Optical Illusion Pinwheel v2.5

by Dalpek Mar 3, 2015
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had to scale this up by 115% to get it to print the fans correctly not a problem as its just a bit bigger now:)'

S3D cant slice it properly with 0.4 nozzle and 0.2 - 0.1 mm layer height there will always be some weird errors

at 115% the thin parts are working fine

The handle, clips and side B printed fine. I have had issues with side A printing. I sliced in Simplify3D. When printed, there are gaps in the blades for a few layers. It looks like the blades are too thin for the slicer to recognize the lines in those areas: http://ibb.co/eMRZNv

When I slice in Slic3r it appears to track those lines so I'll try to print again using that slicer.

you can build a plate adhesion in your printer if you want

You couldn't handle this on strong acid.

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i getting high seeing this hypnotic ilussion lol

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Try a mirror of the good blade. V23 printed very well with improved movement in low breeze conditions.

Actually A and B are very different from each other. They are NOT mirrored objects.
If you print 2 "A" blades or "2" B blades they will spin in the same direction loosing the optical illusion effect.

Hello, nice Think!! I have mad one and it works fine. But i have some Fails in S3d after slicing BladeA. Other Blade and Stick is ok. Anyone have prbs too with slicing BladeA?

Same problem here. Some portions at the outer part of blade A are too thing and Simplify3D doesn't slice them correctly, they seem eroded, as if chewed by a mice. The description says that V2.5 has thinner blades that previous versions. This may explain why people suddenly are having problem printing with Simplify3D

@Dalpek, will it be possible to make those portions thicker again? You can see here how it looks in Simplify3D http://i.imgur.com/HHzy7Vp.png

Yes, how can this thing be so popular yet not even be able to slice properly in literally the only decent piece of home 3D printing software on the planet? If you can't slice properly in Simplify3D you shouldn't have uploaded the model, period. You are living in the stone age printing with anything else, particularly Replicator G or Makerware crap.

Blade A doesn't even come close to slicing properly. How I got around the problem is I mirrored the part about Y axis in Simplify3D by going to Mesh -> Mirror Mesh -> Mirror Y

Sliced OK in Cura

Why so angry?

a) this thing is free
b) not everyone uses S3D

Take a chill pill and be grateful for all the good free stuff on here.

Sliced fine with Cura. If you read the instructions you would see that you need to decrease the layer height. This model is fantastic.

When I first printed blade A, I noticed that my printer had failed to complete a number of "spokes" although this was not the case with blade B. Inspecting the GCode file, it became clear that this was a slicing problems rather than any issue with my printer. The problem was NOT with the STL file but with the settings I was using - normally fine and dandy but for this print, I needed to reduce the width:thickness ratio in my slicer - Skeinforge - from 2.5 to 2.0. (Printing at 0.2mm layer height with a 0.4mm nozzle).


Hm, i cant slice blade_a with s3d.. some fails in the Modell. :( sad

Mine doesnt work as expected, the blade and the whole wheel is too heavy, impossible to spin at breeze, unless you have 4-5 grade wind all the time.

And DONT USE TWO COLOR because it will make the illusion goes away.

Did you print v2.0 with thinner blades?

I printed this remix version : http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1520260

the one you uploaded didnt work on simplify3d so i download this remix version ? I assume it's the latest version ?

Optical Illusion Pinwheel (Remix)

Nope it's not the latest. After many comments I released v2.3 today which hopefully fixes the slicing problems. Made the blades 50% thinner and increased their resolution. With the help of Antoine Carbo I reworked the attachment method for the stick.

OK,thanks, i will try it again then

Please let me know if simplify3d is able to slice the new files :)

The new version works really well, my daughter likes it very much, thank you Dalpek :)

Here is two minor mistake needs to be fixed :

  1. logo on the sitck is too small and too deep, it weaks the stick and it messed up when you print fast.

  2. The clip is 0.2mm higher than washer.

Thanks for the comments, V2.5 has the fixes ;)

Yes, it works now, i am printing it right now

Will do Dalpek....one I see him again. He lives about 200 miles away and we get him one every 2 months or so. He does say thank you.

Great work - thank you.
I have made 5 of these in different colours and will post a "made one" once I have taken a photograph. (Although I have given a few of them away already). The ones I made were the first version using the fixed STLs to be found in the remixes. My first couple of attempts at the stick were done using supports and with it rotated about the X axis so that it lay (almost) flat on the print bed. However, I found that I could print the stick with far better results without supports and with it pointing upwards as provided. I also got better at fitting the blades to the stick and may not bother with the redesigned, V2 stick simply because I think I have 'the knack'. I am now going to print the V2 blades to see how this compares to the originals.
As said, great work, great design.


mine is still running after one year :)

@HC_Carbo Thanks for the improved clip design! I have already incorporated it to v2.3. :)

I printed one this AM ... Thick blade ... will the thin blade work for the other direction ??
I don't see a opposite thick blade. Also does different callers look OKAY ... I am stopped now with 1/2
of a thick blade ... what to do ?? TY ... first print looks awesome .. !!

Hi Treab,
I replaced the thick blades for thin ones today. Give me your e-mail so I can send you the file for the thick blade, please specify the one you need (bladeA or bladeB)
I don't suggest printing in two colors because the optical illusion created by the spinning blades will not look as cool (see video).

email is ............ [email protected]

Wow ... that was quick ... i printed the first one on the STL ... I believe A ...
thanks so much ... I was waiting to see reaction of the 2 colors .... TY again

I took assorted sharpies and drew a middle line on each flat....grandson cant stop playing with it. Thank you very much

Cool!!! If you can post an image :)

printed very nice. cut handle in half and glued together.

Would it look even nicer if i printed the wheel in 2 colors?

I don't suggest printing in two colors because the optical illusion created by the spinning blades will not look as cool (see video).

I am making one right now in Black and White, with a Red stick. :-)

Did you finish it ? Does it work ?

Very nice!

There's an artist in Vail Colorado that makes these and similar ones in metal that are quite large (some 6' in diameter). I've always wanted to 3D print one but you beat me to it. :)

Can't wait to print this!

Made this with no problems! I printed the stick laying down with supports turned on. I took a file to the inside holes before assembling. It works great!

How do models that are so broken even get featured? this place isn't going downhill, it's already at the bottom trying to get up.

What are you using?... I had no trouble whatsoever, I use an Ultimaker with Cura and Meshmixer.
I just uploaded v2.0 of the pinwheel. Try it out to see if it works.

I tried slicing the STLs and had no trouble. There are also seven Makes spread across at least 4 printers. If you're still having problems, try this remixed version.

@dalpek - You might want to take double check these STLs.

Optical Illusion Pinwheel (Remix)

@glitchpudding, I updated the files to v2.3 adding a few improvements to the design. I have reports the new STLs are working fine now.

You need to repair the STL files. They won't work in most slicers. Run them thru this website to repair... https://netfabb.azurewebsites.net/

Nice. I was thinking of designing some pinwheels (whirligigs in my native UK) myself, but nothing as splendid as this. I will definitely print this to mesmerize my 16 month old.

If you shaved a flat on one side of the handle, couldn't it be printed laying down without any support?

I really wanted to make this thing. I downloaded the stl files and two programs could not process it. I've printed a lot of items from here, but this one doesn't even slice.

Try repairing the stl files using the free program Netfab basic. http://www.netfabb.com/downloadcenter.php?basic=1