A 3D Printed Marble Machine

by Tulio, published

A 3D Printed Marble Machine by Tulio Dec 30, 2014
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28782Views 5458Downloads Found in Mechanical Toys



I'm a fist year student at the Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts in the Netherlands. And after building two real marble machines which you can find in the links below, I couldn't wait to explore the possibilities of 3D printing.
So i decided to model a marble machine for everybody. After a lot of tweaking i can say it finally perfect and, easy printable for everybody.?I used a Ultimaker2.

Two wooden marble machines:



1 - The Gears:
Layer hight 0.1 (mm)
Shell thickness: 1.2 (mm)
Bottom/ top thickness (mm)
Fill: 40%
Print speed: 40%
No support

2 - The Base:
Layer hight 0.12 (mm)
Shell thickness: 1.2 (mm)
Bottom/ top thickness (mm)
Fill: 10%
Print speed: 40%
No support

?3 - The Floor:
??Layer hight 0.1 (mm)
shell thickness: 1.2 (mm)
Bottom/ top thickness (mm)
Fill: 40%
Print speed: 40%
No support

4 - ?The Track:
Layer hight 0.1 (mm)
Shell thickness: 1.2 (mm)
Bottom/ top thickness (mm)
Fill: 30%
Print speed: 40
No support

I added a Repaird version of the big lift gear. For when you experience any problem while printing.

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The Gear Shaft wouldn't print is there anyway I can print the gears individually.

you so have to combine them all


Very nice design!! But impossible to slice properly with Simplify3D. Seems that parts are hollow on some points. But with Makerbot all sliced ok :)

Base: Hollow areas around gear shaft holes.
Floor: Hollow rectangle areas.
Gears: Big wheel, pretty much hollow.
Track: some support pillar vanished.


I can't belive how many times I watched the video. (how long)

You should publish other modules to add to this base conveyor set!

Pee Wee's Breakfast Machine! Nice choice of soundtrack!

Haha Thanks man ;)

I cannot get it to print the large flat "C", (ball guide) on the base.
Do I need to flip it on that side to print?

I'm glad to announce that I'm currently modelling and printing prototypes of the 3D Printed Marble Machine #2 ! ! !
I suspect it wil be online in a few weeks / months.
For more updates, follow me on twitter:

I have also tried to print it and am having the same problem as jmsjgill. When it prints the pickup wheel it is hollow under the gear so the pickup part of the wheel does not print. I would love to print the full version as without the pickup wheel the entire thing is kind of unusable.

Oke, I've tried some things out, and talked to some people, And I Think it must be that your infill settings are to low, or that you have a too small bottom/top thickness.
I used a bottom/top thickness of 0.6mm, and a infill of 40%.
I assumed this should would for everyone, but maybe on other printers you should set those setting higher.)
I hope it works, and please let me know if it worked, im curious ;)

I don't know what is going wrong here. I've already had a lot of reports that it printed perfect, but apparently this problem occurs sometimes. I'll try to figure out what causes it to do that. I'll let you know if I know more!

Tulio, this is happening for me also. The large gear (the pickup wheel) is printing solid pieces where the holes should be. Do you suppose you could release a re-do STL file of just that gear? Thank you in advance, I love your work!

first of all;nice to hear that you like my work :)
Thanks for letting me know, I think I know whats going with the gear. I'll do my best do make a repairs version of the STL. I'll try to upload it within the next few day's, I'll give you a sign when it's up!

Thank you! Can't wait to try it out.

'Repaired lift gear' part is uploaded ;)
Please let me know if it works for you know, I hope so, otherwise I'm not sure where the problem lies.

Tulio, the repaired gear printed just fine. Thanks for your help!

I would love to finish this one, but the gears don't slice properly for me. In RepG, the pickup wheel is sliced hollow under the gear so that part ends up bird nesting out of control. In Slic3r, the pickup holes are "repaired" and inverse (fills are printed where holes should be). Any ideas?

Hmm that's weird, first time I hear of this problem. It's hard for me to say where the problem lies.
I don't think it lies is the SLT files because I more than double-checked that they print correctly.
Based on what you say it sounds like there's maybe something wrong with your infill settings.
And try slicing it with Cura, That worked perfectly for me.

I'll give Cura a shot. You're right, though. It may be the infill.

What size marbles or balls are needed?

That's a good question, I forgot to mention it. In the videos I used chrome steel balls (used for ball bearings) with a diameter off 3.175 mm, which is 1/8"
But you could easily take some bigger ones. Only at the end of the track you will have to scrape off a bit of the opening. Which is really easy to do.

Succes, and it would be great if you uploaded a picture if you printed it, I collect those pictures ;)


All of them are fantastic

Thank you very much :)

Have you tried more than one marble?

Yes of course ;) up to 3/4 marbles should work fine, but if you print on a lower resolution the balls roll less good. so for the video I decided just to use 1 marble.