Gyro Air

by Dalpek, published

Gyro Air by Dalpek Jan 26, 2015

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The gyro designs I saw on the internet were too heavy looking and used a lot of material, so I set out to make one that looked elegant and thin. It had it´s challenges, but after 5 prototypes and a lot of PLA, I arrived at Gyro Air. I don't like supports, so I made every form nice and round. The nipples that worked best are derived from the parametric gyro cube from smorloc

By popular demand I have uploaded a smaller version.


By popular demand I have uploaded the model in two sizes: 10cm and 7cm. The big one has 5 spheres and the small one has 4.

No supporting structure needed.
For better results I recommend printing the Gyro Air at it's original size. Printing it too small will make the circles too thin and it might break.

I printed the final object with a 0.25mm layer size.
Once printed snap the conical nipples into place beginning from the smallest working your way up to the biggest.
You can add a drop of oil to the joints so the spheres rotate freely.

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I have tried this on a few different machines and out of ABS, PLA and PETG and find it to be very brittle.
Welcome comments and suggestions.

I'm finding the top of this tends to print horribly as the entire thing flexes about making the lines go down not so smoothly. It just bubbles up everywhere.

How much does it weigh?

how long did this take u guys to print and what settings

Took me 4 hours to print it with no supports, I printed the small version, after drilling the holes a little with a tool, it works fine :]

So I've successfully printed 3 of these, and they look awesome, the only down side is, no matter how careful I am, one or two of the spheres always breaks. I've tried 20 and 100 percent infill, and smaller layer thicknesses. Is there something else I'm doing wrong, or are they just super fragile? (I use ABS plastic)

Attempted to print a small one on a Colido DIY. All was going smoothly until about 25% into the print when the middle part started moving (Colido DIY does not have a heated bed). Will attempt to add a thin layer (and hopefully easily removable) at the bottom to hold all four objects together. The bits that printed looked great though!

Just printed this Gyro Air Small! Check out my time lapse video of the print:


Thanks for a great model!

Mine printed perfect on the lulzbot tax 6 thank you for the design, I would suggest a slightly flexible material, PETG worked nice for me I printed at .2 layer height speed of 50. Hot end at 243 and bed at 70 no fill required everything snapped together snugly almost no clean up required. My 4 year old is mesmerized by it

I realize that people love this thing. I've failed twice at about 4 cm into the print when printing the small version. There's something odd in the STL that Cura might be choking on. Lost a lot of carbon fiber PLA (Proto Pasta) in the process. :(

I recommend using a dual extrusion printer like the Ultimaker 3 models or the Leapfrog A0275 Xeed 2.0 and some PVA filament to use for support material. PVA is water soluble which gives you a cleaner cut.

Great model, but inside rings/balls tend to pop out a bit

I'm using an Ultimaker 2+ with 0.25 as well. Based on my experience these estimations are pretty accurate - although funnily the Ultimaker 2+ tells me something like "60 hours" in the midst of printing.

Settings for comparison:
Travelling at 100 mm/s, Printing at 60 mm/s
At 100% Infill and 0.5 shell thickness, I get 11 hours 34 mins
At 0% infill and 0.75 shell thickness, I get 8 hours 11 mins

sorry forgot to update this, took just 6 hours (-:
thanks for replying

Hi all,

I am having problem printing smaller version. I get to much curling up on overhanging. Curling up starts around 3-4mm from start

I am using micromake delta printer. Using Simplify 3d.
Printing in PLA
Layer Height: 0.2mm
Temp: starts with 230 for first 5 layers then lowers to 183
Heatedbed: 70
Speed: 1500.0 mm/min
2 fans working on 100%
Infill 25%

Can anyone help with some info what i can try to sort curling up?


Your heat bed is too hot! Lower to at least 50 & the curling will disappear. PLA has a low melt temp, & doesn't really need a heat bed at all. If you're printing at 230, you certainly have no issue with adhesion. I'd turn the bed off entirely in your situation. Unfortunately I can't print PLA that hot, I only have 1 fan... I had success with .2 layer, 200deg, 50 bed, 60mm sec, 0 infill, .75 shell, on a Prusa i3 Mk1.

I have the same printer as you and I suggest printing a few mods for it. mine did this a lot as well but I got rid of the injection moulded head and swapped it out for the one micromake listed on thingiverse. Then I printed a clamp on head cooler (the thing that directs airflow over the nozzle) and it seems to work much better so far. much better airflow than the stock design.

Printed two small ones. Came out great! Seems ill have to work them a bit to get it to spin freely.

I cannot for the life of me print it on a DaVinci. The file imports OK, but then when saving for printing the XYZware software goes crazy and adds weird support structures that aren't there in the original. Even if I turn off the "add supports" option.

For me XYZware just says the slicing cannot be completed, first time I've seen the error happen...

Printed the smaller version on my Fabrikator Mini in PLA at .3 layer height and it came out great! Took about 4 hours. Fun desk toy.

for some reason my makerbot software is having a hard time exporting the small version of the gyro. Any idea why? The big one is slicing but the small fails every time.

Printed the smaller version, took 4 hours.

Second sphere just fit into the third, but the first sphere's connectors were just took large that when I tried to snap them into the second, an arm on the second snapped

there is an issue with the inner cube.
OpenSCAD found a lot of errors in this part:
Tough Simplyfy3D shows the fifth cube in the stl-view
it removes this part when slicing:
Some parts on the spikes was removed too.

I had the same problem, I had to bring the center cube into an editor and fix it.

Tried printing the smaller version on Lulzbot Mini. On first print, I noticed a piece one of the spheres had snapped off. I watched the second print more carefully, and actually saw the extruder hit part of the print while moving to another section and snap it off. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I could avoid this? I'm printing ABS, extruder temp: 225, bed: 110, and print speed 70.

Add 0.2mm Z-hop if you're using Cura, 0.2mm Z Lift if you're using Slic3r

What are peoples config files for this? I am having trouble with the overhangs and "gooping" between open areas. How slow are you printing at?

made the small version with my prusa i3. very cool object, took 7 hours to print. love it =)

why 7 hours? mine says 5 hours . what were your settings if you may share.

I used a 0,3 nozzle with a 1.75mm pla filament. layer height 0,3, 25% infill... hmm and pretty much all the other parameters were left on default on slic3r. i set up my first printer the day before this print, maybe I could do better eh eh

Dalpek, what speed settings did you use on your UM?

The spinning cones do not stay in one another! Tried a very fine setting, but I believe its a design problem. The outer spinning component should be a full hollow cone.

You have to press the nipples firmly in place into the cone for a sec or two this will form and lock them. This worked for me. Might need to add some kind of lube though to really make it spin freely.

I think there is still a flaw in you the code for this? I keep trying to slice it to print and around 60-70% it keeps giving me errors.

Just printed this at .25 layer height... The connectors are incredibly loose, so much that they cannot mate together without it breaking apart seconds later. Printed using PLA with 20% infill.

Great design.. was wondering if you are interested in working together to make and sell your product in Asia through www.tridii.com

Comments deleted.

i made the smaller. any one got any tips on cleanup. im battling. very fiddly

I've given up on this after 3 failed prints. There seems to be a lot of warping upwards on the overhangs and the nozzle catches onto these. I've tried lifting the nozzle between each travel move but this only helps so much. I'm printing PLA so I imagine this would be even worse with ABS?

Had the same issue happen, the big one didn't print the inner most sphere. It didn't slice in Simplfy3D, result is a 4 sphere shape, cool, but could have printed faster by using the smaller model.

I keep coming back to this item. I'm just amazed that this needed no supports. Thank you for taking the time to make a good file for the rest of us to enjoy. Awesome print in every size.

got to about 75% on cel robox printer on the smaller one and the outer 2 arms on front left corner both ended up breaking while print il try change a few scales about again as really want to make this any tips would be helpful as am brand new to 3d printing but enjoying it

The .STL of the Big model has errors and it doesn't print the inner most sphere. It only prints the Outer 4 spheres. The Small one on the other hand it seems to be in good shape.

Too bad I realized this after the print was done!

Printed the smaller version (with 4 interior filleted cubes). Made with an Ultimaker 2, used the default BRIM platform setting because of breakage in first attempt (recommended).
Printed at .15 mm layer height.
55 mm/s speed.
No additional supports.
Took 8.75 hours.

If I could figure out how to post a picture, I would show the quality of print.

Comments deleted.

Anybody else have problems with the "arms" breaking off while printing? I don't seem to be getting much luck with this...

1st print: filament broke, so kind of irrelevant

2nd print (v5): one "arm" broke on the fourth sphere, so I let it continue printing until the 3rd sphere was complete to get a 3 sphere gyro cube but it snapped when I tried to snap the smallest sphere into the 2nd
(this was a 20+ hour print at 150 microns)

3rd print (v6 small): printed this at 200 microns, significantly faster, was done overnight, but all four spheres had broken arms (in the same quadrant)

Anybody have any ideas? I'm open to suggestions...

P.S. I printed with PLA on a Pirate3D Buccaneer

Same thing happens to me. I'm relatively new to 3D printing so I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do to fix it. I've tried 3 times. First time was the large one. The inner most ball came loose from the build plate. 2nd and 3rd time was the small one but both time the arm on the second ball snapped off at some point during printing.

Comments deleted.

How much does the final print weight? In grams please, and thank you.

PLA 92 grams, 11.69 meters of filament

Thank you, Very much

I'm starting to feel a little pushy/annoying, but I want to make a smaller version with 3 or 4 spheres. I was wondering if you can post a .dwg or a .dfx of the make. Or if you know a way to open an stl file into AutoCAD

No problem ;) I have uploaded a smaller version for you with 4 spheres

Also You're awesome. Do you do this for a living?

Thanks man! nope... this is my hobby ;)

Man you're quick thank you

about how long would you estimate this to take on a replicator 2?

I have no idea, I have an Ultimaker+

Wow! Nice in yellow!!!!

I printed this, and it measures 10 CM.
However, the balls inside are just too small to connect with the outside ones.
Any ideas on how I can fix this?


You have to use your fingers to force the nipples in. This is what keeps the spheres together.

I had a go at printing. Came out really nicely but its seemed that the spheres were a bit to big to fit. As I tried fitting the tips into the holes, the part started to snap. Could this be a PLA issue?

Henz, I also had that problem. Use an X-Acto knife to remove a tiny amount of material from one side of the cupped areas where the points go to help alleviate the problem. Trim, test, repeat for a "just tight enough" fit.

Has anyone tried rotating the model before printing in an attempt to improve the strength along the stress points?

I have rotated it about 5 degrees however I can't go too much more since makerware has a bug where it will build that side structure off the bed if I untilize the entire bed. Its that L shaped side structure it builds to purge material in between layers.

Anyways I've printed this 3 times now and every single time at the same height the 4th sphere gets ruined. Ever single time. Ive set the height with a feeler gauge and the bed is incredibly even (I'm impressed with the printer I just got it last Monday). Everything else prints beautifully except for the damn 4th sphere! I am stuck with lots of 3 sphere gyro cubes (which are still really cool) to give away. My printer is a FlashForge Creator Pro 3d (Powerspec debranded microcenter version) and has a headed bed. I also print with a Stratasys SR30 dissolvable support material raft underneath. This is what the quarter million dollar printer at work does. I get the ends of the cartridges (which is about 75 meteres some times) at work since it just gets thrown anyways.

Sorry to ask a potentially silly question, but what does it do? Is it art or something you throw or something else?

Cantrell, It's just a cool object. You can rotate the concentric balls like a Gyroscope. Check this video of a similar model https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBHg1xhANxU

Well that looks awesome; will add a 'Made' when I make mine. :)

Looks nice in red!

early in the process the inside pieces break away from the raft. Any suggestions? I am using ABS and a raft with 5 bottom layers. Tried 3 and still had problem.

Are you printing at 100% size? I would suggest adding supports if you are stll having trouble.

So how does this thing actually spin? Is it printed all together or does there need to be a tiny bit of assembly?

A little hint, if you had metal points and shave off the ones that are there it will spin really really well. Unfortunately I had to do this since I had to stretch the outer balls too much to fit the points into the receptacles in the next sphere. I actually broke one with I printed the 3 sphere mini version which was the first one I printed before I tried this. This one fits the exact same way so I get out the sandpaper, drill a hole, add an about 80 thousandths diameter metal pin cut to short length and glue it in place.

The spheres are printed inside each other. All are arranged at the bottom so you don't need supports. Once you print, you simply snap them together in place.

Comments deleted.

I'm getting a manifold error when bringing the stl into repetier host.

I'm getting a manifold error too on the inside "sphere". I sliced anyway and printed today and it turned out…well like a pack of ramen had been poured onto my bed. I don't know if if had to do with the error or not. I'll reprint Monday and see how it comes out.

Hmm... This is quite strange, it seems like a piece got detached from the base while it was printing. I will check the model on Tuesday for any possible errors on the source file I used for creating the object.

The inside clearly came detached but I never have detachment problems normally. Infact I usually have to scrape the tape from the bottom on my prints. I do have some warping issues as I don't have a heated bed so it may have been something that warped and caught on the extruder. That's my bet.

There was also a weird placement when sliced on one of the arms of the outside arms that had what looked like interior being printed outside the shell. It was on the lower part of the outside sphere on, IIRC, the back left or right arm.

I resliced it but haven't had time to check out the new model.

Of what was printed correctly, the model looked great.

I am not getting any errors on Cura or MeshMixer. Try opening it MeshMixer (free) and export it from there.

I sliced with KISSlicer and the internal "sphere" errors wholey.

It appeared to slice fine even with the error. Its an estimated 8 hour print and I'm not yet comfortable leaving my printer unattended for that long, so it will need to wait for a weekend before I actually try to print.

This looks great. What infill and layer height did you use?

mrchilton, what you see in the first image is a render, I just uploaded 3 pictures of the printed object.
I have an Ultimaker+ I used PLA to print it.
The final real object was printed using a 0.8mm shell thickness and a layer height of 0.25mm

Glad I read all the way down to this, I was going to print with 2 shells .6mm perimeter. Will change to 3 shells .9mm before I start printing in the morning.

Probably not printed yet, I will give it a try on my new Titan1 and see if we can get it to work out.

scvette, I always try to print before uploading a thing. I made 5 prototypes before arriving at the one I released.
I print with my Ultimaker+ using PLA.
The wall thickness had to be just right so it would print without a supporting structure.
For best results it needs to be printed it at its original size of 10 cms