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Observation Tower

by all_metric_all_the_time Apr 3, 2017
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Wow thanks for sharing This is awesome!
My 2 year old is a fan of this show and I had to find all the pups to complete it. Now what is missing is this!
If I may ask, how did you orient the slides during printing with supports?
Upside down sort of dome like position?

I printed them at a funky angle to ensure that the slide was as U like as possible which seemed to work ok. After 2 years of play testing I'd recommend that you connect the slide sections together with some sort of thin mesh (if you can find it) and glue.

Excelent design!! I am assembling the pieces with a change only in the tower window. I will post a picture when I finish it.

Thanks for sharing!

Glad you like it. I look forward to seeing another build.

Hello All metric! Which software do yo use to create the tower?


thanks for designing and sharing this!

looks like a lot of effort went into it, and i especially appreciate the excellent build instructions (rather rare to have that sort of quality in documentation these days).

my kids already have a commercial version of this tower, so i'm not about to start printing it right now... but if/when it breaks and as contention for a favorite toy increases i figure it's inevitable that i'll end up printing this.

I'd like to modify the design a bit to take advantage of my printer's features (25cm x 25cm x 25cm build volume, dual extruders). I've already pulled all the STL files into tinkercad and am tinkering away. If you have any ideas that just didn't' fit into the lulzbot mini build volume please let me know and I'll do my best to incorporate them. I'll share the modified design here when I'm done (or the tinkercad project before then, if anyone is interested).

I think I'll print the support legs separate from the tower and otherwise print the tower in two parts (top and bottom). Should save on printing time/filament used and on assembly time/effort. Do you see any value in retaining the ability to disassemble it (e.g. kids have gotten stuff stuck in there and disassembly is/was required)? I'm also thinking that the area under the tower 'feet' could be used for something. Maybe make the top surface open like a box and store some related trucks in them?

Thanks again - this is a great design and I look forward to printing a version of it!

Thanks for the compliment, it's nice to know that the world enjoys the output of my hobby.

A dual extruder opens up possibilities for the slide and roof as everything was designed around having only a single extruder. With a 25x25x25 build volume I'd print the following parts as a single unit:

  1. BasePart 1, 2, and 3
  2. TowerPart 1 and 2
  3. SmallRingThingAtTheTop parts 1, 2, 3, and 4

Without going back to my CAD files to measure other parts being printed on a single 25x25x25 volume might be too big. Originally I was going to make the upper balcony wider about 1 to 2[cm] larger in radius but I couldn't get it to fit on my printer.

As for incorporating a compartment into the base, I'd say that's up to you. It isn't as true to the tv show but it might add play value. If I were to spend time anywhere in my design it would be for elevator improvement. To be honest I ran out of time prior to my son's birthday to do a really good job on either the slide or elevator.

I've never had a need to disassemble the tower and I believe HQZ just glued everything together with superglue when he/she built theirs and they say that their daughter loves it as is.

If you're looking for other toys I'd suggest checking out my modular space station design. That's provided the best play value out of anything that my son enjoys and it can be reconfigured to take up considerably less space than the tower.

What is the total height of this build?

It's about 55[cm]. It's designed to approximately fit commercially purchased toy figures. All parts are sized to be printed on a lulzbot mini (about 15x15x15.5 (in vertical) [cm]).

Dude, so I am finally finished with this amazing lookout tower. It took much longer than I expected, I think it was around 100 print hours (without the slide) and not counting any of the failed attempts, but it was totally worth it, my daughter loves it. The design is very nice, I used mainly super glue since I don't plan on disassembling it, I used bolts for the roof and the base parts. The build instructions are spot on.
For the door I just removed the supports that are in the file and printed with just regular supports generated by the slicer with no issues.
Can I suggest some improvements? :)
Make most of the bolted down parts with snap locks. I know that will complicate the printing and maybe require supports for some parts, but I think it will be a nice addition.
Motorized elevator.... with a small motor in one of the base parts. One lead screw and an up/down button on the side of the base next to the door. Since the elevator is not really usable once the slide is in place.

I may try to and modify some of your files if you don't mind. Also any chance to share format other than stl? I do have Inventor but have not used it yet, but I feel somewhat confident with Fusion360, if that helps regarding file formats if you are ok with sharing.

Thank you for the great design, this was tons of fun to make and I am sure it will log many more hours of playtime.

I'd be happy to share part files, we just need to find a way to send them to you. I'd prefer not to upload them on to Thingiverse for various reasons, but sending them directly via email or dropbox or something would be ok.

Awesome I will send you a pm

Hey man great design, any recommendations for printing and assembly, or any resizing required?

Thank you I will post updates as I make this

Beyond the build instructions word document I don't have much to add. All parts with a few exceptions (listed below) should with careful orientation not require any support material. Here's what did require support material: door lintel (there's some break aways in the design), telescope, and slide pieces.

The .stls should be in millimetres and are designed for a 16x16x16 build platform (i.e. a Lulzbot mini). Scaling up isn't a problem, but scaling down you'll probably run into interference issues with the windows and slots as well as the tapped holes if you scale down below about 75% (that's a guess). There are, however, things you can do. Do you have a particular size up/down in mind?

Hi thanks for the quick response, I don't have particular size in mind, I plan to print it as you designed it. I was asking about resizing (if necessary) just to make parts fit, but it sounds like that is not be necessary :)
I will have several pieces printed later on today and will post pictures.

Just curious, how did it go?

Still printing the parts. So far I have the 3 base parts and the 2 tower parts printed. On the base parts the bridges turned out bad, but I think that is because of my filament. Supports might for base parts 1 and 2, but I think my main issue was the filament, also I am printing at 0.35 mm layer height.
So far the design looks excellent, and the assembly guide is really helpful. I plan on printing the rest of the parts in the next 2 days. Worst case scenario I may reprint the white parts again with more consistent diameter filament.