Like everyone else here I'm sure, I love Emmett's cube gears (all his creations really. Did I say I was a fan!! ). The monogrammed ones have made their way into several of the Christmas and birthday presents I have given out. I have always wanted to take them to the next step though and motorize them like I have seen that others have done, but I didn't want to give up my ability to still play with them. So, I thought up a way to modify it to work both ways! Yep, you can motorize it and play with it by hand!!!
I extended the pin for one of the big corner blocks and put a hex shape at the end. I made a hole through the corner block to accommodate the extended pin. I also made three parallel rounded indents into the three sides of the corner to provide a way to hold it in place. Then I took a geared motor that I got cheap on e-bay and made a case around it with a battery holder and a lid with three cylinders to fit into the slots in the cube. I added a driver to the motor to match up with the hex shape and let her rip. (there was actually a few iterations and moments of head scratching involved) To switch the power, I went with a simple solution of making a flexible tab in the battery lid that pushes the wire onto the top of the battery. Simple and elegant!
Now I can freely play with the cube gears and have a nice stand to set it on that amazes everyone when I show them what happens when I press the button.
Modifying an existing geared cube (5-6 version with new pins) to work with this is as simple as taking off one of the big corners and replacing it with the new pin and corner.
Here's a of video of my son playing with it:
Update - I ordered a couple of standard geared motors (should get in a couple of weeks) that are more freely available than the salvaged ones I used. I will update this with a new base when I have tested it with the new motor.
You need the center piece, 7 regular pins, 4 small corners, 3 large corners, the power_cube_hex_pin and the power_cube_corner to make the geared cube. If you have an existing 5-6 cube gears (with the new pins) you can just replace the one corner.
For an even more interesting one, use Emmett's "Three Cube Gears" customizer to make custom large corners with your own words on each of the three sides!
next you need a motor to run it. I shared the tinkercad object (link below) so that you can modify it to work with whatever motor you have. The real keys to the base are the holder and driver. The rest can be modified to suit your needs.