Gyroscopic Snowflake

by roman_hegglin, published

Gyroscopic Snowflake by roman_hegglin Dec 7, 2012

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Q: What do you get if you cross a snowflake with a gimbal?
A: A gyroscopic snowflake!
It actually works!
Can there be any better Christmas decoration?

There are three variants:
-small , (Gimbal snowflake star small.STL)
-medium (Gimbal snowflake star.STL) and
-big (Gimbal snowflake.STL).

Update I:
I made an other one: Small, shape of a snowflake and a little thinner. Quick to print.
(Gimbal snowflake small and flat.STL), see http://www.thingiverse.com/image:213186

Update II:
If snowflakes within snowflakes (flakeception?) are a thing you are into, then check out my other snowflake thing: Shadowflake


  1. Print it (maybe scale it before).
  2. Gently twist the parts to release the parts from each other (be careful!).
  3. Attach some (invisible) string and hang it anywhere you like.
  4. Please give Feedback.
  5. Enjoy your gyroscopic / gimbal snowflake!

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So far I’ve printed about 70 of these. We’ve been handing them out to people in exchange for a minimum $10 donation to the Ronald McDonald House. So far we’ve raised over $2,000 for RMH and still need to make more snowflakes to match the number of people wanting to make a donation. Great design and they work awesome!

Great! Thank you for your feedback.

Made the large snowflake and scaled it in cura 50% at 50mm speed 200temp and 60 bed and it turned out awesome thanks

I printed Gimbal snowflake star small.STL. the print was fine but it feels tight and not moving.
how did you print it?what setting?
I used 0.4mm nozzle, 0.2mm layer height.

How hot do you print? Maybe to hot will melt the plastic together.
Have you tried to print this one as well? http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:200526http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Optimized (Small) Gyroscopic Snowflake

I could see several of these on a Christmas tree.

I really ought to check my Thingiverse dashboard more often. This is great!

Amazing! I printed the smaller ones a few days ago and was a little worried about pushing the inner parts too much so I left them just tilted. Today I printed the B-I-G one on my new Mendel90 (built from a Nophead kit) ... and took the plunge by twisting and freeing each of the snowflakes in turn (I did the centre one last). Totally brilliant thing especially considering that this works as-is - no clips, no glue, no construction needed at all. Top marks.

Very nice! but mine is not gyroscopic... too hot?

it takes a little (!) bit of force to separate the parts at the predetermined breaking points. sometimes it takes a bit more...

what temperature do you use?
what material?
how high are your layers?

I used PLA, 185C for the first and 200 for the rest of the 0.2mm layers.

How are you able to configure a different temp for the first layer? Is this a setting in Skeinforge?

I don't know about Skeinforge, but in Slic3r, I can set a different temperatures for the extruder and the bed for the first layer.

I use Repetier-Host as frontend and Slic3r for the slicing. Works very well for me.

Very printable and nice design! (Slicer0.93 + Huxley)

This is awesome.

I've printed and given out dozens of these as Hanukkah presents. People love them! Thanks.

Fantastic job Roman, this is my favorite Christmas thing this year!

Thank you. It was fun to create something and to see the idea grow to this thing.

PS: I enjoy it to read your blog. I learned a lot of the basics of 3d printing from you!