Steampunk cube gears

by joefe Feb 16, 2015
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Has anyone tried this on their resin printer yet? I'm getting a lot of parts that are not supported but where I could never come with supports.
I did this flawless on my FDM years ago

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Thanks for sharing! This has been the most enjoyable print I have done yet. I found the detail in the design pretty mind blowing and they printed very well on my Anet A2. Assembly was easy with the pegs and mine ran very smoothly without any lube :D

I am currently printing this. I love your colors. If I may ask, what color did you use for your blue accents? Brand of paint?
Very nice. I'll upload pics when its done.

Would have been very helpful for the download to have all of the pictures included it in like most other ThingVerse downloads…


I printed this on a Da Vinci 2.0 Mix which prints in two colors so I didn't have to paint. I think it came out pretty nice. This is actually one of the easiest prints I have ever found on Thingiverse. It snapped together and rotated extremely well first try. See my picture under "I Made One".

Was the gold and blue colors painted?

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I'm looking forward to printing one of these at some point as a representation of an item for a tabletop RPG.

Perhaps it's a dwarven-crafted key for a complex mechanical door? "When you place the box in the hole in the door, it begins glowing and rotating, turning the gears to open the vault door."

Or perhaps it's the heart of an ancient airship, and placing it in the engine compartment brings the ship back to life?

Maybe it's an item of great power that has served similar roles over the years... but is currently the toy of a nobleman's infant, ignorant of the great power it contains. The party's wizard almost screams because the magic aura is overwhelming and THE NOBLE GAVE IT TO HIS KID AS A TOY. "ARE YOU TRYING TO CAUSE AN APOCALYPSE???!?!?!"

I am printing this on an M3D micro printer. It's going very well and looks great. I have a suggestion for printing the pins. They didn't turn out very well when printed straight in the Z axis, so I tried turning them 45` (around the Z axis) on the bed. Simply rotate them before starting the print. They work and look much more like they should. The problem was when printed straight, the lock shoulders didn't print well. Turned 45, they print very nicely!

So how do you paint this thing? im not a great painter and im looking for tips and hints for painting in narrow places.

Hi zzherenow,

As an example of how to paint the inner details, for the caged ball corner, I used a fine tipped brush that could fit through the bars of the cage and carefully painted the ball with a tiny amount of paint on the brush. this was a tedious process because I had to put the brush through each hole to paint the whole ball. In the process I did manage to get some paint on the bars. To fix that I just painted over it with the color that I was using for the bars.

The same approach applies to the other parts. Just do the innermost details first so that you can paint over any mistakes on neighboring parts.

Good luck with your painting!


So, do you have the rings? Can you post STL? I would love to print the whole thing, not just the cube...

I have the rings, ring gears and other parts shown in the pictures finished, however I am still needing to work on the stand and I am going to change how the ring gears connect. I am hoping to have some time over the holidays to dig into this one again and finish the gyroscopic version.

i am interested in these, too :-D

for larp :-P

I printed the cube and it looks and works great! I will paint it.Can you maybe dumb the current models you have, if they work? I might use it as a prop in LARP, and stand is not necessary for that. Rings would add complexity to it and it would look even better...

have you made one that could be mechanically turning with a motor?

I am designing the gyrosopic version of this to be motorized.

This is something really outstanding! Question: did you painted it or...? Thanks

Would love to print your Steam-punk Rings, too _

Do you plan to upload them, too?

excellent design my friend! i am currently working on my own and will update with pics when done. Thanks so much for posting this.

Hello! Thank you for an excellent model!

I have a question - when I was printing the file - steampunk_gear_cube_large_corner_1_v2.stl
 - I saw some hidden cavity a little above the ground. What is it for?

Thank you!

And - best regards!

Nice work must of taken long to make.

My parts are very stiff when i print them out?

Love it! I printed it with Copper filament and painted with various metallic paints, And i modified 2 of the corners to fit into your "amazing Gyroscopic cube gears", Check out its picks, i posted them in a make! Can't Wait for your Steampunk Gyroscopic stand for them!

This looks so amazing, gotta have it. Very nice work man! Printing right now.

Wonderful design!
I had doubts it would print without support, but it did, perfectly, with very few minor problems (PLA, sliced with Simplify3D, printed with Arduino MAteria 101).
Definitely the coolest thing I've printed so far.

Mechanics work great right after assembling, if a bit of CRC is sprayed in the moving areas it becomes incredibly smooth.

Great job, thanks for posting it!

I have printed this using Sli3r/repetier-host and Cura (Mac) on a Printrbot Simple. Cura does a much more accurate job on the fine print details and prints the large gear corners so that they are easy to tap apart. Slic3r / Repetier large corners are more fused together and require a bit of force to separate. This is using the same startup G-code / xyz and extruder calibration. Cura is worth a try if you have trouble separating the large corners; it seems to be a better slicer, at least on a Mac.

Awesome thing!

It was only after assembling it that I was able to decipher the true function of this device: two turns forward and one back enables the time travel protocol! And let me tell you, here in the future, 3D printing has gone to the atomic scale! I'm not coming back...

ooops! turned the cube again and I'm back. Fantastic design! Thanks so much for sharing this!

This is absolutly awesome!

Man this is an amazing piece of art ! I love it !
I just printed it and bought some paint, will do my best to honor your work.

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What interior fill % were these printed at? Very cool object, BTW.

Thanks for the compliment! I printed mine with 10% infill.

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any way you can add pics off assembling it? thanks

Hi ncapaldi1985,

I managed to take apart the last one I built and took some pictures of the assembly. I added notes to the pictures for reference.

Hope they are useful.

Please post a make when you get yours assembled!


Very nice! What is your nozzle size? I printed with a 0.5mm nozzle and the inner gear is permanently fused to the outer gear. I have some smaller nozzles but I thought I would ask what you used first.


Hi kdpainter,

I am currently using a 0.4mm nozzle. Out of the large corner pieces that I have printed so far, I have only had one permanently fused together. It was the first piece that I printed with a bronzefill filament. That filament had a lower melting point, so I had to turn the temperature down and slowed the printer down a little. Also make sure that you are doing at least two perimeters with your slicer set to print the perimeters from inside to outside since that provides more adhesion for the overhangs.

Most of my large corner pieces were stuck together when they cam off the printer. Some popped free pretty easily. A few required me to hold the piece in one hand while firmly tapping the center circle with a pair of pliers to break it free.

Given that others might have problems with the aggressive overhangs in the captured part of the large corners, I have made some adjustments to the pieces to reduce the overhang in the captured part of the large pieces. I am test printing one now and will upload those after I test this one. Should be in the next couple of hours. I'll add an update to the info when I do.

Thanks and please post your make when you finish it!

Thanks for the info!
I tried again with a 0.3mm nozzle with HIPS. It was better but I wound up breaking some of the details off hitting the bottom with a wrench. I got three of the four to come loose. I think my next attempt will use PLA. I had the same problems printing your Little Digger. Otherwise, it could be I need to look at my printer calibration. Still very cool designs and I will keep trying.

If I can ask, what design tool are you using? You are getting killer results with whatever it is!

PS.. I just got a new job working from home making $90 hourly! LOL!

Glad to hear that you are making progress. Are you printing the new v2 versions I loaded today? It sounds to me like you may need to either dial down your flow rate or your temperature. or both. I had trouble printing small tolerance pieces until I made both of those adjustments. It could also be the first layer getting squished enough to touch the other parts.

I have been designing my parts using Tinkercad. It is a free online design tool. I started using that because it was the only designing tool that did not cripple my old slow computer. Now that I have a faster computer, I have not taken the time to get used to any other modeling tool. Tinkercad is a powerful tool that has many features that make it user friendly and it functionally has a design resolution to .1mm. In my Little Digger object description you can find a link to the Little Digger in Tinkercad. You can copy it there and take it apart or modify it to see how the different parts were designed.

I also have been modeling in Sculptris. I have nearly completed a T-rex skeleton that I am getting ready to prep for 3d printing and some interesting stuff. You can see that one here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:342051

$90 an hour... you must be working from home on the internet in your spare time to make that kind of money.

T-rex Skeleton
by joefe
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Reminds me of the Lament Configuration. GREAT work!

Very good to print, only the cagethingy-part was hard to print.
Photos following soon.

Thank You allready, great work.

I think it's very cool. I'm printing the parts as I type this. Did your acrylic paints stick well direct to the ABS or did you prime the parts first?

I printed it in PLA and the acrylic paints stick quite well. I have not tried to paint ABS yet, so I can't speak to that. I recommend trying it on a scrap print first to see if it works or if you need primer.

Good luck and please post your make when it's done!