Printable Strandbeest

by Snelon Aug 29, 2018
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How did you model it? Ive been wanting to model a mini strandbeest for some time, but cant find the neccessary dimensions and shapes to do so.

Where is the small spacer used? it's included in the files but it's not listed in your description

It's optional, but you can put it between the two triangular feet where they meet the curvy links to the camshaft

Where is the small spacer used? it's included in the files but it's not listed in your description

Where is the small spacer used? it's included in the files but it's not listed in your description

To fix the stl export weirdness in inventor, go to export an stl, click the options button and change units from centimeters to millimeters. I recommend also setting the quality to high while you are there.

I'll take a look at that, thanks

How to assemble this thing I still do not understand. Who can tell me in more detail? (I want to have photos) Please.

Comments deleted.

I can't get the feet of my legs to print very well with supports, I'm using an ender 3 with Cura, does anyone have any helpful tips?

How exactly are they not printing well? If the supports are not easily removed, you could try increasing the gap between the supports and the models. I think they call it the "Support Z distance".

I'm printing this in PETG (spoolWorks Edge), and many holes seem too large. Is this designed for something that expands? As far as I can tell, my dimensions are pretty close to what's modelled, the axles are 6mm wide, and the camshaft arm holes are 6.5mm — that's very wobbly.

That is interesting...your printer might handle tighter tolerances than mine, I have a MP Delta Mini. I have no experience printing with PETG, so I don't know what to tell you about its expansion. ZRex uploaded a remix that included clips on all of the camshaft joints, so that might reduce your wobble. Here are ZRex's remixed files: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3140589/files

by ZRex

Thanks! I'll try it. Since I've already printed almost everything, I guess I'm making two :)

The camshaft is a drop in replacement, it should work with the other parts you already printed

Has anyone attempted to motorize this yet?

Thinking I'll build the strandbeest as is and then see if I can get a small hobby motor adaption together to get this thing moving on it's own.

Does any one got a more detailed guide on how to put all the parts together? It's very difficult build up this thing just using two images..


I recently put this together and have a few notes to share. Unfortunately I didn’t think to take any photos, but hopefully these should help provide a bit more direction. It's really an awesome print, and well worth the effort in the end.

General notes:

  • As mentioned below, all pieces should be scaled to 1000%.
  • I broke a few of the pieces with "clips" (using PLA). I ended up replacing the broken pieces with prints that had 100% infill to add some strength. For some peace of mind, I would recommend printing at 100% infill for at least the large and small triangles with clips. I did break one clip on one the Frame_Block pieces, but was luckily able to repair it with some super glue.
  • Per the instructions below, I only used a total of 10 of the medium and curved beams. However, I felt it was still necessary to use the small spacer (x10) where indicated on the diagram.
  • A deburring tool would be a big help on this project in order to smooth out or slightly enlarge the holes in the triangles and the beams.
  • The large triangles should be printed with supports, but everything else should be fine without them.
  • The pieces for the camshaft (camshaft arm w/ no offset, camshaft arm with offset, long axle, short axle) didn’t fit very tightly for me, and introduced some slop that occasionally seizes up the Strandbeest. I will likely glue these together to prevent that, but it comes at the cost of future disassembly.
  • I made a variation on a spacer to use on the camshaft axles. Starting from the large spacer piece, I scaled it so it was X: 1090%, Y: 1090%, Z: 820%. You’ll need 5 of these.

Assembling the Legs

You'll use:

  • 1 x Large Triangle with Clips
  • 1 x Large Triangle with Holes
  • 1 x Small Triangle with Clips
  • 1 x Small Triangle with Holes
  • 3 x Large Spacers
  • 4 x Small Beams
  • 1 x Medium Beam
  • 1 x Curved Beam
  • 1 x Small Spacer

Assembly for each of the 10 legs is the same.

  • First, we will build a foot. Start with a large triangle with clips.
  • With the point facing down, add the following to the upper left peg: small beam, large spacer, small beam. It’s ok if the spacers fit tightly, they don’t need to slide freely, but are there to make sure the beams are positioned correctly and don’t rotate and bind.
  • To the upper right peg, add: small beam, small spacer, curved beam, small beam. Make sure to get the orientation on the curved beam correct.
  • Do a quick test to make sure all of the beams rotate freely on the pegs. There shouldn’t be any friction here. You may need to deburr or sand inside the beam holes, or the peg itself to ensure smooth movement.
  • Snap on a matching large triangle with holes pieces, carefully. If the holes in the matching part have any printing artifacts that would cause unnecessary strain on the clip, make sure to smooth that out before committing to snapping it together.
  • Pick up the assembled foot and make sure that all of the beams rotate freely. While you can disassemble the foot to fix any issues, I tried my best to avoid this out of fear that the clip would snap.
  • Next, take a small triangle with clips piece and position it above the foot, with its hole on the bottom right.
  • Attach the beams from the top left of the foot to the bottom left of the small triangle, making sure to put another large spacer between the beams.
  • On the peg at the top, add a large spacer then a single medium beam, using the small hole on the medium beam. Again, make sure everything rotates freely.
  • Snap on a matching small triangle with holes. IMPORTANT! This piece needs to be assembled in the correct orientation, or else the leg will be skewed when attached to the frame. As it lay on the print bed, the TOP face of the small triangle with holes should ultimately point away from the matched small triangle with clips.
  • Your assembled leg should now have a medium, curved, and two small beams dangling freely from it. Repeat for each of the 10 legs.

Attaching the legs to the frame

You'll use:

  • 1 x Frame Block (or Frame End With Clips for first set of legs)
  • 2 x Medium Spacers (you'll need a total of 4 for the first set of legs)
  • 2 x Large Spacer
  • 1 x Camshaft Arm No Offset
  • 1 x Camshaft Arm With Offset
  • 1 x Short Axle
  • 1 x Long Axle
  • 1 x Modified Spacer (see general notes above)


  • Each set of legs will be assembled to a frame block piece, however, the first set of legs will use the Frame End with Clips piece.
  • The slightly bent support that spans the middle of all the block pieces should be pointing upwards (see the illustration).
  • For the Frame End with Clips piece only. Slide two medium spacers onto the left and right pegs. The other frame block pieces have this spacer built in.
  • Take two of your assembled legs. You’ll attach the left leg in the orientation you assembled it (so you can still see the ends of the clips). The right leg, you’ll flip over.
  • Start with the left leg. This will be a bit tricky, but you will take the two dangling small beams, hold a large spacer between them, slide them between the bottom right holes of the small triangle assembly, then slide the whole thing onto the left peg of the block piece. I had to sand down the clips on these block pieces to get rid of some pock marks that were affecting rotation.
  • The curved and medium beams will still be unattached at this point.
  • Do the same for the right leg, attaching it to the right peg of the block. Don’t forget the large spacer between the small beams.
  • Note that nothing will be attached to the top and bottom pegs on the block.
  • Now, take a camshaft with no offset piece, and attach a short and long axle to it. They should be pointing in different directions.
  • Slide the short axle through the hole in the middle of the block. We are now going to attach the dangling beams in the following order: right leg medium beam, right leg curved beam, modified large spacer (see above), left leg curved beam, left leg medium beam.
  • Snap on a camshaft with offset piece to the long axle. It’s important to follow the drawing of the camshaft from the original files to make sure each proceeding leg segment has the proper offset.
  • To finish this set of legs, we will attach the next block piece. First, though, add another set of medium spacers to the left/right peg of the current block.
  • Take a frame block, make sure the holes on the bottom are clear of any rough spots, and clip the previous block onto the underside of the next block piece. If this is the last set of legs on your Beest, you’ll use the Frame End With Holes piece instead.
  • At this point, you can add in another small axle to the camshaft an gently turn it to watch your Strandbeest’s legs move!

Hopefully this helps. Let me know if you have any questions, or get stuck!

These are excellent instructions and made the build a breeze. The adapted sizing for the large spacer was spot on. Thanks for putting this together my friend.

Thanks for making this!

For people trying to gather a list of parts / qtys matched to the STL file name

Thanks! I like parts lists with totals and file names. :)

Hi, Great design.
I really like that all parts are 3d printed. Could you please add pictures of assembled strandbeest in different angles (front, top, bottom, side)?
It will be very helpful.

I hope it can help somebody https://www.thingiverse.com/make:537538

Printable Strandbeest
by Owner

For Inventor try changing the scale. It can be found near where you turn it to .stl. It should be the tab with ...

I guess most people here know where this comes from, but I still think you should credit Theo Jansen in the description

Hey, it is a great project. Thanks a lot for offering the files. I am presently printing all parts, but get kind of confused about all this different parts and how to assemble them... you posted a list with the quantities of each parts... but there is missing the frame block / frame end with Clips / Frame End with Holes...Can you let me know how much i need to print with them ? :)
.... While assembling it would be very helpful to have the assembled CAD Model, do you think it is possible to upload or send the CAD Files as a STP file (or STL)
thanks in advance

Hey, very nice design, really looking forward for assembling this little beast. But, there is a little problem. The models are too small, when i open them in cura, the frame is like 7mm by 8mm. Tried 500%, still pretty small according to the video. Could You help? Thanks

Sorry about that, Inventor scales exported .STL files to 10%. So, you have to scale it in cura to 1000 %.

Is it possible to get some instructions and / or individual part totals for printing and assembling this great creation?

Quantities of parts needed:

10 large triangle w/ clips
10 large triangle w/ holes
10 small triangle w/ clips
10 small triangle w/ holes
40 short beam
10 medium beam (or 20, but you really only need 10)
10 curved beam (same thing)
5 camshaft arm w/ offset
5 camshaft arm no offset
5 long axle
6 short axle
12 medium spacer
40 large spacer
1 Frame End with Clips
1 Frame End With Holes
4 Frame Block
The small spacers aren't really necessary, I realized this after I was assembling the beest.

Hope you all find this useful. If not, please reply and I'll see what I can do.
I will try to make better instructions at some point, but I am a junior in high school so time is hard to find.

Thank you for the parts list! I'll see how far along this gets be, along with the diagrams.

How many of the "frame_block" "frame_end_with_clips" and "frame_end_with_holes" do you need to print? Also, can you multiply these to make a much longer/bigger strandbeest?

You only need 1 of each "Frame End". Printing 4 frame blocks will get you a 10-legged strandbeest, 5 modules wide. You can in theory print extra modules...

okay, so the total parts for 1 module would be what you previously posted divided by 5? ie. 2 large triangle w/ clips
2 large triangle w/ holes
2 small triangle w/ clips
2 small triangle w/ holes
8 short beam

Yeah, the guide I posted in the pictures isn't too good, is it? Give me a week or to and I'll put a better one in the comments.

Thank you very much! I'm looking forward to printing and enjoying this one!! :)

If it needs flexibility to snap together I'd suggest PETG. It's strong like ABS, but it has some give to it so it can take a beating.

I bet nylon may also work well due to its flexibility and slipperyness.

Good Idea...I didn't think of that.