Geared Heart -Single Print with Moving Parts - Last Minute Gift

by UrbanAtWork, published

Geared Heart -Single Print with Moving Parts - Last Minute Gift by UrbanAtWork Feb 1, 2015

Featured Thing!


Tips are now now graciously accepted. (and might just lure me back to doing 3D work again)

If you print it, please consider posting your Make a small token of gratitude. (or if you print a bunch how about a tip?) https://www.thingiverse.com/urbanatwork/about#tip

I've been looking at a necklace version... but my real job has been busy busy.

Quick note : I found a very small deformation on the axle of one of the models uploaded. I should be able to add it to the next tweak. Thanks for posting all the Makes and positive feedback!

UPDATE (2015-06-02) : I added a new version of the large gap model that was causing some printers to print usual bridging at the top layer of the model. If your printer isn't perfectly dialed in or this is your first try at printing this model then use this version first: http://www.thingiverse.com/download:1366134

UPDATE (2015-02-08) : I added a "new" version that has a larger gap around the axles to try and address the issue some are having (including me) with the first layers fusing (especially with PLA). Let me know how it works, thanks.

UPDATE (2015-02-05) : I added a version (GearedHeartV1_5-wGearHoles.stl) that has holes in the gears and axels ... as requested by a couple users (to make it easier to turn with a pencil tip or paperclip).

Description: So you've been busy tinkering in the lab all day and forgot to get something for that someone special. If you've got a nicely leveled 3D printer you could quickly print one of these cute keychains... of course you have to say something beautifully sappy like:
... "You're the gear on the left and I'm the gear on the right, and the gear at the bottom is our love that keeps us in sync..."

And if that doesn't work, well good luck to ya!

Inspired by Emmett's awesome single print Gear Bearing, his Heart Gears (which takes a while to print and put together) and Umake's Gearbox Keychain.

I set out to make keychain that has moving gears but in a single print inside of a heart.

Note to PLA users:

Let the print cool before removing from the plate. You don't want the gear and axle to stick while hot and fuse.

Newest Version has rounded size and bigger hole for the keychain.

I also added both of the original, no holes, files separately so you can dual print it. It worked well. the "natural" and pink one is a dual print.

New Video posted:

Video of an early version:


Printed with equipment from the [Ross School's Innovation Lab](http://www.ross.org/innovationlab ). http://www.ross.org/innovationlab


Make sure you print it with the gear faces down.

I have had the best luck printing this in ABS on a Makerbot Dual and 2X, but we have had some nice prints from our Ultimaker in PLA.

I've been printing with:

  • 10-15% fill
  • 2 Shells
  • 0.2 Layer Height
  • NO SUPPORTS (pfft)
  • NO RAFT (ain't got time for that :)

Good luck!

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works great and was easy to print. great job

Hi, very cool thing, my girlfriend likes it very much.
Can you post the CAD File?
Because my Girlfriend asked, so put the hole for the key ring on top of the heart and/or make a little bit bigger in diameter, because an her and my key ring the heard stucks bcause the radius of the ring ist to small for the hole diameter.

Thank you very much. :-)

Do gears of all of the versions this model turn or should we print the body and gears seperately?

I believe the confusion is the separate gear and heart files. I assumed these were intended for a dual extruder machine to make two color prints.

No no no... Do not print it separately. You won't be able to assemble it. It is meant to be a print in place (single print) model.

It doesn't look like a heart anymore when you hang it. ಠ_ಠ

tried printing and the heart fell out. gg

my heart does not turn, I used a da vinci jr . PLA :(

  1. Which model are you using? The "big gap" one?
  2. Don't use a raft/brim or supports
  3. If that doesn't work try scaling up the model ~20%

Sorry if this is a silly question, but could someone show me the orientation of the model. Ie should I be printing with the back support facing the build plate? I have a Da vinci Jr and have tried printing this twice using the large gap stl file with no good results. Thanks

stupid question, but what does 2 shells mean? I am going to try print it as a single print. Up Mini printer its settings only have Shell as an option or Surface.

The shells are what some printers refer to as the outside layer or perimeter of a model. Some printer software (slicers) allow you to pick how many outlines you can create for each layer. This can be good for strengthening a model, especially when printing with low fill, but can sometimes make details and small parts touch.

On the Up Mini I think those options just refer to printing with shells and fill or with a surface and no fill. I might be wrong (but the internet or a manual might help you with that).

Let me know how it works out!
EDIT: Looks like you printed one as I was writing this! Thanks for sharing: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:217741


Geared Heart -Single Print with Moving Parts - Last Minute Gift
by westcpw

Have you any experience in reducing the size of it?

Can't get this to print on a Lulzbot Mini using Cura.
The holes in the gears flow out into the grooves between the teeth. This might be from using a 0.5mm nozzle. If I scale it up to 3x, the problem seems to go away, but I'm not going to print it that big.
Any suggestions? I've nearly always had good luck with Cura, and I've tried adjusting some settings to no avail.

I haven't had any luck with my Mini on Cura or Slic3r with this print either, even the big gap version. Gears are stuck together, gears don't turn as they are glued to structure of the heart, etc.

I think the software thinks the gaps aren't intentional and tries to "fix" it for you. Either that or the printer can't handle the tight tolerances.

This model was designed based on some trial and error to find the smallest tolerances I could print on an older (wooden) Makerbot Replicator Dual extruder.

I was primarily using ABS and it has a 0.4mm nozzle. The "big gap" model was created after I found that printing the model in PLA often caused the bottom layers to close the gap (ESPECIALLY when printing with a heated bed).

Since lots of people have printed it out successfully on different printers, see the Makes, I have to think the issue is with your setup. You could try to print it at 10% or 20% larger and see if you're able to see the gaps in first couple layers. If you don't see space then push it up a little more or try a smaller extruder tip.

Good luck,

You're absolutely right. I found a setting in Cura that was trying to "combine everything" and in the process was closing some of the gaps. After printing it again, the only issue was where the heated bed kind of melted the bottom a bit and fused that. I managed to get it to work when printed a bit larger. My Lulzbot Mini's got a 0.4mm nozzle, so I think it should be good. Maybe I'll try it again with the cooled bed turned down. Or I'll just switch to HIPS or ABS when my order comes in.

Hi terrabullworth, that's great! Yes the heated bed or a printer that is leveled too closely to the plate can also make the gap bleed together. The Big Gap model I made for PLA users that were running in to this problem ( myself included when I tested with PLA).

Be sure and share a Make! :)

This was my first print. As I'm sure it's intended, It printed with a layer between the pendant and the build platform. Can anyone tell me how to remove that without messing up the gears?

This model was designed to be printed without a raft and without supports. If you did add an extra base layer or raft then you will probably have to cut it off carefully. (or try to print it again)

  1. What printer are you using?
  2. Are you printing the Big Gap version?


Its the Replicator Mini, and I did try the Big Gap version.

I just tried to print a gear from another file to ensure I didn't accidentally add a layer I shouldn't have, and it again printed a raft on the bottom. Could that be a setting on Makerbot Desktop that I missed?

Oh boy. I haven't used the Replicator Mini but I do know that the raft is "on" by default and you're not supposed to be able to turn it off... that being said I think you can edit the makerbot's profile to print without but I am unsure how that will work since I don't think you can level the build plate.... I've edited lots of profiles for different printing styles and filaments but I am not sure how wasy it is to print raftless on the mini. Hit the internet and see if there is a good way to turn the raft off. (I'd be interested to know how it works out for you!)


Thank you, made one to give away at a special occasion tomorrow.

Succesful print in pla 15% infil, 2 shells, no supports.

Great! We love to see your makes, so if you get a chance please share :)


I am making one right now and i will post a picture of the result

Hey! I love this design a lot but I was wondering which model was the best, since there are several different stl files...

When in doubt use the "Big Gap" model.

What paint is good to use on the pla or abs as I want it red, but only have grey filament?

Testers red enamel paint works really well on PLA, if necessary several coats can improve color and coverage. Testers is widely available online for purchase.

would you like this printed in red plastic? I could print one for you and find a way to get it to you

Ah thanks J, ive printed a grey one now I'm just trying to find paint for it. I'm based in Kent uk if you could still deliver the other one for a swap?

I'm from the US, but I could probably ship some out if we worked out the cost of shipping and stuff

I am totally new here but would like to move the circle to the top so this could be a necklace item. Is it likely I could move the circle in Blender?

I am planning on releasing a copy like that in a few days. Where would you put the loop?

Not stevealexander71, but it might go well between the two lobes of the heart, near the point. Keep the same shape / size of the loop, position until the outside edges of the loop overlap slightly with the walls of the lobes, maybe?

Printed one today and it came out great! I made it print a little bit bigger, but it still only took 1 hr to print. A cute, fast print!

pardon my English is not very good but my question is which program used for creation of the heart

I used Sketchup for this design. Probably not the easiest for this type of design but it was what I had at the time. If I were to do it again, I would probably use Autodesk's Fusion 360 or maybe even OpenSCAD.

How to set it up for dual color print with double extruders?

  1. Have you done a dual print before?
  2. What's model is your printer?

It looks really cool cant wait to make it

It looks really cool cant wait to make it

I made this for as a gift, It was tough to get it to move initially, but the more I turn them the easier it gets.

Great Job.

Could you please publish a modified one with a necklace ring on the top instead of a keychain ring on the bottom?

With some many version in the Thing Files, which should I download?

If you don't know which one, pick the Big Gap one.

Hey can you make key ring front? (bigGap_PLA). I like to make that mod but not able make perfect heart..

I don't understand what you are asking. Sorry.

In your design key ring hole is on bottom of heart shape. Instead of that can you add key ring hole on top of the heart?

Great thing! Can you share sourse files (or STEP files) to make it possible to engrave the text? Thanks!

I'll have to go hunt for them. I created this in SketchUp back when that was my go to program. I'll try to get an update before valentines day :)

Hey I'm new to 3D printing I'm using simplify 3D with flashforge creator pro but it seems that the software filled all the empty space and it basically covers all the inside of the model and the top of the model too which makes it impossible to move or see the gears.
I've unchecked Raft and Generate Support but it's still doing it, what am I missing?

Yeah, I'm not sure what to tell you. Way down in the comments someone else was trying to use Simplify 3D too and I don't think they were able to get it to work.

  1. What printer are you using?
  2. Can you use a different slicer?


like I said I'm using a Flashforge creator pro, maybe I should use another software, which slicers do you know for a fact that work with your model?


Did you ever solve your slicer issues?


same problems here. I also use a Creator Pro. Only these two STL files cause problems with simplify 3D:
UrbanAtWork_Geared_HeartV1.stl and UrbanAtWork_Geared_HeartV1_A.stl
All other STL files are OK.
Is it possible to generate a version of UrbanAtWork_GearHeart_V1_8.stl without the gears?
Maybe that solves the problems.

CU Jens

P.S. Just send a message to the Simplyfy3D support

Thanks Jeggo, we were having the same problem as wonka and your tip worked!

Comments deleted.

Hello! I've been printing these out in dual color and my family and friends are loving it :-)

I have a request: Can you make one with a solid back, perhaps 1mm thick? I'd like to bring it into Blender and do some 2 color lettering for my daughter and her friends.

I'll be posting pics of Red/Clear PETG of this soon

Thanks much

Has anyone tried vapor-finishing this? I suspect the pieces would fuse together, but I'm curious if anyone has had any luck.

Hmm.. that is interesting. Maybe if you can keep it moving or have the parts suspended apart so they aren't touching....

I did try to print it on a Form 1+ resin printer and "fused" is a good way to describe it.

Let me know if you have any luck with it, I am curious but don't have the time to test it.


I'll probably just hand polish my next print with acetone if nobody leaps out and yells, "YES YES, MY VAPOR FINISH WAS PERFECT!"

Comments deleted.

Thanks for sharing with us! awesome work.
Is it possible to post the source files in case I want to make some changes to the design? thank you.

Comments deleted.

I have tried it on the SLA at first, it came out real good! Now i need to find where to upload the photo.
Nice design!

ProtorQ3D, That sounds great. I tried the BigGap version on a FormLabs Form 1+ a couple of days ago but the resin didn't clear the gap and everything was fused. I tried the Negative tolerance test that I recommend to everyone and only 0.6mm cylinders were loose. I would love to see a successful SLA print if you can get a image or vid up.

Comments deleted.

I tried this on a Printrbot Simple Metal. The first few layers looked fine, but later on the gears and posts fused together so while it looks great, it no worky. (the technical term. :-) )

I used Slic3r, and now that I am looking at the layers, it looks like I printed what the layers look like. Hmmm.

Any suggestions?

Alan, Which model are you using? Have you tried the BigGap version?

I was using the BigGap version. Upon closer looking at it, it looks like my gears may be being fused to the edges as well as to the posts. Someone on the printrbot forum recommended lowering my extrusion multiplier, but I haven't tried it yet.

One of the other options is to scale it up. It may not be ideal as a keychain but would be more likely to work. I have printed it at 2X the size it is pretty fun to play with but doesn't fit in my pocket.

How does your printer do when printing the negative_space_tolerance_test.stl from Make http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:533472/#files

I find that the Make file is a GREAT test print for my students to help them understand what kind of tolerances they can print with our various printers.

Let me know if you mange to figure it out, I'd be interested to hear your solution.

Good Luck,

Make: 2015 3D Printer Shoot Out Test Models

I got it to work!!!!! The negative space tolerance was a huge help as I found out where my problems were. Then I went and changed my extrusion width and my extrusion multiplier.

That's great! I am glad the test file helped. The whole set is good for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of individual printers.

Thank you for sharing your make!

Thank you for a great design. I run a small charity in the UK, one of the issues is cardiac problems. So I have printed red with white gears which is our charity colours. Our members love them. As do teh cardiac staff at the local hospital.

A great design not just for Valentine's

Our site is http://costellokids.com

I am so happy to hear this! Thank you for sharing how you are using them, it is very touching and I hope it can bring a smile to someone. Keep up the great work with your charity.


As a suggestion maybe put the hole on top of the heart, so it hangs upright rather than upside down.
Fantastic design!

couldn't get this project to slice in slic3r.

Daniel, Gannicus said: "Came out perfect. Anyone using Slic3r use the "Big Gap" model, 10% infill."

Unable to print this. Using slic3r, I get a complete top and bottom, fusing the gears inside.

Anyone know how to get this to print properly? Version 1.1.7

Can you, have you, tried to use Cura?

I could, but have never used it before (don't have it dialed in like I do Slic3r.)

I am trying your newer "Big Gap" version, and it seems to be printing fine. I think like was previously stated, the original file had an error, and Slic3r tries to "repair" it. This is no bueno. LOL Will update when it's done. Printing now.

Yup. those other versions probably could use a run through https://netfabb.azurewebsites.net/ for some slicers.

Came out perfect. Anyone using Slic3r use the "Big Gap" model, 10% infill.

Tried twice on Afinia H480 with the latest one and the heart keeps popping off the raft mid-print. I might need to add some support material? Either way, it doesn't have enough contact area to prevent this without changing something.

also on the finest and densest print settings. The holes in the gears are making the teeth come off, not enough material between the hole and the root of the gear tooth.

Hey Pete.
I haven't used an Afinia before so I don't really know the specs, but I have worked with a number of different printers and it sounds like you might need to take a couple of steps to help your platform adhesion.

My steps to success... (if I had to guess) would be:

  1. Make sure you're properly leveled. (not sure how that works with the auto leveling on your printer.
  2. Make sure the the build plate is clean and or a good surface. (on makerbot I use Kapton tape and acetone on Ultimakers we use some paste stick)
  3. Make sure the build plate is warmed up (I think yours has that)... This Winter, I've had to warm up my plates a couple degrees to get a nice stick.
  4. Try the first model I made that doesn't have the holes in the gears... that one has lots more surface area touching the build plate (print it face down).
  5. Or try printing a model at 25% larger.

Good Luck,

Thanks for the tips! I've had this thing for 2 days and printing nonstop. I know one downside is this isn't an enclosed printer. I've been trying to be patient letting the bed heat soak but it's hard to wait :)

Hey RBP, Any luck?

Hey thanks, I haven't tried again yet but I'm betting making it larger will work fine. I've been printing lots of different things and getting a feel for its capabilities/limits and figuring out how to get prints off the platform easily. The issue I did have was the 1st part layer delaminating from the raft. I'll give it another shot soon.

Hey, first of all, great work on the design :)

If I may, I would like to ask you for some advice since I printed it separately, and the little gears will not fit the frame, it seems the holes are too little. I printed them both at the same scale. Any reason causing this issue comes to mind? Thanks!

Hey MX,
Sorry about that but the model isn't meant to be assembled.

It was meant to be a magical model that comes off the build plate fully assembled not requiring any support removal or finishing giving you more time for fun, love and romance. :)

The two color ones you may have seen on here have been printed with dual extruder printers except for the print by SzKrisz who apparently used a HAMMER. http://www.thingiverse.com/make:119877 ...

Post a Make if you can get it working!


Geared Heart -Single Print with Moving Parts - Last Minute Gift
by SzKrisz

Very good work was a pleasure to gift it. I changed from keychain to "necklace" just using the same basis you made. Here is my modded version.. surely can be better if you made it directly.

Geared Heart - Valentine's necklace, Last Minute Gift - Single Print with Moving Part (modded version)

It would be really cool if this had the hanger on the other end so if I want to give to someone to wear as a necklace it doesn't look like a. Anyone know if I can edit this file I'm new to this. thanks

Yup, that would be cool. If I get a minute I'll see if I can create the mod.

Where would you put the loop?

I am sure you could edit this if you really wanted... this is Thingiverse where anything is possible. :-)

I am not able to edit the file in solidworks as 3D geometry since the STL files contain meshes. If you could get around to it sometime that would be great. I would say have a thinner pendent going off of the two surfaces toward the top of the heart which meet at the center to create the loop for a string. Thanks.

I think we broke thingiverse. All stats stopped working. Bummer. :-/

I just wanted to post that I got the big gap version to print on the first try in PLA using Cura on a Rigidbot.

0.2mm layer height

60mm/s print speed

no heated bed (blue tape)

205 degrees extuder

no raft or brim

20%(25%?) infill (default in Cura, I forgot to change it.)

Scale 100% (no scaling)

Gears were a little bound when the print finished, but with a little persuasion, they turn (mostly) freely now.

Thank you for creating this beautiful thing!

Any reason why the eyelet is on the bottom of the heart? Seems like it would be better to have the eyelet on the bigger side so it hangs in the proper orientation. Printed great otherwise. Thanks

Ahh, i guess when i originally saw in person i thought it was a necklace but when i actually look at your pictures it is designed as a keychain, would maybe consider the necklace version...

Interesting, I had thought about it but couldn't decide on where to put the eyelet. Where would you put it??

But I did think that once I placed holes through the axles that someone could easily run something through there and hang it on a chain, even if it would be leaning to one side.

Just a thought, post a Make if you can, I'd love to see how/if it worked out.

mfox23, Thank you for sharing your settings and experience. I am really glad it works!

I'd love to see a make of it if you get a chance.


A quick suggestion for your 1st layer problem. An easy fix is to measure how much larger than the part the 1st layer is and add an equivalent bevel around all the sides on the bottom. On my printer I often add a 0.3mm bevel. Easy to do if your using inventor.

I already made the last version (BigGap) in ABS with a MakerBot Replicator 2x and works very well, the gears spin without effort.

My settings was:
10% infill,
0.2 Layer height,
115 ºC Heat bed,
235 ºC Extruder,
No raft and support, and
Scale 150% from the original design

Good Luck!

Hey IMTGus,

one question, how was your model orientated? What part of the model was facing or pointing to the bed?


It has to be gears side down!

Hey, i tried printing this with PLA and the bottom part of the gear merges together. Used blue tape and no heated bed at 200C.
Any tips how to make it print right?

How i can make....what is name application

Hi Guysoft, I think it depends on your specific printer and filament tolerances. I say that because I have a MakerBot Dual on loan from work and I can print this easily with ABS but not with PLA. BUT... If I take the same file and print it in PLA on the lab's new Ultimaker 2 there is no problem at all.

I've been slightly heating my build plate to 60C for my PLA and it seemed to melt together at the contact layer. In some cases I could push the gear and snap it free.

In another case I had an issue where I tried to take the PLA print off the plate TOO SOON and ended up pushing the gear enough that it fused with the axle before it was cool.

So 3 Questions:

  1. Out of curiosity, what printer and software are you using???
  2. How does your printer do when printing the negative_space_tolerance_test.stl from Make http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:533472/#files
  3. Can you try scaling it up maybe 10%? (I'd like to work out a solution for you)

PS: When I get a minute, I plan to make one with bigger gaps for the PLA settings I generally use.

Make: 2015 3D Printer Shoot Out Test Models

Hey urbanatwork,
Tested your new design. This one works!
The gears require more force to turn about every half turn, there might be a way to smoothen the turning.

  1. I am using cura and a rigidbot.
  2. I will try that
  3. No need :)

FYI, the gears may be requiring more force about every half turn because your printer has a bit of play in one or both of the x and y axes. We have this problem with a MakerBot at work. It prints oblong holes, which in this case, would get very tight about every half turn.

Great model and idea! Unfortunately, I'm having the same problem: Fused bottom layer. What tolerance did you design this with? Seems like maybe .2?

  1. Makerbot Rep2
  2. I can remove .5 and .6 easily. Maybe .4 if I grab some pliers.
  3. Haven't tried it yet.

Hope that helps!

Hi CowKitty,
Are you printing in PLA? I don't have a problem with the original files in ABS on a Makerbot Rep 2X or a Makerbot Rep Dual... but when I try PLA it seems to get too soft on the plate and bleed together fusing the first layer(s). Oddly the original works great on the Ultimaker 2 we also have.

SO... To try and FIX this...

The just uploaded a new "BigGap" file where the inner plate side gap is larger (around 0.7mm all around the axle).

I haven't tried to print it yet, the kids are sleeping. Just tried it and it worked for me in PLA

Please post a Make if you can get it working, should take less than an hour.

Closer, but no luck. :( Photos and details: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:119046

I'm going to think about my settings and try again soon. Might try increasing the size by 10% next.

Also, just wanted to note that the version without the holes looks nicer on my Rep2 when printed:

Thanks again!

Geared Heart -Single Print with Moving Parts - Last Minute Gift

Thank you so much for making a BigGap version so quickly! I'm happy to be your test subject-- I'm slicing it right now and I'll report back in about 46min. ;D

Yup, PLA on Rep2. I hear the Ultimakers are incredibly accurate with great tolerances, so it's cool to know the first ver prints perfectly on them. Do want.

Thanks again!

so when i try to slice this i get a filled top and bottom

I get same thing in slic3r. I think its because of autorepair. I even get this when doing a dual print.

Interesting. Can I ask... What Version of Slic3r and for what printer?

did you ever get yours to print right?

It wouldn't work in slic3r(1.1.7). It just fuses it. I think its because of the auto repair. It isn't used to parts not touching.
I used cura, and it seems to work much better. But I like to use slic3r better.

Would love to see the print either way. Slicer might be just trying to fix a gap that is supposed to be there.

I just downloaded a newest versions of slic3r to see if I saw the same thing but didn't notice it on my Mac. (I had v1.0.0, checked it out but never really used it.) - I do see that the early versions are missing a wall on the inside of the heart shell. I don't think I ran those first versions through cloud.netfabb.com first like I usually do before finalizing posts... so that might help?

I've got a couple other tweaks I'll try to get up in the next day so stay tuned.

What software and machine are you using to slice it? ... and what settings? I've used Makerbot's software on a Replicator Dual and Cura for the Ultimaker 2.

I posted settings in the instructions of 0.2mm Layer Height, which is what I used in both cases.

I'm using a flashforge dreamer with simplify3D.. .20 layer 14% fill and 2 shells

I don't have simplify3D and tried to contact them for an educational discount but it wasn't very much and I can't afford to purchase a copy. Have you tried one of the other compatible slicers?

Yes I tired slic3r too. It's ok no biggie