Falkirk Wheel

by burton15, published

Falkirk Wheel by burton15 Aug 10, 2015
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6213Views 1594Downloads Found in Buildings & Structures


Welcome to the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland; the only rotating boat lift in the world. It features Celtic-inspired, double-headed axe arms, which hold two water-filled gondolas to carry boats. It took 8 years to plan, design, and construct between 1994 and 2002. The Falkirk Wheel connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal for the first time since the 1930's when 11 navigation locks were removed.

Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Falkirk Wheel each year and now you can enjoy my approximate 1/500 scale model from your 3D printer.

Using Blender alongside photos of the wheel that I found online, I modeled a moveable assembly composed of 17 printable parts. I took care to ensure that all parts could be simply printed without supports and assembled without additional connecting hardware. All that is needed is a 3D printer and filament.

The rotating arms hold gondolas that maintain an upright position using gravity. The model is spun by hand by pushing on the arms, or twisting the knurled shaft stub that extends through the back support. This shaft has the ability to be modified for a gear reduced drive. A worm drive modification in the downloads contains replacement parts for adding a stepper motor.



No supports needed
Print scale 100% of .stl model size.
See video for assembly guidance.

Settings for my printer and filament:
PLA, 180°C
Infill 10%
Layer height 0.2mm

Part list:
-Wheel front arm + shaft.
-Wheel rear arm.
-Gondolas (x2)
-Wheel base.
-Wheel's front support.
-Wheel's rear support.
-Central gear.
-Aquaduct supports (x4)
-Aquaduct base.
-Water inserts.

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Brown would be a better water colour.

Thank you for modeling this engineering marvel.

Wow! Nice model :) I've been looking for a moving 3D printable version since seeing the expensive cardboard kits sold in Falkirk.

nice job sir well done

I thought you would at least get an honorable mention for this... Well here's one from me, hope that's worth something to you ;)

Can you post an image of the real thing?

Aug 11, 2015 - Modified Aug 11, 2015
Wolkenschafe - in reply to Matthew_Scott

I take care of this. Here you can see a picture.