Fidget Gears Revolving V2 Print-in-Place

by kasinatorhh Mar 16, 2019
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ok so I am new to 3d printing and have repitier host and curaengine as my slicer...just tried printing my first time and all these setting still confuse me...everything is stuck together gears and all...unsure of how to proceed with a reprint? my settings for the nozzle are infill shell .6 and infill top/bottom thickness .6. overlap is 15%. concentric lines. anything I should change? I just printed the gear cube no problems from thiniverse. thanks guys

If you are new to 3D, this is not the best design for you, as it is not forgiving wrong settings in the slicer or calibration.
Everything indeed will be printed together at the beginning.
If you find or the right settings, you will be able to print also other challenging designs.
As a starting point stat to print at 150% size. That should always work to have something to play with.
If you want to go the road of improvement:
-Use temperature tower to find the correct temp setting,
-Calibrate extruder steps/mm
-calibrate nozzle diameter

  • think about upgrading firmware to marlin 1.1.9 or later
  • think about replacing the steppers by TMC2208. its not only more silent, also the machine is not resonating by the nose, what also helps in quality.
    Use between 100-200um layer thickness
    Print outer walls first and not more than 20mm/s.

Meanwhile I printed this in PLA, ABS, PETG with success.

The big gears should be ONLY connected to the holder through the ca 80 barrels top/bottom.
If you remove the barrels, the big gears should at least move 0.5mm. If not, check where it sticks.

Don't forget the smoothing step as shown in my pics, otherwise it will not work smooth.
Also some silicone lube helps to get it moving at the beginning, until the cleaning is done.

I print between 0 and 100% infill.

Agreed I'm going to try 150 percent next. It printed pretty well actually it just looks like it missed some steps and by doing so didnt complete the gears. Also the supports really messed it up on the bottom. The top and 1 side looks perfect but the bottom and other side is off. I usually use cura engine to slice but tried my hand at prusa and didnt do too bad! Cura is much more user friendly I think but has less options in it. ALSO I bought an auto bed leveler and dont know how to install it. Theres 2 ports that should be on my board but aren't there. Theres only one and then 5 metal prongs sticking out. Not sure if I have to use an adapter to connect them to the prongs that comes in the kit or what. And I printed at 225 and 105 bed temp abs. Does that sound right? Thanks everyone!

Not to be a dick but I find it very hard to believe you printed this thing with 0.6mm nozzle. If you don't mind my asking, why did you choose a 0.6mm nozzle? This seems much more suited to a 0.3mm nozzle.

I started to print this with 0.6mm nozzle to have the print at 120% done in ca. 1.15h.
But that was on Ultimaker2+ that delivered nice quality and that specific silver filament that has low friction and is quite soft.
On my private MEGA-S I'm using 0.4mm nozzle and get better results, but also a 100% print time of 3.5 hours.
Too tiny nozzles make not that good bridges.

Are you using a 0.6mm nozzle with a 0.4mm or 0.6mm line width setting in your slicer?

My nozzle setting and line width match at 0.6mm.

I just tried slicing this thing in Prusa Slicer 2.0.0. First I tried to slice it for 0.6 mm nozzle but I couldn't get the tiny integrated support pillars to be included in the sliced output (looking at the gcode preview) at all with only a gap or alternatively it looked like it was fully welded shut without pillars depending on settings. I just couldn't make it work for 0.6 mm nozzle and 0.15 layer height. Even tried adjusting extrusion width from 0.65 to 0.6.

Then I tried slicing for 0.4 mm nozzle and I was successful so that at least gcode preview looks good and printable. Will try to print that soon. I noticed I had to disable "Detect thin walls" and "Detect bridging perimeters" otherwise if one or both of those were enabled the gcode preview around the tiny support pillars looked bad. I will post a Make later when I'm done.

Here's my make with more info about the settings I used: https://www.thingiverse.com/make:686172

Fidget Gears Revolving V2 Print-in-Place
by Haprog

Sadly four hours of wasted time and filament.

It's not wasted,
you know that you need to improve your print quality ;)
See the other successful makes...

You're right.
I might try the singulated version later.
I just got really frustrated trying to remove the support material.

The first 6 prints I did didn't have all teeth on the vertical gears, because they got stuck with the support.
Nowadays I always print with 50-60% conical support and the version with basic support, no top support interface layer.
After the print, directly when the print is still warm, I RIP off the basic supports with a tongth.
They separate depending on the filament quite nicely.

Tried printing this but ended up with support material all in the gears. Anyone been able to print this on a Makerbot Replicator+? I can't find any way to only generate supports that touch the buildplate. It seems to be pretty much an all or nothing proposition in Makerbot Print.

I'm don't know how to instruct your slicer tip only generate support touching buildplate.

my man it printed okay but even with my razerblade i was not abble to make it
do you have any ideas to help me

Question 1:
Can you minimal move the gears?
You might need to break off the gear-fins from the center, without breaking them apart.
It's hard and it costs sometimes a bit more power.
I sometimes put it into silicone oil, top make the parts move easier, once they are disconnected.
Question 2:
Is NO gear moving, not even a bit?
After removing all the supports, I start stretching the holder of the vertical gears with a screwdriver. If that starts to move e.g. 0.5mm, I continue playing with it, making it move more and more, step by step.

Does the Gears1_V8E_PrintInPlace_NoSupports actually work with -no- supports? It would seem it would need something to hold up the edges at the bottom or its printing in the air?

The gears always require supports.

This file only contains no supports, if you want to try out your supports version.
So you don't need to cut them out.

Happy printing!

every time i scroll down and see the first few frames of the gif at the bottom of my thing page for this it looks like really sketchy :-/

For V8E, do you use support everywhere or only touching buildplate?

Only touting build plate.
The other is very hard to be removed after the print.
Happy printing :)

I tried printing v7 with my anycubic photon.
I added lots of supports especially on surfaces parallel to the build plate.
The parts came out nice but a bit rough where the supports were broken off.
I tried putting it together but I damaged the small gears a bit by putting them in the wrong place (I should have swapped them).
In the end I completely assembled this (small gears on the correct place) but the axles were easy to slip off and get caught in the big gears.
I could have used a dab of glue but that would require surgeon-level precision.
I'll give the print-in-place version a try even though I'm not so optimistic about it. The surfaces parallel to the build plate would probably fail or become one with the surface below them.

Concentric supports are easier to break off and leave a ok surface pattern.
If you are unsure, try to print at 120 or 150%.
Please calibrate your extruder upfront.

Resin printers do not extrude material, they cure layer by layer using UV light.
I'll try printing it in place though post-curing the inner parts might be hard. I'm mostly worried for the axles. Those would be easy to bend and break if they don't post cure.

Sorry, i didn't compile the printer name to the Printing method.
The print in place versions at least v8e don't really have axis any more, just small dips.
They should be able to get some post curing uv-light, when shining through the vertical holes.
I'm keen on a picture of a resin printed gears, so please post your make.
Does the printer allow gyroid infill? There in 4 axis light could shine through.

I gave it one more try.
This time I printed the base pieces in an angle to eliminate surfaces parallel to the build-plate.

I have 2 videos showing what it looks like after assembling it:

I have also identified where it binds and prevents the gears from spinning. The axles are just as wide as the base so if they aren't completely flush with the base, the bigger gears are getting caught on them

I'm aware of this tightness. It's intentional, as otherwise with the nozle the gears might flip of the base.
As you are using Photolithography, this might be not valid for you.

printed it while eating at a restaurant

printed it with supports and i came back home to a blob of filament

The design isn't forgiving printer or slicing setup issues.

Try again and see what went wrong.
Calibrate Extrusion, Level your Bed, ...

Printed the v8E printinplace file and the gears are stuck together and won't move at all, even with using a knife to try to break them apart. Used a lulzbot mini 2 with PLA. Maybe overextruding but I haven't had issues with that before.
I think maybe my layer height was too large I'll try printing it in better resolution tomorrow.

This design is not forgiving Over-extrusion.
It definitely a challenging design, that requires your printer betting setup for exact prints.
And it requires patience when trying to make it moving.

Try to print at 120% or even 150% size. This relaxes the print by scaling the gaps as well.

Oh my gosh! I need this right now! I'll definitely print this once my printer arrives.

my gears are stuck and wont move at all the supports are almost impossible to get out

First: please tell which version / filename you printed.
I use the backside of a scalpel to flip the small support-cylinders out. That works also between the gears.
After that some pressing, without moving, you can see that the big gears start to loosen, maybe not yet rotate.
If they are not loosing at all, they are probably glued to the Holder: then your printer might be over-extruding. Try to print at bigger scale in that case. 120% worked for me with another printer.
If trying to break off the gears from the central holder, it can happen that you destroy the gear. in that case send pictures of everything via PN. Maybe I can guide you.

The gears in this design are really cool. Is there a name for these kinds of gears? They look like helical beveled gears, but I've never seen anything like this where one gear is inside of the other.

Thank you!
I don't know if there is a technical name for it.
When trying to get these modelled with FC Gear Toolbox, I have read a lot of technical documentation about gears theory too get help, until my brain melted.
Result was, that nothing like this seems to be technically relevant, otherwise somebody would have described this before.
And true: you can't use them to transport torque, as the side of the teeth is also where they are sleeved.

So I helped myself: You are right, they are helical extruded shapes, with a circular extruded shape as outline limitation. Otherwise you can't use an inner gear, as the teeth of it would bang into the holder structures.
And that resulting shape is not perfectly fitting. You could write masterthesis to get these shapes correct. For a cool looking gadget it works my way.

Thanks for the explanation!

I tried to print the v7 standalone pieces, it's not smooth rolling, and the small gears doesn't spin the bigger gears. Doesn't even touch them. Printed them at 0.12

Please add pictures and print details (printer, filament)
Maybe it's some print settings.

The gears get smoother, the more you move them, but you should have them easy turning before you join all.


Printer: Ender 3 pro with newest marlin and trianglelab dual extruder
Filament is a generic clas ohlson filament which prints in good quality normally.
Temps are 205c, bed at 60

I'm gonna try the AIO print with pre added suports and see how it goes.

I think the one i printed didn'twork due to too small inner gears that can't make contact.

Thanks for your video.
It shows that you didn't use one of the files available to download today.
The small gears have another shape since V4.

I'm really sorry for the confusion that so many files seem to create.
This morning i removed all the older versions to prevent further confusion.

Please use Gears1_V8E_PrintInPlace.stl for your next run.

Will do :) And yes, the old zip was quite confusing hehe as i didn't see proper standalone pieces.

Why does the pins have these weird layers on the new? 0.12 height


I rotated them obviously around the wrong axis.
No specific purpose. You might use the Lay-Flat button of your slicer.

Is it possible to get the "all in one" print moving?

That is shown on the golden print picture with the scalpel.
With a little bit of practice, i have a 95% success-rate within 15min.
Take care of your fingers!!!!
Use the non-sharp backside of a scalpel or any other thin metal piece to break away the small cylinders between gear and the holder.
Make sure the sharp side is not cutting in the holder, it will win to cut open the holder->lost print.
Make sure as well to not use the sharp edge of the scalpel to cut open the small cylinders. You will break open the holder as well.
When the big gears still don't move, try a screwdriver to softly bend to disconnect the gear from the holder.
Once the big gears are "disconnected", start to losen carefully the vertical gears.
This is how i did it all the time.
If you destroy the print, have a look where it connects.
Printing scaled at 120% increases also the tolerance gaps and might make your print movable.

I like the idea of the design and I wish it would print. The files are all over the place. V7 Holder and V7 Gears are very poorly arranged and are not all situated to be flat on the bed. Only one half of the holder in able to make contact with the bed the other half starts the print on the 2nd layer. The gears only the holding pint start on the bed, some of the gear don't start printing on the bed till the fourth layer. As the designed has grouped the various parts as one STL and not just uploaded every part individually it make it almost impossible to print. I would like to say its a good design but it really isn't at all!

The V7 holder is intended to be printed with supports to have the smooth topside for the hands-side.
So if you simply print them in T-orientaion its perfectly fitting the build plate.
On the two gears-Shafts:
I never had an issue. First layer height =400um, then all fits, it also helps adhesion.
Some slicing programs also allow to place at negative z.
Another comment/make shows another way of fixing it.

Personally I feel you would get a better surface finish from the parts being flat of the bed.
Printing with a negative Z height will only fix the problem for some of the gears other ones will be pushed below the bed and would have layers missing.

All these issues would be solved if all the models were saved and separate STL files.

So be it.
Removed joined ones, added zip file

This post is very convoluted . You are talking all over the place in your main page. Moreover, you file contains 8 separate STL with no explanation. What is the "best" version for PLA? What settings? Is it better to print parts separate? Nothing is explained properly and it's really frustrating.

I printed Gears1_V8E_PrintInPlace.stl in ABS and PLA.
Settings see in the makes.
Cooling is essential, as otherwise the vertical gears melt back to a round blob.
It's a challenging print, not all printer-filamenttype-temperature combinations will work.
The disassembled V7 works as backup, if Print-in-place doesn't work for you.
The design has warping potential, so heated beds help.

I really wish people would separate their items into multiple posts if they have more than one version.

  • Posted with 3D Geeks Thingiverse Browser App

Did you get the print in place one to ever work with ABS? I've tried twice and no luck. :(

The Gears1_V7C_PrintInPlace.stl with modified gear supports I just printed in Inofil ABS Silver.
I'll upload the modified STL (Gears1_V8E_PrintInPlace.stl) today, when back on Private PC.
I used:
Minimum Layer Time 40s, Concentric 30%/85° Support, SupportZ-Distance=0, LayerHeight 0.15mm, Nozle 0.6mm, 100% Infil, 60% SkinOverlapPercentage, Wall 25mm/s40%, TravelSpeed 150mm/s40%, PrintAcceleration 300mm/s², Cooling 100%, Temperature 260°C (250 the layers don't attach), 2mm Brim.
Followed my Steps in my reported Gold Build (using scalpel to remove the Gear-Attach-Support-stiches)
Take care on the Gears, they easily break off.
Maybe the ABS Filament I use is very "relaxive" wrt. what you can do with it?!

I had the same problem as Bmarquez1997 described. The rods are not co-planar with the bottom of the gears. My work-around was different though. In Prusa Slic3r 1.41.2, I did "Object | Split", then deleted the gears, leaving only the rods. Then did a Rotate around the x-axis about 1 degree. Now, print the rods.

To print the gears, do the split, then delete the rods. Now print.

The workaround for the holders was the same as described above.

Once complete, it all fit well (the rods were slightly too long - or each had a burr...) . Either way, works great! (printed in PLA, 0.15 layer height, 0.4 nozzle, default settings, on Prusa i3 Mk3). It's Awesome! Thank you for your time designing and posting this!

Hello, I viewed both the Gears1 V7 pip with and without supports and noticed that there is an overlap of the body with one of the smaller gears, so in my opinion a print is not going to be possible (at least one that will allow the gears to spinn freely) Is there any way that you could fix this or maby I am doing something wrong or do you have an idea how I could fix this? Thanks in advance!! Really Nice Model Btw!! ;)

You mean V7C_print_in_place, V7 disassembled or the deleted V7 file?
Any of the current files? Then send me a PN with a screenshot to check.
Note: if you slice with 0.8mm nozle it maybe not fit.

It is with the "Gears1_V7A_PrintInPlace_With_Supports".
As you can see they overlap, maby this can be fixed by rotating the smaller gear?

So far looks like a really good design, but I ran into a couple roadblocks with the disassembled parts files. For the gears file, the retention rods in the center are slightly lower than the gears, so once imported into cura, none of the gears touch the build plate and require about 2 or 3 layers of support before they start. I used 3d builder and split the extra so they laid flat. A similar situation with the holders, the small diameter holder was slightly raised up, so I split the two holders, moved the smaller diameter piece to be level with the larger diameter piece so both are flat against the build plate. Aside from the leveling issues, they seem like they will all fit together and work well

Update: After printing everything out at 100% scale, the large gears fit tightly around the large diameter holder, and the small gears did not fit in the middle at all. Am I supposed to scale any of the parts?

I was having trouble printing the Gears1_V7_Gears and Gears1_V7A_PrintInPlace, I notice when slicing with Cura, the models aren't flat. Cura slices the part of the first layer and the second layer, the rest of what should be the first layer. It failed every time I tried them. I'm trying PrintInPlaceGear2_V2_noSupport where Cura sliced it flat and it's running perfect.

v7 (parts) confirm NOT working

After having reported so many successful prints, also with PLA, could you be more precise what did not work? Filament, temperature, slicing settings, printer...

Will it work with regular PLA?

Hi xap4o,
I can't give you a 100% answer that you spend money on.
I printed the disassembled version (V7) with two diffetent ABS versions and DarkGold PLA.
So it should work.
I've had very hard time to replicate the Print-in-Place V4 design using any of my Filaments, so I've split them up somewhen to improve success-rate. I'm not sure why the very-initial version was a 1print=1success at the paid print-shack.

Will it turn smooth?
This depends on the general material surface. If you try to scratch your finger nail in it and it feels slippery, the gears for sure will turn easier.
Just take two prints of that filament (and others), rub them together and take the filaments with less friction.
The DarkGold filament looks good, but has high friction before it slides. You might counter that by e.g. silicone oil.

I love this idea and it is certainly worth a second look... or different eyes on it. Not do diminish in any way the genius behind it.

I have been designing to a particular printer for a years now only to learn that very technical printers make a mess of most of the things I've posted. I know that the items I've posted works for many specially considering many of the parts are for this very same printer, Cube3. But its bigger brother, CubePro is -too- precise. If I leave a 1/2mm clearance in my design, they work perfect on hobby printers. For CubePro, it needs 0.2 clearance max. I'll be interested to see which printer will do this cutie-pie justice.

I tried print V3 all together. My printer normally prints moving parts quite well. I could not get it to work. I did use supports "from build plate only". Things I noticed: the shaft in the small gears does not extend far enough to engage in the holes that you have left for the shafts.
Also if you made the base of the ring a little deeper then you wouldn't need supports under the big ring. (Make the design so it rests on the outside ring, not the small gear) That would also be a big plus.

I added Gears1_V3.stl with more tolerance and thicker holders.
Please check.

This print does not work. The top and bottom are too fused. After 30min of trying to take them apart....threw it in the garbage. Cool Idea, but needs work.

Well, I can only say that and how it worked for me...
The video is no fake

Does not work. One layer's width of horizontal clearance is insufficient. Everything was well bonded together. Tossed in my recycle bin.

It took some time to get it free on my print as well.
I put my fingernail to lift off the bigger gears from the holder.
Then I played with the (still connected) vertical gear.
A mixture of force and cautioness...

After the first parts being able to move, i self-grinded the part under rinsing water to move out the broken off parts away.

I, too, spent a long time getting it free. JUST as I got it free, the "top" broke off. I was able to glue it on, but it was pretty dismal. My printer is decent if not quite 100%, but I rarely have trouble with "challenge" prints.

I would suggest creating a manual support for the print-in-place one. Get something that works and post it so you're not counting on the end-user's slicer to do the supports right. Could you show a picture of this already sliced, so we can see the supports you print with?

I really like the idea and enjoyed playing with it. I will try the new looser version in the meantime. I would do the multi-print version but I don't yet understand how it goes together.

Again, thanks for the cool design, I'm watching this one!

Please post a make when it worked for you.
I'm curious about your settings.

I used 40% Cross-support in cura, lifted the design by z=0.5mm, 0.4mm nozzle on ultimaker 3 in Conrad Print shop (expensive like hell)
I don't have a printer myself.

That's interesting, about lifting the model.

I printed one in 1.5x scale, I got one of the smaller gears connected (slightly, on one side) to the outer gear. It was a fair amount of effort to get it loose. I suspect a small rotation or perhaps shift would make it print better?

Top and bottom weren't great either, but with those gaps oversized by my scaling it's not exactly surprising.

I found the 'missing' pieces in the sub-directory, so I'll try printing the no supports version and assembling after. The one I made is pretty awesome as it continues to break in. :-)

Small supports are reasonable to draw in as used to separate springs here: https://www.thingiverse.com/download:6013837

The V1 and V2 had this connection. V3 got that removed.
I think ill add some few layer "dot" supports to tie the gears down.
They should not have the mechanical strength to withstand rotation.
The V4 will also have less unsupported overhangs, as i will reduce the radius of the holder.

The lift i did in my second print and later, to leave the gear mostly round as being supported.
So no flat tire syndrome that cries for a scalpel. ;)

Super confused - printed both files, used support where appropriate, and I have no idea how these would ever spin freely. What am I missing?

Both will work. I was curious if the vertical gears would work, so i made the "... _for illustration" first.
That one you see in the video.
They are not identical, the small gears have a fixed installed axis in the print it all, what can make it more robust.
You have to use support for the small vertical gears.

I'm working on a 5-gears version that is a little bit larger and adds one gear to fix rotation directions, more suitable for sliding on e.g. carpets.
Stay tuned ;)

p.s. Please post a make :)

no idea if i should print the one piece fully assembled printinplace, the files suggested in your edit, or the ones with the most downloads