Magna Structures

by jasonwelsh, published

Magna Structures by jasonwelsh Dec 31, 2012

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9093Views 1674Downloads Found in Toy & Game Accessories


Wake up early, Yawn... Make Tea. Make something new to play with... Print it...

Give to daughter when she first wakes up.

I can't even imagine what this world looks like to our kids.

I had a ton of these "Bucky Balls" on the fridge holding up sad expired coupons and a few coloring book pages.

Suddenly an idea hit. Use them to connect things!

Practice this new idea while having fun is always time for a new toy invention.


This time I searched thingiverse before I released. There was something that used the Bucky Balls, but ya I still wanted to release my idea/version. I felt it was pretty different anyway.

Ages 3+ up / use best judgement + Swallowing a magnet can kill you!


So search "bucky balls" in google.

Print toys

Squeeze ball into holder using flat pressing tool of some nature, They should float inside the bubble.

I cut the top layer off each bubble for better connection while still getting that nice bubble taper in the print.

The 45 degree tris are pretty useless in the main building of things but still fun so I left them into the set.

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what size balls does it use?

Always looking for Construction Parts to try out.
I tried it with plug-in Cylinder Magnets on Square Forms - but the immobility made it hard to coordinate north to south when constructing.
Loose Magnets - Great idea ! -Definately going to try it.

Awesome! Question though: How secure are the balls in there? These tiny magnets are very dangerous and I wouldn't want them to be loose around small kids who may eat them.

Wow very cool!

Added the Bucky Ball Socket for anyone that wishes to add the spheres to their thing.

I use ABS for just about everything. I find it easier to tool and its a great durable media. The SCAD library sounds like a good idea. I just made a 5mm ball calculated for my .5 extruder by adding .25 to the ball and then another .5mm for it to be free in the center. I love modeling things by hand. The SCAD stuff is great for the reprap parts . Sometime I really want to sit down and learn it but........ For me modeling with polygons is like the old man on the front porch whittling wood. It is very relaxing and it keeps your spatial correlation sharp as a tack also ;)


I've been trying to develop a general purpose magnet-socket library for just this sort of thing, but haven't released it yet because I wanted to iron out some of the fatal kinks.

Three of the biggest problems I've had with this push-through design is the amount of force needed for insertion, durability of the opening (separating layers after many magnet impacts), and the extremely finicky opening-constriction parameter (differing for bottom/top/side placements).

Come to think of it, are you using ABS or PLA? I use PLA, which I imagine is less forgiving in pop-into-fit designs.

However, I recently had incredibly good luck using using the Sailfish [email protected] feature to insert entirely hidden magnets (trading improved aethetics for reduced strength) into simple vertical cylinders during the print. This solves most of the problems I encountered in earlier designs. I intend to publish the object with this new approach once the recipient finds their gift. :P

Not bad for a morning's work. Love your quote about kids growing up in a 3D printer home.

Here's a similar one with a slightly different design. The kids love them. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11682http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Magnet Toy