MakerBot Print is our newest print-prepration software, which supports native CAD files and STL assemblies,
allows you to interact with all your printers via the Cloud, and many other exciting new features.

Download Now


Fidget Gears Revolving V2 Print-in-Place

by kasinatorhh Mar 16, 2019
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Please Login to Comment

Printed the v8E printinplace file and the gears are stuck together and won't move at all, even with using a knife to try to break them apart. Used a lulzbot mini 2 with PLA. Maybe overextruding but I haven't had issues with that before.
I think maybe my layer height was too large I'll try printing it in better resolution tomorrow.

This design is not forgiving Over-extrusion.
It definitely a challenging design, that requires your printer betting setup for exact prints.
And it requires patience when trying to make it moving.

Try to print at 120% or even 150% size. This relaxes the print by scaling the gaps as well.

Oh my gosh! I need this right now! I'll definitely print this once my printer arrives.

my gears are stuck and wont move at all the supports are almost impossible to get out

First: please tell which version / filename you printed.
I use the backside of a scalpel to flip the small support-cylinders out. That works also between the gears.
After that some pressing, without moving, you can see that the big gears start to loosen, maybe not yet rotate.
If they are not loosing at all, they are probably glued to the Holder: then your printer might be over-extruding. Try to print at bigger scale in that case. 120% worked for me with another printer.
If trying to break off the gears from the central holder, it can happen that you destroy the gear. in that case send pictures of everything via PN. Maybe I can guide you.

The gears in this design are really cool. Is there a name for these kinds of gears? They look like helical beveled gears, but I've never seen anything like this where one gear is inside of the other.

Thank you!
I don't know if there is a technical name for it.
When trying to get these modelled with FC Gear Toolbox, I have read a lot of technical documentation about gears theory too get help, until my brain melted.
Result was, that nothing like this seems to be technically relevant, otherwise somebody would have described this before.
And true: you can't use them to transport torque, as the side of the teeth is also where they are sleeved.

So I helped myself: You are right, they are helical extruded shapes, with a circular extruded shape as outline limitation. Otherwise you can't use an inner gear, as the teeth of it would bang into the holder structures.
And that resulting shape is not perfectly fitting. You could write masterthesis to get these shapes correct. For a cool looking gadget it works my way.

Thanks for the explanation!

I tried to print the v7 standalone pieces, it's not smooth rolling, and the small gears doesn't spin the bigger gears. Doesn't even touch them. Printed them at 0.12

Please add pictures and print details (printer, filament)
Maybe it's some print settings.

The gears get smoother, the more you move them, but you should have them easy turning before you join all.


Printer: Ender 3 pro with newest marlin and trianglelab dual extruder
Filament is a generic clas ohlson filament which prints in good quality normally.
Temps are 205c, bed at 60

I'm gonna try the AIO print with pre added suports and see how it goes.

I think the one i printed didn'twork due to too small inner gears that can't make contact.

Thanks for your video.
It shows that you didn't use one of the files available to download today.
The small gears have another shape since V4.

I'm really sorry for the confusion that so many files seem to create.
This morning i removed all the older versions to prevent further confusion.

Please use Gears1_V8E_PrintInPlace.stl for your next run.

Will do :) And yes, the old zip was quite confusing hehe as i didn't see proper standalone pieces.

Why does the pins have these weird layers on the new? 0.12 height


I rotated them obviously around the wrong axis.
No specific purpose. You might use the Lay-Flat button of your slicer.

Is it possible to get the "all in one" print moving?

That is shown on the golden print picture with the scalpel.
With a little bit of practice, i have a 95% success-rate within 15min.
Take care of your fingers!!!!
Use the non-sharp backside of a scalpel or any other thin metal piece to break away the small cylinders between gear and the holder.
Make sure the sharp side is not cutting in the holder, it will win to cut open the holder->lost print.
Make sure as well to not use the sharp edge of the scalpel to cut open the small cylinders. You will break open the holder as well.
When the big gears still don't move, try a screwdriver to softly bend to disconnect the gear from the holder.
Once the big gears are "disconnected", start to losen carefully the vertical gears.
This is how i did it all the time.
If you destroy the print, have a look where it connects.
Printing scaled at 120% increases also the tolerance gaps and might make your print movable.

I like the idea of the design and I wish it would print. The files are all over the place. V7 Holder and V7 Gears are very poorly arranged and are not all situated to be flat on the bed. Only one half of the holder in able to make contact with the bed the other half starts the print on the 2nd layer. The gears only the holding pint start on the bed, some of the gear don't start printing on the bed till the fourth layer. As the designed has grouped the various parts as one STL and not just uploaded every part individually it make it almost impossible to print. I would like to say its a good design but it really isn't at all!

The V7 holder is intended to be printed with supports to have the smooth topside for the hands-side.
So if you simply print them in T-orientaion its perfectly fitting the build plate.
On the two gears-Shafts:
I never had an issue. First layer height =400um, then all fits, it also helps adhesion.
Some slicing programs also allow to place at negative z.
Another comment/make shows another way of fixing it.

Personally I feel you would get a better surface finish from the parts being flat of the bed.
Printing with a negative Z height will only fix the problem for some of the gears other ones will be pushed below the bed and would have layers missing.

All these issues would be solved if all the models were saved and separate STL files.

So be it.
Removed joined ones, added zip file

This post is very convoluted . You are talking all over the place in your main page. Moreover, you file contains 8 separate STL with no explanation. What is the "best" version for PLA? What settings? Is it better to print parts separate? Nothing is explained properly and it's really frustrating.

I printed Gears1_V8E_PrintInPlace.stl in ABS and PLA.
Settings see in the makes.
Cooling is essential, as otherwise the vertical gears melt back to a round blob.
It's a challenging print, not all printer-filamenttype-temperature combinations will work.
The disassembled V7 works as backup, if Print-in-place doesn't work for you.
The design has warping potential, so heated beds help.

I really wish people would separate their items into multiple posts if they have more than one version.

  • Posted with 3D Geeks Thingiverse Browser App

Did you get the print in place one to ever work with ABS? I've tried twice and no luck. :(

The Gears1_V7C_PrintInPlace.stl with modified gear supports I just printed in Inofil ABS Silver.
I'll upload the modified STL (Gears1_V8E_PrintInPlace.stl) today, when back on Private PC.
I used:
Minimum Layer Time 40s, Concentric 30%/85° Support, SupportZ-Distance=0, LayerHeight 0.15mm, Nozle 0.6mm, 100% Infil, 60% SkinOverlapPercentage, Wall 25mm/s40%, TravelSpeed 150mm/s40%, PrintAcceleration 300mm/s², Cooling 100%, Temperature 260°C (250 the layers don't attach), 2mm Brim.
Followed my Steps in my reported Gold Build (using scalpel to remove the Gear-Attach-Support-stiches)
Take care on the Gears, they easily break off.
Maybe the ABS Filament I use is very "relaxive" wrt. what you can do with it?!

I had the same problem as Bmarquez1997 described. The rods are not co-planar with the bottom of the gears. My work-around was different though. In Prusa Slic3r 1.41.2, I did "Object | Split", then deleted the gears, leaving only the rods. Then did a Rotate around the x-axis about 1 degree. Now, print the rods.

To print the gears, do the split, then delete the rods. Now print.

The workaround for the holders was the same as described above.

Once complete, it all fit well (the rods were slightly too long - or each had a burr...) . Either way, works great! (printed in PLA, 0.15 layer height, 0.4 nozzle, default settings, on Prusa i3 Mk3). It's Awesome! Thank you for your time designing and posting this!

Hello, I viewed both the Gears1 V7 pip with and without supports and noticed that there is an overlap of the body with one of the smaller gears, so in my opinion a print is not going to be possible (at least one that will allow the gears to spinn freely) Is there any way that you could fix this or maby I am doing something wrong or do you have an idea how I could fix this? Thanks in advance!! Really Nice Model Btw!! ;)

You mean V7C_print_in_place, V7 disassembled or the deleted V7 file?
Any of the current files? Then send me a PN with a screenshot to check.
Note: if you slice with 0.8mm nozle it maybe not fit.

It is with the "Gears1_V7A_PrintInPlace_With_Supports".
As you can see they overlap, maby this can be fixed by rotating the smaller gear?

So far looks like a really good design, but I ran into a couple roadblocks with the disassembled parts files. For the gears file, the retention rods in the center are slightly lower than the gears, so once imported into cura, none of the gears touch the build plate and require about 2 or 3 layers of support before they start. I used 3d builder and split the extra so they laid flat. A similar situation with the holders, the small diameter holder was slightly raised up, so I split the two holders, moved the smaller diameter piece to be level with the larger diameter piece so both are flat against the build plate. Aside from the leveling issues, they seem like they will all fit together and work well

Update: After printing everything out at 100% scale, the large gears fit tightly around the large diameter holder, and the small gears did not fit in the middle at all. Am I supposed to scale any of the parts?

I was having trouble printing the Gears1_V7_Gears and Gears1_V7A_PrintInPlace, I notice when slicing with Cura, the models aren't flat. Cura slices the part of the first layer and the second layer, the rest of what should be the first layer. It failed every time I tried them. I'm trying PrintInPlaceGear2_V2_noSupport where Cura sliced it flat and it's running perfect.

v7 (parts) confirm NOT working

After having reported so many successful prints, also with PLA, could you be more precise what did not work? Filament, temperature, slicing settings, printer...

Will it work with regular PLA?

Hi xap4o,
I can't give you a 100% answer that you spend money on.
I printed the disassembled version (V7) with two diffetent ABS versions and DarkGold PLA.
So it should work.
I've had very hard time to replicate the Print-in-Place V4 design using any of my Filaments, so I've split them up somewhen to improve success-rate. I'm not sure why the very-initial version was a 1print=1success at the paid print-shack.

Will it turn smooth?
This depends on the general material surface. If you try to scratch your finger nail in it and it feels slippery, the gears for sure will turn easier.
Just take two prints of that filament (and others), rub them together and take the filaments with less friction.
The DarkGold filament looks good, but has high friction before it slides. You might counter that by e.g. silicone oil.

I love this idea and it is certainly worth a second look... or different eyes on it. Not do diminish in any way the genius behind it.

I have been designing to a particular printer for a years now only to learn that very technical printers make a mess of most of the things I've posted. I know that the items I've posted works for many specially considering many of the parts are for this very same printer, Cube3. But its bigger brother, CubePro is -too- precise. If I leave a 1/2mm clearance in my design, they work perfect on hobby printers. For CubePro, it needs 0.2 clearance max. I'll be interested to see which printer will do this cutie-pie justice.

I tried print V3 all together. My printer normally prints moving parts quite well. I could not get it to work. I did use supports "from build plate only". Things I noticed: the shaft in the small gears does not extend far enough to engage in the holes that you have left for the shafts.
Also if you made the base of the ring a little deeper then you wouldn't need supports under the big ring. (Make the design so it rests on the outside ring, not the small gear) That would also be a big plus.

I added Gears1_V3.stl with more tolerance and thicker holders.
Please check.

This print does not work. The top and bottom are too fused. After 30min of trying to take them apart....threw it in the garbage. Cool Idea, but needs work.

Well, I can only say that and how it worked for me...
The video is no fake

Does not work. One layer's width of horizontal clearance is insufficient. Everything was well bonded together. Tossed in my recycle bin.

It took some time to get it free on my print as well.
I put my fingernail to lift off the bigger gears from the holder.
Then I played with the (still connected) vertical gear.
A mixture of force and cautioness...

After the first parts being able to move, i self-grinded the part under rinsing water to move out the broken off parts away.

I, too, spent a long time getting it free. JUST as I got it free, the "top" broke off. I was able to glue it on, but it was pretty dismal. My printer is decent if not quite 100%, but I rarely have trouble with "challenge" prints.

I would suggest creating a manual support for the print-in-place one. Get something that works and post it so you're not counting on the end-user's slicer to do the supports right. Could you show a picture of this already sliced, so we can see the supports you print with?

I really like the idea and enjoyed playing with it. I will try the new looser version in the meantime. I would do the multi-print version but I don't yet understand how it goes together.

Again, thanks for the cool design, I'm watching this one!

Please post a make when it worked for you.
I'm curious about your settings.

I used 40% Cross-support in cura, lifted the design by z=0.5mm, 0.4mm nozzle on ultimaker 3 in Conrad Print shop (expensive like hell)
I don't have a printer myself.

That's interesting, about lifting the model.

I printed one in 1.5x scale, I got one of the smaller gears connected (slightly, on one side) to the outer gear. It was a fair amount of effort to get it loose. I suspect a small rotation or perhaps shift would make it print better?

Top and bottom weren't great either, but with those gaps oversized by my scaling it's not exactly surprising.

I found the 'missing' pieces in the sub-directory, so I'll try printing the no supports version and assembling after. The one I made is pretty awesome as it continues to break in. :-)

Small supports are reasonable to draw in as used to separate springs here: https://www.thingiverse.com/download:6013837

The V1 and V2 had this connection. V3 got that removed.
I think ill add some few layer "dot" supports to tie the gears down.
They should not have the mechanical strength to withstand rotation.
The V4 will also have less unsupported overhangs, as i will reduce the radius of the holder.

The lift i did in my second print and later, to leave the gear mostly round as being supported.
So no flat tire syndrome that cries for a scalpel. ;)

Super confused - printed both files, used support where appropriate, and I have no idea how these would ever spin freely. What am I missing?

Both will work. I was curious if the vertical gears would work, so i made the "... _for illustration" first.
That one you see in the video.
They are not identical, the small gears have a fixed installed axis in the print it all, what can make it more robust.
You have to use support for the small vertical gears.

I'm working on a 5-gears version that is a little bit larger and adds one gear to fix rotation directions, more suitable for sliding on e.g. carpets.
Stay tuned ;)

p.s. Please post a make :)

no idea if i should print the one piece fully assembled printinplace, the files suggested in your edit, or the ones with the most downloads