by gzumwalt, published

Hummingbird by gzumwalt Apr 12, 2018


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Fusion 360

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Hummingbird is a hummingbird themed automata I designed for my wife, who smiles from ear to ear while feeding and watching the gathering hummingbirds at our home. Hopefully it will bring smiles to many more faces.

A video of Hummingbird in action is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw8LeKPo7do

Hummingbird consists of 97 3D printed parts (38 unique parts) and, as I discovered, requires plenty of time and patience to print, assemble and tune. Along with the 3D printed parts, Hummingbird also requires a "uxcell 16mm DC 6V 60RPM Speed Torque Gear Box Electric Motor for Robot" (available from a variety of sources), a 6vdc power source, and four 1/4" or thicker stick on felt or rubber pads (for the base). UPDATE: Thingiverse members arnoldpro and Luke321 have developed a hand crank for this model to substitute for the motor here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2913680.

The file "Images.zip" contains all cad images and photographs with original file names to assist in printing and assembling Hummingbird.

As usual, I probably forgot a file or two or who knows what else, so if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask as I do make mistakes in plenty.

Designed using Autodesk Fusion 360, sliced using Cura 3.2.1 and printed in PLA on both an Ultimaker 2+ Extended and an Ultimaker 3 Extended.

How I Printed and Assembled Hummingbird

Print the Parts.

I've included the file "Hummingbird Parts.htm" which contains the parts list and print parameters I used to print Hummingbird.

I've also included the file "STLs.zip" which includes all the parts in stl format.

Hummingbird is a high precision print and build. Prior to starting assembly, test fit and trim, file, sand, etc. all parts as necessary for smooth movement of moving surfaces, and tight fit for non moving surfaces. Depending on the colors you chose and your printer settings, more or less trimming, filing and/or sanding may be required. Carefully file all edges that contacted the build plate to make absolutely sure that all build plate "ooze" is removed and that all edges are smooth. I used small jewelers files and plenty of patience to perform this step.

Hummingbird uses threaded assembly, so a 6mm by 1 tap and die may be needed to clean the threads.

And finally, I used petroleum jelly judisiously on the gear train and between the rotating contact surfaces.

Assemble the Base.

Press "Gear Motor.stl" onto the motor, then press the assembly into "Base.stl".
Assemble "Gear Compound (60, 20 Teeth).stl", "Axle Gear Compound 60, 20.stl" and "Spacer Axle Gear Compound.stl" as shown, then place the assembly into the base and secure with two "Bolt 6mm, 8mm head, 4mm shoulder.stl" as shown.

Assemble one "Wheel Base.stl, "Axle Wheel Base.stl", "Bolt Wheel Base.stl" and "Bushing Axle Gear Base Long.stl" as shown. Position "Gear Wheel Base (60 Teeth).stl" in the base as shown, then slide the assembly through the Base, Gear Wheel Base (60 Teeth) and the Base as shown. Insert "Bushing Axle Gear Base Short.stl" onto the free end of the Axle Wheel Base, followed by the remaining "Wheel Base", then secure with the remaining Bolt Wheel Base.stl.

Finally, apply four 1/4" or thicker stick on pads to the bottom of the base, one in each corner.

Assemble the Transmission.

The first image shows (left to right) "Bolt 6mm, 12mm head, 23 mm shoulder.stl", "Arm Body Front.stl", "Arm Base Right.stl", "Spacer 8.2mm.stl", "Spur Gear (30 teeth).stl", "Arm Body Front.stl", "Arm Base Left.stl" and "Bolt 6mm, 12mm head, 23 mm shoulder.stl".
Position "Arm Body Front.stl" and "Arm Base Right.stl" as shown, then slide "Bolt 6mm, 12mm head, 23mm shoulder.stl" and secure loosely in place with "Spacer 8.2mm.stl" as shown.

Position "Spur Gear (30 teeth).stl" onto the spacer.

Complete the assembly with the remaining components as shown.

Assemble the Body.

Securely attach nine "Spacer 8.2mm.stl" to "Body Right.stl" using nine "Bolt 6mm, 8mm head, 4mm shoulder.stl".

Assemble "Bolt Wheel Body.stl", "Wheel Body", "Bushing Wheel Body.stl" and "Axle Wheel Body.stl" then position on "Body Right.stl" as shown.

Place three "Spur Gear (30 teeth).stl" onto the assembly as shown, then secure "Body Left.stl" to the assembly using nine "Bolt 6mm, 8mm head, 4mm shoulder.stl".

Finally, attach the remaining "Bolt Wheel Body.stl", "Wheel Body" and "Bushing Wheel Body.stl" parts to the assembly as shown.

When complete, the gears must rotate easily.

Assemble the Wings.

Position "Pivot Wing.stl" onto "Pivot Shoulder.stl" and secure in place with "Bolt Pivot Wing.stl" as shown. The shoulder pivot and bolt must rotate easily in the wing pivot.

Position "Wing Right.stl" onto "Pivot Wing.stl" as shown, then secure firmly in place with "Bolt 6mm, 10mm head, 4mm shoulder.stl" as shown.

Snap the small end of "Rod Connecting 6.3mm Hole.stl" onto the ball on "Pivot Wing.stl" as shown.

Position the assembly on "Body Right.stl" as shown, then secure in place with "Bolt Pivot Shoulder.stl" as shown.

Snap the large end of "Rod Connecting 6.3mm Hole.stl" onto the ball of the right body wheel as shown.

Repeat the assembly process for the left wing, then attach the left wing assembly to "Body Left.stl" as was the right wing.

Attach the Transmission to the Base.

Slide "Spacer 8.2mm.stl" into "Spur Gear (30 teeth).stl", then position the assembly into the base as shown.

Position the transmission assembly on the base, then secure in place with two "Bolt 6mm, 12mm head, 8mm shoulder.stl" as shown.

Position the right and left base arms on the base wheels as shown, then secure in place with two "Bolt 6mm, 10mm head, 4mm shoulder.stl" as shown.

To test the assembly, remove the motor and make sure the gears turn and the transmission pivots freely. Reinstall the motor, and attach a 6vdc power source to the motor such that the right "Wheel Base.stl" rotates clockwise as viewed from the arm side of the wheel.

Attach the Body to the Transmission.

Attach the two "Arm Body Rear.stl" to the base assembly using two "Bolt 6mm, 12mm head, 8mm shoulder.stl" as shown.

Slide one "Spacer 8.2mm.stl" into "Tail.stl" as shown the position the assembly into the body assembly as shown.

Slide one "Spacer 8.2mm.stl" into one "Spur Gear (30 teeth).stl" as shown, the position the assembly into the body as shown.

Lower the body onto the front and rear body arms an secure loosely in place using four "Bolt 6mm, 12mm head, 8mm shoulder.stl" as shown.

Attach the Stem and Flower to the Base.

Press "Flower.stl" onto "Stem.stl" as shown, the press the assembly into the base assembly as shown.

Hope you enjoy Hummingbird!

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Which elements do you need to print x2?

There are quite a few of them. Check out the file "Hummingbird Parts List.htm" for a detailed parts list and print settings.

Best wishes,


Thank you very much

I teach a course on biomimicry and the hummingbird is central to it. Something like this would be a great addition to complement my videos and lecture slides. Unfortunately, I am new to 3D printing and this is probably a bit much for me right now. Do you know where I might be able to buy one of these for my class? Thanks -Dan

For reasons of ownership rights, I do not allow commercial activity with my designs. I've experienced a number of occasions where someone manufactures and copyrights my work, for which I have to proceed with legal processes to protect it.

However, I do still have one non-motorized prototypes, and if you will provide me with more details regarding your school and intended use, I will be happy to send it to you.

If you decide this is acceptable, please send me a message as opposed to a comment, with the details.

Thanks for your interest in this model.


Hey, this is incredible! I am working on assembling my own and I have run into some issues. I think it might help if I can visualize the model in fusion. I see a comment that suggests you uploaded the fusion file but I don't see it anymore. Is there any chance that you can upload or share it again? Thanks

Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

I was advised (not by Thingiverse) to remove the .f3d file from public space and am still in the process of getting it back up. Sorry for the difficulties, but hopefully it will appear soon.


I would be happy to pay for the files as I'm sure you put in a significant amount of time into creating this. Let me know if this is an option.

Love the model and already submitted my Make.
Also my father made a hand crank, maybe you could link to it for other people who have problems to get the motor:

One note to the design, I printed everything with colorfabb NGEN, and the big gears in the base came out a little to flexible, so sometimes a tooth can slip because of gear deformation.

Hummingbird Crank and Drill Adaptor


A saw your model, that's fantastic! I never believed so many would build this as it is one of the most intricate designs I've created for 3D printing. Congratulations again!

I've updated the "Summary" section to include a link to your hand crank.

Thanks, and congratulations yet again!


It was the complexity which made me print this!
Thank you for including the crank.


I just wanted to say what an amazing piece of work this is... I just finished printing this and everything fits together perfectly and it works awesome. I can only imagine the time that went into designing this and I just want to say thanks for sharing your work here.


Thank you very much! I just saw your build and it is beautiful! This is one of the most intricate designs I've created for 3D printing, and I'm very happy to see you and the others spent your time and filament to build one.

Thanks again,


Congratulations! I will print one of this when I get my 3d printer.
This is absolutely awesome!
Thanks for sharing your work with everyone.

Thank you very much, I'm truly glad you enjoyed it, and will print it!

Thanks again, and you're very welcome!


I've printed everything but the flower which is giving me trouble. Could you tell me the correct orientation for the flower for printing?
Amazing model. Thanks!

Thank you very much!

Sorry for the difficulties you're having with this model. I printed the flower in the orientation that's in the .stl file. I did use both a raft, and supports, using PVA. I did not try to print it in any other orientation or manner. Many people have messaged me saying they sliced the flower in two vertically, printed both halves, then glued them together.

Hope this helps!


All of the slicers I have bring the file in standing on it's base (petals upwards). Is this not correct?

Yes, that is correct.

I printed mine on a raft which provides a "sticky" plastic surface on which to print the flower. I also used supports since the petals far exceed the angular limits of 3D printing. On my Ultimaker 3+ Extended, I used PVA as support material since Cura will provide a 100% contact interface for the support material. Also, Cura provides a "Gradual Increase" option which increases the infill density as the infill approaches the model.


A great design. It just prints it.
Can you provide a link to the engine?

This motor is available at robotics websites, but if your an Amazon fan, search for "DealMux 16mm DC 6V 60RPM Speed Torque Gear Box Electric Motor for Robot".

3mm shaft with flat.

Thank you very much.
The link is not working.
Please write what is the diameter of the shaft

I found that printing ALL the bolts with 100% infil was helpful, I managed to break a few bolts during my build phase.

Using a tap to clean out the threaded holes helps, along with a small amount of lite machine oil on the threads.


Printing parts for this model at the present time. Your work is magnificent.

Best wishes for your success, and thank for very much!


How is this not featured... Some of the stuff that gets featured is not worth the attention... but this is a work of art...

Thank you!

I have recently returned to ”test” publishing on Thingiverse after a year of absence, and all of the things I have newly published here were featured on the other sites I publish on, but so far not here. I haven’t a clue as to why.

It does require effort to post designs such as mine with the number of components, images, photos, instructions and the like, so I tend to post on sites with the most traffic and/or features in order to reach the largest audience. Please follow me on Instructables, YouMagine, Myminifactory and/or YouTube if you wish to follow my designs in the future.

And many thanks for your support!


Comments deleted.

Stunning work! I absolutely love it!

Thank you very much, I'm indeed glad that you enjoyed it!


Hi, you could not change the stand file so that you could place 4 AA batteries or 6 AAA batteries inside, with the power switch. Thank you very much for this wonderful bird!

I'm looking into it, and you are very welcome!


Nice work,
I'm printing the files,
Could you please free the 3d file of the base.stl.
I would like to edit this, i thinking in put a batery inside with an microcontroller and some LEDs
If you can make it available, I'd be very grateful.

I am still working on mine, and am also designing a base to contain an 18650 lipo, charger, boost, and pwm module. Also waiting for different motors to get here from china https://www.ebay.com/itm/N20-3V-6V-12V-DC-15-4000RPM-U-Typ-Inversion-Speed-Reduction-Gear-Box-Motor-New/362283208948

Fully support the idea with batteries

I've uploaded the Autodesk Fusion 360 file "Base, Hummingbird.f3d".

Hope it helps!


I must print this!!!


If you do, please post a picture of your Hummingbird!

I was just thinking that this would look awesome in the garden with having the wind move it.

would love to be able to get the fusion 360 file to see how you designed this amazing piece. I would also love to try simulating the movments in fusion. I didn't see it in the files did I just miss it?

thanks again for your great designs!

Merry Christmas, albeit somewhat early. I've just uploaded the somewhat cleaned up file "Hummingbird 4 Assembly v8.f3d", which, to my embarrassment. is the somewhat discombobulated early version of Hummingbird.

I hope you enjoy it!


Greg, I don't see the fusion file you indicated above. I am in the process of printing the parts for this project and have also been teaching myself fusion. If it's still available, I would love to be able to view the fusion assembly. Thanks for sharing your work!

You are very welcome!

No, I didn't include the Fusion 360 files in this thing. I'll see what I can do to "clean them up"!

During the design of this thing, I did use Fusion 360 to simulate all the movements but one, the wing rotation. I just couldn't get the Fusion 360 contact set to work with the ball joints on the wing roots.

Thanks again, I'm glad you liked it!


I cant even begin to describe how beautiful the automaton is !!
Are there any plans to improve upon the design by placing an outer-shell on it to give an even more realistic look? I feel like it is easy to replicate the appearance of humming bird feathers with the proper filament.

Thank you so very much, I'm sincerely pleased that you liked it!

No plans at this time for updates to this model, but then again, you just inspired me!

Thanks again,


Great work!
Was Derek Hugger's work your inspiration by any chance?

Thank you very much, I’m truly glad you enjoyed this thing!

My inspiration to create this thing was watching my wife feed and watch the hummingbirds at our home with a smile from ear to ear. I created this as a “stand-in” for when the hummingbirds are away for the season by using the numerous photos and videos I’ve taken of her and “her” hummingbirds.

Regarding Mr. Hugger, you are not the first to ask as I’ve had a number people forward me links to his “Colibri” project (video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1scj5sotD-E&app=desktop) which is by any measure truly a stunning work of art and engineering, and most certainly inspirational.

But alas for “Hummingbird”, it was simply nature and my wife’s “hummingbird” smile that provided the inspiration.

Thanks again!


Wow, this is absolutely amazing!
I guess I buy myself a 3D Printer just to produce this.
Great work and thanks for sharing:)

Thank you very much, and you are very welcome!

Wow! This is INSANE! Man, talk about talent! Thanks for sharing!

Thank you very much, I’m indeed happy that you enjoyed it!

Nice job! Do you have a list of the quantity of each part to be printed?

Thank you very much!

I believe I uploaded the file Hummingbird_Parts.htm which hopefully contains the information you’ll need. If I’ve missed something, which would not surprise me, please let me know.

Thanks again,


Your best design yet! Love it!

Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

Nice to see you back on Thingiverse!

Thanks Tony, I decided to resume with something “easy”.

Thanks again,


THat is awesome. Collected and WILL be made!

Thank you so very much, I am looking forward to seeing your make!

Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

You list your 3d design skill as "novice".

Then you go and post masterwork after masterwork.

Thank you very much, I’m still learning though!

So funny I am just finishing up printing the parts for this from your Instructable.
I am printing the gears with a .2 nozzle.
Glad you posted here so I can show my make!
Thanks Gzumwalt!

I'm trying out a "return appearance" to Thingiverse and hope it works out.

I am truly excited to see your results!


My wife also loves to watch the hummingbirds we feed. I designed a feeder (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2777464). I am making this for her while she is out of town this week. It is a lot bigger than I imagined, she is going to flip out!
Got a couple motors here:
Thanks again!

Hummingbird feeder (pole mount remix)

Feeder looks great, very nice work!


You continue to amaze!
Fantastic! Elegant.
Regards, Rich


Thank you so very much for your kind words! I'm truly happy that you enjoyed this thing.