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Scorpionz... with Rotating Tail and Pincers that Nip!

by muzz64 Sep 6, 2015
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Dude, you are some kind of genius. These cute and useful creatures you have come up with are uniformly awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for your message.... pleased you like them!

Printed a copy of this old (but still great) model. I posted a make with these comments, but thought I'd also share them here:

I was a bit concerned that the tip of the tail, being so tiny and having a steep overhang, would get knocked from the build plate. So, I added a small 20mm diameter (0.16mm high) pad under the tail. (Think of it as a 10mm brim for that one part only.)

One part of the print that had an issue was the "ball" joint for the left "hand." The ball starts printing in mid-air, completely unattached to anything, so it ended up flying off. (Oddly, the ball joint on the right side was fine.) Fortunately, once the arm started to extend to the area of the ball joint, everything worked out.

Thank you for the model!

Thanks for your comment. There are actually very small supports for the ball joints in the design however some slicers miss these fine features as they are very thin... the idea being just enough to support the start of the joint printing. One way to overcome this issue is change the prints orientation (rotate) on the slicers build plate. That may help it 'see' the model differently and recognise these features. The other solution is to scale the model up a bit.

All the best


Thanks for your positive feedback. I'm always pleased to hear my designs are appreciated!

All the best


The left arm keeps breaking off... both at .3 and .2 resolution :(... maybe I'll try it in PETG.

...the other thing you can do to help, if you have a big enough build plate, is uniformly scale it up a bit (10 - 20%) which will help increase the thickness of everything... and still use high infill.

... sorry to hear you're having problems with this. Changing your resolution is unlikely to help... are you printing with (very) high infill as specified in the instruction. The point being it needs to be made strong otherwise yes it will be prone to breaking. Even printed with high infill you still need to take care of it as some parts are thin and it is just plastic after all. Having said that, I've never had any break myself and printed lots over the past year or two.

Excellent design!
For future reference: a scorpion is an insect, and therefore has 3 pairs of legs
Keep up your good work!

Omg thank you so much my grandson loves your designs ( and I love them as well ) keep up the great work I look forward to your next one

Please bear with me as I'm a VERY new user of a 3D printer. We got it for my son for Christmas and I (mom) am spending the most time figuring this thing out. So far so good....

So we have a Mod-t by New Matter and love the printer. I'm not sure this small model will fit on our print plate. It says the build envelope is 150mm x 100 x 125 mm (6 x 4 x 5inches). Is that the max size I can print? would this fit?

Has anyone decreased the size WITH success? I know you have the shorter model available but has anyone had luck shrining it down a bit and it still working??


The short version is 15.7cm long so too long to run it straight across the build plate. However, try importing it into the slicing app then rotate it 45 degrees. That may work although I suspect the pincers would still be an issue.

Chances are you can uniformly scale it down by 6% to make the short version fit and it should still print and function okay without the parts fusing as long as your slicing app and machine are accurate / precise. However, any scaling down will reduce the thickness of parts so make sure you apply high infill...

I hope this helps. All the best.

wow, what a fast response. Thank you so much. I will give it a try.

Kills me that my monoprice mini is not big enough to print this! Looks amazing.

Pretty cool dude nice work like your other models

Thanks... pleased you like my designz!

So I thought I'd try it without a raft. Hate trying to separate the print from the raft. Didn't have a problem with the stinger (end of tail) like I thought i would. But 10 layers or so in, I watch the right arm lift off the bed with the print head. I was cursing that it was going to kill the print, when lo and behold on the next pass it has slid backwards just a little and when the print head sent over it again it stuck back down. It did a layer shift only on that one arm. I think it gives it a little character. Other than that pincers open and close, they rotate, the arms move, and the tail curls up over the back just as it should.

You Sir have more talent in your pinky finger than I have in my entire body.

Thanks for your comment. .. much appreciated and I'm pleased it worked out okay in the end.

Raft is well worth using much of the time and should snap away with minimal effort. If your raft isn't like this check your raft to model slicer setting. I run 0.27mm. Too close and it will stick too much.

I hope this helps!

Could you design a crab or lobster? either would be awesome!!!!

Thanks for your suggestion... I'll add them to my list. Just getting time at present is the issue. I have a big work project on for the next month plus a number of other designs in mind. It all comes down to having the right way to make it work in a clever way...

Id love to learn how everyone makes all these amazing "things". so much talent on this site. good luck on your project!

Thanks... the challenge with things like crabs and lobsters is the fine detail like legs... obviously making them to a scale that will work on most 3D printers means they will be very fragile. We'll see... thanks for your kind words!

I printed several of these in ABS and PLA and though they were fun, they mostly broke when my kids played with them. OTOH, I printed one in TPU and it's very strong and not brittle at all. I should make another in TPU and post a picture.

There are a lot of fine features in this design so it's more for fun and decorative purposes than a functional kids toy. .. particularly when printed in PLA which is brittle.

Of course that's what you made it for, but it also makes for a rather fun toy when printed in a strong material like TPU. :-) I might try nylon also sometime.

Well done! Worked fine for me (in PLA) at both 75% and 100%. I enjoyed printing it and studying the design, my son is enjoying playing with it.

....pleased you like it. Just make sure your son doesn't get stung!

Printed very well first time no scaling , in 2h00 or so.
Very nice design.
However Printed with 3 layers ; 20% infill and, I broke [ 2 legs , the arms , the second articulation of the queue ] ...
Fix it with some glue.

Some minor improvements could be done :

  • the vertical axis supporting the arm and the sphere inside the eyes could be a bit thicker.
    -the angle of the legs/feet connection is too high , hence creating a mechanical rupture path.

Otherwise , great job ! Thanks.

It's always a fine balance between size and strength and angles you can get away with to make things like this work. This is why I always recommend high infill for prints like this... to make the fine parts as strong as possible. The clearances and angles used all have to be worked around what will 3D print reliably for most people. The simple solution to making it stronger is to print it bigger... that will make everything stronger. However, lots of people have asked for it to be smaller due to the limited build volume of their machines. That is why there is a 'short' version to help some people out... everyone has a different set up.

I've print lost of these on my MakerBot's using settings as per the listing. The only breakages I've had is when people have been rough with them... after all it is just fine pieces of plastic. I appreciate not everyone's slicing app or machine will produce the same results so always recommend scaling up as the easy answer.

@muzz64 I have the MPSM so printing even the small one requires scaling. I might give it a try anyway.
I saw the "no derivatives" so I was wonder if you were open to making the "forearms" of the front claws a bit longer such that the claws could be flipped backwards (along side the "legs"). That would save a bunch of space. Thanks for great collectionz!

Hi Todd

Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately it's not that easy as the amount you can rotate the arm joint and still have it free post printing is very limited When it is printed it doesn't matter if you rotate the joints to the limits of the opening but for printing they need to be positioned in the most neutral space as that is where the internal clearances are the greatest and why they are sitting as they are in the design. Rotating them to even a small extent would probably result in a solid joint that won't move at all.

Hopefully this explains the issues adequately... what are your limits?

Some people have printed these okay at down to 75% but that is borderline for a free moving model. Many machines and slicing apps won't deal with that fine clearances so the model won't move.

I think I understand; I was suggesting flipping the claws and "forearm" 180deg over backwards. So it would have the same relative position and neutral space.

I tried the smaller one at 80% on my MP Select Mini. One claw arm broke off when removing it (TBH I think my raft layer was too thin as the bed is a hair too high) and I carefully x-acto'd away the raft but could never get a claw to work, and only one tail joint worked - the others broke.

That is the problem with scaling down ... prints get weak and joints stick. What is your max. print size... I can look at ways to make it work for you

Max print 120 x 120 mm, less whatever for brim/raft. Thanks.

I've had a look at it... even my short version, and getting it down to that size simply isn't going to work. However, what I can do is split the tail off so it clips on afterwards. On that basis you could print the big one.... I can make it so the tail won't come off once rotated but would lift off when sitting flat if lifted in the right way. If this sounds okay message me your email address and I'll send the .stls.

Worked great first time. thanks

No success with a 0.5mm nozzle in ABS. Joints got stuck and snapped off when flexed, otherwise the pincers worked on the second print. I'll probably try this again on my MKII design with a finer nozzle and better filament.

The design has a lot of fine details and also quite extreme angles. With PLA and a .4 nozzle they print well with an accurate machine and loads of people have had great results as I'm sure you have seen. ABS will be more of a challenge as it won't deal with the angles as well... but some have done it okay. It's a matter of trial and error with your set up. Good luck!

Working on my third one now...the first one had both of it's claws break off...my fault, I didn't adjust the shells on my printer. The second one had the first claw break free and work perfectly, but the second one still broke off of the body. I'm giving it another try to see if I can work this one free a lot more carefully. I'm thinking that after the first claw was able to be worked free on the second print that I was a bit rough with the second claw.

My printer does the Fish Fossilz perfectly, so I'm THINKING it should be able to do this one as well!!! I'm hoping that this one works.

With fine / highly detailed prints like this filament quality and condition can also make all the difference... however another easy way to increase strength in weaker areas is to scale it up uniformly by 10 % or more... and / or change to linear infill. Unfortunately all machines and slicing apps work differently so there's no guaranteed solution but these are worth trying if you have anymore issues ... hope it works out for you

printed great and all the parts move but one of his clampers, which broke off when I tried to move it :(

Sorry to hear your Scorpion broke. Using more shells than usual and high infill is essential (I assume you followed the print settings recommendations provided?) for the finer parts to be strong. Other factors that make a difference is the filament itself as not all filament seems to print as well as others... and some slicing apps don't seem to deal with the finer features as well as others. Having said that if all your parts are moving fine then that should be okay... there's been loads of other Thingiverse members who have printed these with no issues so increasing the strength when you slice it should overcome the issue.

I forgot if I followed the instructions, I printed it a while ago, but maybe I didn't haha. It looks like I might of not put any infill in.

For some reason this model caused my Rostock V2 to freak out and start printing on air... Not sure why because none of my other prints have done that as of yet. Using MatterSlice and Mattercontrol- would you recommend a different slicer? Love the design but my printer/slicer doesn't seem to want to cooperate...

Sorry to hear you're having issues. Not all machines and/or slicing apps can deal with the detail. As I'm sure you've seen there have been thousands of other Thingiverse members who have successfully printed Scorpionz so it has to be one or the other in your case.

The most likely is the slicing app so you could try an alternative. However, you may also find uniformly scaling it up a bit allows the slicer to better deal with the detail. Try going up 10% and see if it helps. Make sure you scale everything uniformly.

I printed it but it´s impossible to move almost any part. All the movable parts are sticked. I broke one of the pincers trying to rotate it. I managed to move the tail, but its impossible to open or rotate the pincers, no matter how strong I try. I think I need more hole between the pieces.

I used your slicing configuration on Repetier Host, with slic3r and I printed it in a Prusa i3 Hephestos.

Which slicer did you use? Do you have any advice?

Sorry to hear you are having problems with this print. Rest assured they print really well and move freely once you get things right. Lots of other Thingiverse members have had great results so now we need to get your issues sorted....

Firstly all machines and slicing software are different. Not all can accurately deal with the fine clearances required for print-in-place designs like Scorpionz. I use MakerBot machines (I have a Replicator 2 and 5th Generation Replicator). With these machines and the MakerBot Desktop slicing app I have no issues with these clearances.

However. as you have a different machine and slicing app my suggestions are:

Firstly you can just increase the scale of the design "uniformly" by 15 - 20% (Usually I wouldn't suggest as big change but it sounds like you need to increase internal clearances quite a bit). Scaling it up should resolve this okay as either your machine or the slicing app is not detailed / accurate enough to deal with the detail in the design.

Please make sure you are using PLA and not using any support. PLA will deal with extreme angles used far better than ABS. If you use automated support that is a sure way to have support build within joints and lock them solid....

Not that I've used this myself but you could also try changing your slicing app to Cura. That is becoming increasingly popular so may create a better sliced file for this and other prints.

I hope this helps you get a great print... it's worth the time and effort. Assuming the scaling helps pots a picture of your moving Scorpionz!

Thank you for the reply

I´ve printed a calibration cube and I´ve discovered that my Prusa prints 0.5 mm more in both X and Y axis. So this can be the reason, If I´ve 0.5 mm of excess material, the internal clearances are almost inexistent.

I will try your suggestions, and I will calibrate it with all the possible accuracy, an then I will let you know.

Printed half a dozen using ABS.
A little sticky to the raft, but seems sturdy. Very much fun!
I made a modified version with 2 holes under to glue in (ABS glue) a 1/4in dia. rare earth magnet in each hole - to get them to guard our fridge.

Great to hear Scorpionz are being put to work as security guards

Great Print but the arms broke off with a little pressure

Sorry to hear that however it is just plastic after all and whether 3D printed or bought in a shop lightweight plastic things are easy to break. Having said that, loads of people have printed and are playing with their Scorpions, including me, so treated with care they should stand up to a bit of use fine.

In closing, not all slicing software or machines print the same and not all deal with finer features as well as others. This can easily affect the strength. On a Replicator 2/ 5th Generation Replicator I haven't had any issues when using the instructions provided... which recommend more shells than usual and a high infill percentage. This also contributes greatly to strength.

Printed at 0.75% size in bronze filament, and I still cant break it if i try! XD

I assume you mean the joints are bonded together and won't break free. The solution is not to scale it down at all.... the internal clearances designed in will print okay on most machines. Scaling down will close the gaps too much.

The best from the collectionZ

I am a scorpio then i will make it as big as i can !


IPleased you like my Scorpionz... I've printed a Z18 size one which is very cool and scary!

The links/joints are a bit looser than ideal when you just increase the scale uniformly but it still works great.

Wow - this is absolutely amazing. I am obsessed with print-in-place, no raft, no support designs! A couple notes:

  • I printed this on my Dremel + Simplify3D (.2mm layers, 4 shells, 4 solid top/bottom, 60mm/s, NO RAFT). Took 1.5 hours.
  • I didn't read the instructions well enough and forgot to loosen the arms (the L-shaped parts that attached near the head) before prying up the body. That broke the arms, but they easily reattached with some hot glue (but they don't pivot at the body now, natch). Lesson learned - loosens all of the legs, pincers AND arms before doing anything with the body.

Absolutely brilliant! You've outdone yourself this time!

Whoa, that is awesome!

It doesn't fit. Any recommendations for scaling it down?

This amazing. If it fits on my build space, count on me making it!1

What size is your build plate?

Rotating it 45 degrees may help.... or I can post a short version with one less link in the tail. Still good.

This can't be scaled down as that would affect internal clearances and make it too weak.

Great design! But I am in the same boat as smiley. I did manage to print the short tail version but I had to scale down to 70% after rotating 45 degrees. It worked but a bit fragile. Print area is 109mm x 113mm on my M3D Micro. Any chance to get a removable tail that can be printed separately and snapped in?