Slew bearing, 160x60x8mm

by i-make-robots, published

Slew bearing, 160x60x8mm by i-make-robots May 6, 2014
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7094Views 961Downloads Found in Camera


160mm outer diameter
60mm inner diameter
8mm thickness
Slew bearings can take forces that a roller bearing and a thrust bearing can't deal with. Buying the balls in bulk and printing your own bearing is far more economical than getting a $160 slew bearing machined way beyond my needs.
I put this in Camera because I've seen the same bearing used in astronomy for star tracking. I'm experimenting with using it in my robot arm project.
If you like this you may enjoy more of my wierd ideas. The best way to follow me is on Instagram.


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This looks awesome. Thank you so much for sharing this and your other designs.

I have a couple of questions for you about this design:

  1. How would the cage for the bearing balls be oriented, if you were to include one?
  2. Why not just use a factory-built Lazy Susan bearing? It seems to me that the filament and BBs required to build one of these might actually cost more than a stainless steel factory-built Lazy Susan bearing of a similar size.
  1. that's a tricky one. I'd have to think about it.
  2. I tried 9" lazy susans. the fit between the two halves is quite loose, which makes the robots imprecise.

Thanks a lot for your reply! I'm looking forward to seeing your next creation.

Prints fine in PLA for testing but I don't see the ball size or source for the balls. I'll use this in an old 2-axis solar tracker and a antenna rotator. Found it, 68 balls 1/8" diameter from Aliexpress ....

I made two of these yesterday. I didn't use your model, but the design was the same. I used 99 1/8" balls on a 100mm dia. bearing, with the diameter of the track being 3.3mm on the first one (bearings are 3.175mm dia.). This had no play whatsoever and rotated without sticking, but was a bit tight. So I made another one with a 3.4mm dia. track and that one is much more fluid. Clearance between inner and outer rings was .5mm. An interesting thing about these is they roll smoother when there is a load on them compared to just trying to spin them in your hand. Maybe the load is just more evenly distributed compared to trying to spin it from a single point on the inner ring.

Nice. Picture?

I wish I could rebuild it as a parametric design and let anyone scale to their needs.

Comments deleted.

Nice. Found this after spending hours trying to find a light weight ring bearing about this size for a swiveling motor mount I'm making for an RC blimp. I'm going to design my own because I need specific dimensions and it looks very simple to model, but it's good to see that it is possible to do. I would have thought the internal bearing groove would not be precise enough to prevent jamming on a 3D printed bearing, but I guess it must work.

I haven't tried ABS slurry as a hold-down method yet. Is it good for more than one print? I've found glue stick on glass works good for warp prone ABS prints, but it's only good for one print and you have to apply the glue when the platform is cold. The nice thing is the part just pops right off once the platform cools. Does ABS slurry do that too?

I wouldn't bother with ABS slurry. I'd use a sheet of https://www.marginallyclever.com/shop/3d-printers/buildtak-print-bed-surface instead, which has cured all my print bed headaches. it sticks almost TOO good!

The bearing will probably need some run-in when you get it assembled: at first it will seem tight but after turning it for a few minutes with a few drops of oil it will get much more smooth.

A better bearing would have small plastic spacers between the balls to keep them from rubbing on each other. For your low speed application this should be pretty good. It's certainly affordable!

I've tried BuildTak, but I had problems with parts sticking too good like you said. Unlike other methods, the part stays stuck even once the platform cools. I actually ruined a few sheets trying to get the parts off because I had to peel the sheet off the glass and then wrecked it trying to peel it off the part. You have to get the Z height exactly right with that stuff or it either sticks too good or not at all. I like working on glass because it can be easily scraped clean without ever worrying about damaging it.

Just ordered 100 1/8" ball bearings from Amazon :)

Nice bearing. Totally printing this!

How well does it work? Does it stick because of the roughness of the print?

It sticks a bit. Your mileage may vary. It's a nice proof of concept.

I would imagine it's a bit like 3d printed threads-- sticky at first but then smooths out once friction wears off the little defects.