The Fantastical Gyroscopic Heart Gears Valentine!

by joefe, published

The Fantastical Gyroscopic Heart Gears Valentine! by joefe Jan 27, 2015
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What do you get when you throw together the Amazing Gyroscopic Cube Gears and the Fantastical Heart gears and throw in a bunch of hearts for good measure???

You get the ultimate 3D printed mechanical Valentine of course!!

After designing the Fantastical Heart Gears for my wife last Valentines Day, I wanted to create something even more wild for her this year.

I took inspiration from my earlier creations and thought it would be awesome if I could have the heart suspended on an arrow and rotating.

Well, it all came together quite nicely.

Here's a video of it:

My 8 year old daughter helped with the video to demonstrate how easy it is to turn. She kept stopping and starting to try to stop it at a point where the heart was reformed. As it rotates, the heart is reformed at a different angle than the last time. I need to count it to confirm, but I believe that it has to go through 12 cycles at about 3 rotations a cycle to bring the heart back around to the original starting point.

Update - by request, I modified the heart pieces to thicken up the places where the walls were too thin. These new parts have "Thicker" at the beginning of their names.


All pieces are snap-fit. No glue or screws are needed. For this to work well, everything needs to be able to spin freely. That is accomplished via a combination of well-fitting parts and proper lubrication. Make sure that each part fits and turns without catching. If they print well, there should be little to no cleanup needed for that. For lubrication, I use CRC Heavy Duty Silicone lubricant. It works amazingly well and years later is still keeping parts moving well on things I made a couple of years ago. When you first apply it, it will actually make the parts stick to each other. Do not force the parts to move when they are sticking. Wait about an hour or two for the lubricant to dry before turning the parts. After that make a few turns to check that it is turning well.

I printed all pieces at .2mm layer height with 2 shells and 10% infill. I set the slicer to do the shells from inside to outside on the heart pieces because that approach helps with the overhangs they have. I set the slicer to do the shells from outside to inside on the other pieces because that approach helps to ensure that outside dimensions are more exact for a better fit.

With that said, let’s get to the assembly. First you need to assemble the heart with the arrow pins. Start with the tail pin going through heart_2-3_piece_6_arrow. Make sure piece 6 spins freely on it. Then insert it into the one hole in the hear center that is bigger than the rest. The pieces assemble in the same orientation as the original Three Heart Gears that Emmett designed (see “Remixed from”). With the tail pin oriented vertically, The wide edge goes on top. See partial assembly picture for reference of how the pieces should be oriented for assembly. Heart_2-3_piece_5_arrow goes on the opposite side of the heart as the tail pin. Do not attach the arrow point pin yet. Insert the arrow point pin through the hole in the small ring and make sure that it turns freely. With it slid all the way in, there should be enough room to lock the tail pin in the opposite hole. Then lock the arrow point pin into piece 5 of the heart. At this point, you should be able to hold on to the small ring and turn the arrow point pin that sticks out to turn the heart. I hooked up that pin to a drill to turn it for a while to break it in. I then added more CRC Heavy Duty Silicone lubricant into every crack, let it sit for a couple of hours and then turned it again. See this video of it turning on the drill:

When I wasn’t holding the camera and could hold the ring more securely, I actually was able to spin it quite fast with the drill. Be careful though, because pieces can potentially fly off at high speeds if it is going fast. I recommend using a moderate speed like I used in the video.

I used my drill to help break it in at each opportune point in the assembly.

The arrow point pin then attaches to the large ring in the fixed hole. The 8x20 pin goes through the opposite hole in the large ring and locks into the small ring. Lubricate it. Make sure of course that the pin spins freely. At this point, you should be able to turn the small ring and heart gears with the 8x20 pin (I used the drill to work this in). Attach the large gear to this pin. Insert an 8x11 pin into the next fixed hole. Lubricate the small gear and attach it to the 8x11 pin. Again a reminder to let lubricated parts dry. Now you should be able to turn the small gear to turn the large gear to turn the small ring to turn the heart gears. It is important to ensure that everything turns freely with each new part you add so that you can recognize when something is sticking.

Next you attach another 8x11 pin in the hole beside the small gear and attach the right upright. Lubricate it of course. On the other side of the right upright, you attach the heart with an 8x11 pin. On the other side of the large ring, attach the left upright using the 8x22 pin through the hole in the left upright. The uprights attach to the bottom brace with a friction fit. I used the drill one last time at this point. Attach the drive gear to the 8x22 pin and attach the crank to the drive gear.

That should do it.
Now show your valentine how amazing a 3D printed valentine can be!

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It is an amazing concept, but needs some polishing. I'll follow for now.

best wishes!

Vraiment excellent!

This thing printed out perfect! My wife is going to love it! Thanks!!

Feb 6, 2016 - Modified Feb 6, 2016

You have some serious mesh errors, you should not have shelled it. I've been modeling for almost 12 years now, and this thing is beyond repair at this point without serious manual time put into it, the cloud services like NetFabb dont even fix it. You also have some bad overhangs. Seriously man, i love it but im too pissed off to deal with it, how about you revert back and do it correctly? I cant even use one of my solid meshes in its place because there's no way to size it exactly, and you heavily modified it when you did a mashup. PLZZZ FIX, valentines day is in less than a week, Very upsetting. :(

What a douche comment lol Congrats being a d$!k!

Hi DevWolf,

Since you asked so nicely, I went back into Tinkercad where I created these models and modified the heart pieces 1-6 to thicken up the parts and take out the hollow portions where it was creating walls that were too thin.

These are the parts available in the downloads with Thicker at the beginning of the names.

Let me know if you have any issues and please post a make when you get it printed!


I can't get Slic3r 1.2.6 or Cura 15.02.1 to sliced the heart gears correctly. They have a gap between gears and center..The option "detect thin wall" dosent work.

Hi MaxIntox,

I went into TinkerCad and modified the heart pieces 1-6 to thicken up the parts and take out the hollow portions where it was creating walls that were too thin.

If you are still interested in printing this, these are the parts available in the downloads with Thicker at the beginning of the names.

Let me know if you have any issues and please post a make when you get it printed!


Hi MaxIntox,

When I originally hollowed out the heart gears, they were at a larger scale. Admittedly after being scaled down for this project, there are some walls that are too thin for slices to pick up. I just tried Slic3r, kisslicer, Craftware and Simplify3D slicers on it to see what the differences were. Each of them left small openings along the gears on some pieces, especially gyro_heartgears-_heart_2-3_piece_1. That is the same result that I got when I printed it and it worked fine. The pieces connect again near the top of the gear and are quite strong.

I also have printed several at a smaller scale yet for my Keyed mini Fantastical heart gears without having any issues. Since the introduced holes did not present any issues, I took those as bonus artifacts that add even more style to the pieces.

Hope this info helps! Good luck with the print and please post a make when you complete it!


Feb 6, 2016 - Modified Feb 6, 2016
DevWolf - in reply to joefe

Its not printable man, rather you got it to work or not, most machines will leave gashes instead of cracks because not all machines go as fast as needed to use pressure to fill them in,.You really need to go back into the file and modify it, there is no reason that it needs to be this small, even if you plated several pieces, so i doubt that was the issue anyway.

I saw you shelled it. Well that doesnt work if you shell it at 0.8 and then size it down below 50%, what the hell man? But thats not what happened... was it? We cant even do it for you because you kept the source file where the scale is accurate. You need to upload a previous progress save before you made these steps if you want us to fix it. If you dont have one, well.... RIP gyro gear heart :( Live and learn, i guess.