/with the file name, especially when there are one or more of the same file names. Thanks Not trying to be rude, just don't know why when people go thru the effort to make something they can't take the time to assign a name to the image that matches up with the associated filename. Makes it very confusing.

Awesome design! Any type of 608 bearing work? I'm seeing 608-ZZ and 608-RS and 608-2RS, etc. All work?

there is a link to use bbs from a bb gun and 3d print the rest of the parts and it works very well and easy to assemble

ZZ is metal shield to protect the bearings, RS is rubber shield. Since you're probably not going to use them outside or in the dirt, either is fine

Ahh. Thank you!

hey!im exited to get to printing this and i was reading the description that you printed it on the MP mini delta(the printer im using) and was wondering how you got the "60tring" to print as it dosent fit on the bed.

Just printed two very successfully on Ender3 with flexible magnetic bed, no raft needed, support only on the base and anchor. Balance spring prints with no problems removed from the bed just fine. Had to increase the frame shaft slightly (to 7.95mm using Tinkercad) as the bearing was too loose fitting.
Great design works well, using 2 mm shafts and opened the shaft holes to 2.2mm for free running balance wheel, gear wheel and anchor.

Thank you for this design. I made a donation to Planned Parenthood.

I'm very glad to hear it. You're welcome for the design and thank you for making it worthwhile for me with your donation.

what do you use for the metal shaft?

I used nails I found in my garage that just happened to be 2mm in width. Cut to size. :)

Thanks for this suggestion. I was a bit stumped on this question and was getting close to making an amazon order, but on your suggestion, I ransacked my nail collection and found ones that work perfectly.

Simply search for "2mm shaft" on amazon. There are several options. I usually get packages of shafts that are 150mm long and cut off the lengths I need for a particular project with a Dremel. Alternately, strips of filament also work in lieu of shafts.

Works! However the bottom frame that attaches to the bearing is loose fitting for my print and it tilts the balance wheel to the point where it hits the gear after a few ticks. Maybe amazing tolerance isn't the best sometimes haha.

I think that the orientation of the roller in the middle of the exploded renderings is upside down. I have assembled it the other way round and it works fine. I had to print every part just once and it is flying perfectly. Thank you.

I have to say this is simply an amazing thing to build, but its also quite a miserable task! I finally managed to get one printed and working today but over the last month I must have printed every piece at least 3 times each. None of the shaft holes came out good (I assume my printer is at fault) and so I had to tweak hole sizes in blender a lot until it was ok. Same goes for some of the hexposts. I tried printing with PLA shafts but that was terrible and redid it with metal shafts. Once I had it assembled, I realized the metal shafts arent supposed to barely fit, they are supposed to be free turning - so I just printed everything at 110% scale, which required reducing the hole for the bearing in blender. But it finally came out ok and it works great straight off the printer! You don't need to glue it together but I did glue mine since it seemed to explode every once in a while (which is quite specatular! :)

I also remodeled the super thin foot parts on the base to be a lot thicker and stronger. The thin ones bent and broke a lot.

On the subject of tolerances: I've found that there is variation between slicers, as well as with the settings of the slicer. I usually use Cura, and it seems to make things a bit looser than Slic3r, though even with Slic3r, I've seen quite different results from different versions. For Cura, the settings matter. I used the balance wheel+spring combination as a test case for this model. Cura has two setting which are claimed to affect dimensional accuracy: Outer walls first, and Infill before walls. Setting these to both off gave parts that were too tight to fit, and setting either of them off have parts that were too loose. So I think it's best to go with the settings that maximize dimensional accuracy (Outer walls first ON, Infill before walls OFF) and adjust the models. You suggested doing this in OpenSCAD. My preference is to load them model into Blender, go into edit mode, select the vertices around the hole, and scale them inwards by a factor of 0.98 or 0.99.

I am having trouble printing this model out. the hex holes seem to be the same exact size as the hex pegs so they dont fit into each other. i am printing it at 100% then i tried the 30% like you suggested and its the same problem.

assembled, works reasonably well but the balance wheel quickly slows down after only two or three oscillations. Then, when the wheel starts to almost stop, the lever skips and the wheel races around. I suspect that this problem has to do with the wheel that the lever interfaces with not pushing the lever away properly. What did I do wrong?

Maybe this doesn't work so well with PLA+ (less brittle more flexible), as the smaller spring doesn't seem to have enough strength, I think that's the main issue with mine.
Either that or it needs VERY low friction to function right.. Or maybe the design needs something to help balance/brace the free-spinning part against the tilt-forces that the main spring creates.. Mine seems to work somewhat, if I hold everything in place and manually turn it, but otherwise that one gear that contacts the 60tring always tilts out of it's teeth and jumps the track. Also, it might not work at all with this printed BB bearing I was trying to use, too much wobble. Oh well.
Any chance we could get a slightly stronger/thicker small-spring? Not sure how to thicken that myself, but it might work better for those using PLA+.

I noticed similar issues recently when printing this design on my new Prusa i3 mk3 kit coupled with Slic3r. Previously, using my Reach 3D printer with Cura, holes came out undersized, so I incorporated offsets in all of my designs to ensure parts printed with the correct dimensions. I found, however, that printing the "PLA shaft" files on the Prusa yielded the correct tolerances for 2mm metal shafts to prevent excessive wobble and slop. If you know what works best for your printer, it should be fairly easy to mod the parts within Openscad (import the .stl, then code in a difference of cylinders).

That still leaves the balance assembly, however. I'll see if I can upload versions of the balance wheel and roller with tighter tolerances in the coming days. Ideally, it should spin freely, and there should not be any wobble on the balance staff assembly as that could cause the balance wheel to tilt and rub against the fork or the frame. I'll look into adjusting the balance spring resistance, although I usually make adjustments to the balance wheel through grub screws or by changing the infill density. I've printed this design with PLA from Hatchbox, Prusa, and AO Robotics and the springs all perform about the same.

Blue tape around the 8mm plastic shaft on frameb that slots into the bearing (or adjusting the diameter via the method described above) should prevent the 6T pinion from skipping (provided the bearing is sufficiently rigid). I also had to tape the outside of the bearing on the print I did on the Prusa to eliminate another source of slop.

Anyway, I hope that this helps. Please let me know if you have further issues.

I'll try tweaking some of that. Thanks.
Although, don't worry too much about the balance wheel, it seems stable enough on mine, tho I might need to get it to rotate easier by widening the holes or just manually working it in. The main issue is the balance-wheel's spring isn't strong enough to rotate itself in any orientation on mine, with this PLA+ I use, which is quite a bit more flexible than standard PLA. I think that spring just needs to be a bit thicker, so I might try increasing the horizontal expansion on it, or something. Or maybe I need to make the wheel itself lighter with less infill. heh
Naw, the only thing that was wobbling was the axis coming up from the Main winding Spring, the force of the wound spring was causing the entire flying assembly to tilt inside the 60tring, and maybe that's cause my bearing needs to be tighter or I should just go buy a metal one. lol

The 12-tesc wheel locks up with the anchor after I wind up the mainspring, preventing the mainspring from spinning. Any suggestions on why this is happening? If I rotate the 12-tesc wheel in either direction, it locks up with the anchor unless I push the anchor aside just right.

What size nozzle did you use? .4mm?

So I printed out all the parts and tried to assemble everything, but when I tried to test the inner mechanism the anchor kept getting in the way of the spring. I loaded up the PLA shaft and normal anchor files next to each other, and at the point where it meets the spring housing, the PLA shaft anchor is upside down compared to the normal one. What's up with that?

(what I mean is that the tab that interacts with the spring is on the top of the part in the normal version, but the one for the PLA shaft is on the bottom.)

Okay I've printed everything and on framea-3 the top pin for the balance wheel sits further into the frame than the bottom two pins making it impossible to get frameb-3 to fit flush with everything. What did I do wrong? I printed a second frameb and punched the two lower holes completely through just to see if I could get it to work. No luck, the large gear and everything but framea and frameb leans to one side and gets in a bind so it won’t budge.

So with this update I will need three 3mm x 2mm shafts?

It requires three times 20-21(ish)mm long by 2mm diameter shafts. I don't recall the actual lengths. I did a mock-up with PLA shafts and cut the metal ones to length thereafter. Sorry if the lengths were unclear in the description.

Is there a way to print this spring powered tourbillon without ball bearings and metal shafts?
I know that your version 1 can be printed just using pieces of filament as shafts.
However, it is not spring powered and i don't have the ball chain needed to power it.

Geometry-wise, this design should be more forgiving to plastic shafts since I eliminated the central 3mm metal shaft. I could resize the shaft holes if there's too much slop, but they usually print undersized anyway. There are ample 608 bearing replacement designs on thingiverse. You could add one of these to my design without any modifications.

My concern would be the increased friction of plastic-on-plastic contact (shafts and sockets) combined with the added slop from the 3D Printed bearing (in fairness, my cheap skate bearings are pretty terrible already) would not perform well with the increased (and varying) torque from the spring.

If it works out or if you have further questions, please let me know.

I got it working. I have to say, it works quite well!
I used a real 608 bearing from amazon but i stuck with filament as shafts.
The sockets for the shafts are way too big and leave lots of slop. Apparently my printer didn't get them that undersized.
It works anyway, even with the slop. I got about 40 seconds runtime, so it can't be causing that much friction. When it stops, there is really no power left in the main spring. When i try to run the mechanism by hand, i can feel how it requires very little torque indeed.

Sometimes, when i apply way too much power, the escapement fires twice and forces the balance wheel to swing in the same direction twice. It doesn't bind though, thanks to the security pin on the escapement.
This is probably caused by too little lock and/or too little draw.
Anyways, with normal amounts of torque it runs just fine. It can run for several minutes when i power it with a weight. No irregularities or anything.
To power it with a weight i used an adaptation of the ball-chain wheel from your previous version.

I uploaded PLA shaft versions of the five affected parts (see update above). The reduction in slop should alleviate the double-hit issue. Hope that helps. I appreciate the follow-up.

Thanks for the exploded views, I am assembling now.

Is there any type of assembly video or drawing for this part?

I just added some exploded views using Openscad renders. If you have further questions on how parts fit together, feel free to ask in the comments or to message me directly.

I just finished mine (printed last sunday). Glad to see i did it the right way, because it was not really easy without the exploded view ;-)
Now, after posting my "make", i just found the new drawings, which i really appreciate! https://www.thingiverse.com/make:438088

The only thing i am still missing is the exact length of the axles; my plan was to write down the length and post is here, but now its assembled and running nice so i am afraid of taking it apart...
Anyway, great design and good to impress all people which still think a 3d printer is not more than a nc controlled hot glue gun (although there is some truth in this...)

Flying Tourbillon Model 1.5

I Love these . Im trying to replicate a tourbillon using some pages I found through Google and looking at how your designs work. Are you using any special software to help with the calculations or is it just knowledge/trial and error?

It took some guess work on the balance wheel/spring design to get one at close to .5s period. I now use it for almost all of my models. In the end though, it's virtually impossible to get repeatability with 3D printed springs from print to print (hence the holes for screws in the balance wheel).

Gear ratios/modules are pretty straight forward to calculate (.5 sec period = 2 teeth/sec on the escape wheel). I design the escapement parts graphically in a generic 2D CAD program. It's mostly just picking some arbitrary parameters and going from there (eg. 12T escape wheels, 45* pallets, 4mm roller jewel, etc.) The nozzle size of my printer (.4mm) determines a lot of the geometry. From there, I linearly extrude profiles in openscad to generate STLs.

How many times do you need to wind it up in order to get the full 45 seconds?

That is one wind of the mainspring making five clicks on the ratchet. The spring won't really wind any tighter. Five clicks should in theory yield 50 seconds, but my model has enough internal resistance to usually stop it from making the final 30 degrees. I'll see if I can design a spring capable of providing a full minute.

12tesc-3v2 gear height does not fit so i used original version: 12tesc

Good catch. I updated with 12tesc-3.stl which should be the correct height.

I am trying to print one of these now but I am worried that my printer won't be able to do it. How are the tolerances for this model? Did you have to sand of file anything to make it fit well?

Tolerances are fairly tight. I designed .2mm slop in the gears with about the same clearance with the lock and drop of the pallets. Shaft holes are designed oversized, but invariably print undersized. They get reamed out by a drill bit, so it doesn't really matter though.

My particular model did not require any sanding, but here's a list of the most sensitive areas:
Guard pin - sand down if too long
Pallet fork - sand out the slot if fit is too tight with the roller
Roller - same as above
Pallets/escape wheel - if they're elliptical or misshapen, you pretty much have to reprint them, though be sure to remove any artifacts from pallet faces.
Ring gear - sand between teeth if there's binding (though binding is most often caused by misalignment)
Shaft friction - probably most important consideration for successful operation. It usually works better if parts rotate around shafts rather than shafts rotating in holes (opposite of real watches ).

Other stuff:
Blue tape can be your friend for ensuring a snug fit within the bearing
Splined (hex) shafts and shaft holes can be sanded as needed, but make sure the roller doesn't slide off the balance spring and that the mainspring doesn't slip under torque
Friction holds the two frame pieces together via the hex pegs. Pegs and holes won't affect operation if one must reshape them.

Hope that helps.

This is an awesome design. I just got mine working, with one issue. If I try to wind up the mainspring more than about 2 clicks (so there's a lot of tension driving it forward), it starts skipping. Meaning that "tick" and "tock" happen basically instantaneously, once every half second. I'm guessing it has something to do with tolerances or slop in the interface between the escape wheel and the anchor? Any helpful hints?

Well, I figured it out! Had to print a second one to get it right.

  • I used your design for the stronger balance spring
  • Used the files with the tightest fits for the rods. However, then some (but not all) were too tight for my metal rods, so I drilled them out to be perfect. The trick was I wanted the parts to turn freely on the rods, but have no extra play.
  • Took extra care in the length of the rods. If they weren't sized properly, extra pressure would get put on the balance and balance spring, causing friction.
  • Made sure the roller had no free play on the balance shaft.

Now it runs beautifully! Perfect tick-tocks for a long time. Thanks for the excellent designs!