by jasay, published

Rattleback by jasay Nov 30, 2010

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Rattleback by jasay is licensed under the Public Domain license.

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Edit: I had some trouble with this originally and VeryWetPaint was nice enough to fix some things and uploaded a derivative. I didn't want to leave this half finished though so now that I've printed and tested, I'm updating with new models and the original Inventor files. If I get a chance I may try to figure out how to model this in Openscad.

A fun and confusing toy that will rotate freely in one directly, but when spun the opposite direction will stop, wobble, and reverse directions.

More on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rattleback

Uploaded at the request of Spacexula


You can print one or both files. They are mirror images and differ only in the direction of preferred spin. Print out with a heavy (preferably 100%) infill for best effect. Sand them down until they are smooth along the axis of the long curve (note that is at an angle to the centerline of the part).

The amount of friction between the toy and surface can be the difference between reversing for only a few degrees or a few full turns so try them out on different tables, floors, etc.

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Mar 24, 2017 - Modified Mar 24, 2017

Absolutely wonderful!

Third time I print these, I keep giving them away. Today they will be birthday trinkets. Thanks for this !

Warning, tested file, it works great

I printed 20101129 @ 100. Less than 30 secs to sand it a little bit and it worked out of the bot !


Wow, yours works really well. Can't wait to try this when my printer is up and running. I can upload inventor and possibly solidworks files if anyone is interested.

thats pretty cool. does it reverse the directions if you take it to the southern hemisphere?

No, but mirroring the part before printing should work.

Printed it at 75% as I didn't have enough time to print full scale. After a bit of trimming and sanding and it works if you turn it gently. It seems to be top heavy, so doubling the width without altering the height might do the trick. The one on Wikipedia seemed to have a wider and thinner profile. :)

Same result here. I built two mirror-image versions in hopes of getting a left-handed rattleback, but they're just too top-heavy. The contours are basically right, but it's disproportionately high in the Z-axis.

The picture shows how easily it tips over (left). It's twice the thickness of a conventional rattleback (right).

So I'm currently building another mirror-image pair now, but I've scaled it down 45% in the Z axis.

Wow didn't expect so many printed so fast. If the z-scaled one works I'll try to modify the model later today.

Thanks guys.

I built a second mirror-image pair 45% thinner in the Z-axis. Now they're about the same dimensions as a conventional rattleback. But they tend to stop instead of reversing because it's so well balanced at the spot where the layers flatten out.

See the video at http://s755.photobucket.com/albums/xx192/VeryWetPaint/Projects/?action=viewhttp://s755.photobucket.com/al...

I think the dimensions are right so I'm building a third set oriented on edge as shown in the right-hand picture so the contours will be more continuous. If these work, would you like me to upload them as a derivative?

Absolutely, I'd love to see this work. Really wish I had a printer to help test.

I think we've got a winner...!


This time it has "go faster" stripes to make it work better. I'll upload the modified mesh as a derivative. (If I can figure out how to do that.)