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The 3D Printed Marble Machine #2

by Tulio Apr 27, 2015
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UGH!! Printed for almost 30 hours, only had 5 more hours to go. I pressed the "MORE" button on my Inventor 2 to see how much filment had gone into it. Machine froze up, printing stopped and none of the buttons worked. Had to restart the machine and wasn't able to resume. I guess the good news is it really looked nice up until then. I was a bit worried about all the overhangs with no support, but it looked good. Some day when I have another 35 hours to kill, I'll try again.

Seems like this thing has a break-in period. I notice that the more I played with it, the better the bearing would flow.. They don't jam as much anymore. I'm not deleting my comment just in case someone face the same issue. This might be cause somehow by the super-glossy filament I used.

Hi @tulio

Thanks for this design. I have printed it Ina super nice silk white pla with ironing on all the way and I did a full time lapse capture of it which I will post in my make soon (the snake effect is super awesome).

I have a question tho.. I bought some 9.5mm bearing following your recommandation, printed it also by your recommanded settings but I have an issue.. 1 time out of 2,the ball just stop before being grabbed by the screw and if I try to place more then 1 bearing in it this just won't work at all.. And one the the bearing always end up outside the track. It feels like the slide is a good 1cm too short to stop this from happening I'm not sure how this can be fixed, I could add a tiny bit of plastic to narrow the opening and maybe sand the last 'step' so it doesn't stop there..

Yes my table if leveled and the print is too actually..

I added 2 screenshot to show the problem..

Thanks for the design, if I can fix this issue, it will be a nice print but now, it's kinda frustrating more then anything..


The 3D Printed Marble Machine #2
by hetile

I have a commercially purchased marble run that my son loves to play with... I'd love to be able to adapt the screw mechanism to augment it. Any tips? I know in theory how it works, but I imagine it would take some trial and error for me to figure out how to create an appropriate housing. Any guidance/suggestions would be appreciated!

If trying to design my own, what is the best way to make the tracks, they are hard to sketch in inventor?

Hey, I choose not to use technical CAD software like Inventor, Fudion 360 and Solidworks etc. because they don't give much freedom in creating organic shapes. Instead, I used Cinema 4D which is 3d Animation software and has a totally different approach to modeling. Maybe you can give that a try. you can also look at Maya, 3dsmax or blendr.

Hi there, what scale will this need to be printed at to fit 8mm bearings? Will the tolerances be enough scaled down a bit?

Will 8mm balls work?

Great design man very much thanks!!!!!

Very long print time but, good design!

Comments deleted.

I printed the lift (without cylinder), the cap and the turning blade-separate in one color and the track in another. The problem I am having is that the lift does not fit into the hole in the turning blade! Do you have any suggestions? I do not want to waste all the materials printing the whole job in one color to see if your "fixed" one is better, when I bring it into Makerbot Desktop for my Replicator, it has the objects all grouped together and I cannot delete the track and print what is left. The peg in the turning blade is a bit too big to fit in the hole...

I appreciate any suggestions you have! I printed your 3rd machine first and LOVE it. I want to print all three and teach students about "simple machines" in MakerSpace at our school and inspire them to collaborate and create their own simple machine. Getting this to work would be a great way to teach them how to vary or iterate a design!

Thanks for this very nice model, I will print some for the kindergarten.
Today I am taking my first try, but there is a problem with the beginning of the shoring.
On the groundplate the slicer created some gaps for the piller shorings. The shorings then will begin not touching the ground?

See pictures from my slicer:
It is in the air not touching and ground plate, so the shorings are very very instable while printing.

Thank you, glad to hear you like my work.

I know of this problem. I was not aware of this mistake at the time I modeled it.
I complety fixed this in my new 3D printed Marble Machine #3: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1385312

But the problem is fixable. Most slicer solve holes like this automatically without problem. I would recommend using a different slicer software. If you use CURA it should work fine.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

The 3D Printed Marble Machine #3
by Tulio

No problem, I think i have solve this problem in S3D.

In processes you should activate the "merge all outlines into a single solid model" under advanced settings.
Then the silcing is much better and there is no problem while printing (I hope).
But then I see another problem the "tower" where the spiral is put in, is closed on top.

My solution: Define two different slicing processes. First one with aktivatet merge all [...] and second one without.
Use process one for the first layers, and after thje shoring are connected to the ground use the other process without the merging.
S3D can handle one slicing with multiple processes with different settings very well and easy.

Awesome workaround! I just started printing this and saw the same issue. Your idea fixes it very easily. Thank you!

You are welcome.

Yeah, thanks to S3D can handle multiple slicing processes for one modell ;-)

I am currently printing this on my MP Select Mini. I had to scale down to 75% to fit. Looking good so far! I will use BB gun pellets for the marbles.

I have an MP Select Mini Too. Thanks 4 this!

Comments deleted.

I'm making this if its the last thing i do!

I'm making this if its the last thing i do!

Wonderful thank you

I have your #3 you made me and it seems on this one you've refined the spinner on top and it moves very smoothly! Mines been used a lot and STILL isn't as fluid as this looks! Hangs up a bit. Would you recommend me getting this one printed to replace the old one? Think it's better? Wanna know what you think, as well as getting one of those motors as in the pic I sent earlier! Really want that round motor! If you can make that for me I want that! Let me know how much and where to send the money! Thanks!

The triangle portion on the spiral lift keeps breaking off from the rough treatment of the kids. (3rd reprint of the spiral).

any chance of making a spiral lift and the triangle separate ? so i just need to reprint the triangle portion if it breaks again (plus i can print the triangle horizontally for more strength).

I have not had any issues as listed below, but I'm not using supports either. I just printed one for my grandkids and they love it. I didn't have any issues with the printing, but the version I downloaded on the spiral lift the triangular tip was not joined to the main body and it broke loose. I fixed it in my software and it works fine now. The spiral lift did print a little longer than the main body so the top cap was up some, but I just sanded a little off and cleaned out the hole with a drill bit on the other end and everything was great. I'm using ABS on a MakerBot.

I love this design but I am having issues with support material. My printer uses soluble support, and for some reason it is putting soluble layers somewhat randomly throughout the print job. So once I put it into my SCA, the whole model falls apart. Clearly this is an issue on my end, but I was hoping someone may have some ideas. I use Catalyst EX software and a UPrint SE Plus. Thanks!

I have the same problem with Simplify3D ( my version is 3.0.0 ) ... Holes under towers and fall after 6 hours of printing ... arghhh :( ... Friend advised me, let try this program: https://modelrepair.azurewebsites.net/ and all is OK. STL model is "ALL IN ONE" without holes. Printing is fine well. ( note : powered by NETFABB ... finally withdraw STL model and it already for use with Simplify3D ... )

I too am having problems using Simplify3D as my slicer. I'm going to try something else because I've already got 10mm ball bearings on order! Must have this printed by tomorrow! Lol

Try Cura! Its easy to use, 100% free, and open source software! Cura is amazing. It is everything you could want in 3d printing software. It even has a built in slicing engine!


It looks better in my S3D after running Mesh-> Separate Connected Surfaces.
It looks like the model isn't boolean joined, instead its 8 separate sections.

This did not help. There is still a gap at the base of the supports which causes the print to foul after it gets through the base. I don't recommend trying this if you run Simplify3D.

Hello! I'm trying to print this on my Zortrax for my daughter, and the Z-suite application keeps putting in supports to hold up the track. It seems that the overhang of the track is too sharp. Has anyone else had this issue and have any way around it?

Thanks in advance.

Which diameter for the balls?

Im having trouble slicing your file. I dont get any error, but the "feet" will not blend to the base when using simplify3D. There is a gap of 3-4 layers from base to feet. You can see the preview of slicing in my "makes" here. http://www.thingiverse.com/make:178347
Any idea why I get this fault? Im using Simplify3D 3.0.2 on a mac.

PS: The fixed file gives the same fault. Even netfabbing it doesnt help.

The 3D Printed Marble Machine #2

Same exact issue. Simplify3D.

It looks better in my S3D after running Mesh-> Separate Connected Surfaces.
It looks like the model isn't boolean joined, instead its 8 separate sections.

That's really cute! It'd be nice if there were a window that let you see where the marbles are along the worm screw though.

Congratulations! Your model has been featured as one of the Top 3D Printed Christmas / Holiday Models this year. Search "Top Free 3D Printed Christmas Gift 2015 Printing Ninja" to see. (sorry thingiverse bans url addresses)

Thanks for letting me know ;)

as a glass blower i really want these to take bigger marbles. do u think if i scaled it up it will work fine?

Hey, Thats awesome, I'm planning on printing it on a bigger scale as well, And I suspect that it should not be a problem.

this is a glassblower friend of mine who makes them out of glass.. but would love to make complicated plastic ones
love your work.

Wauw thanks, that is amazing, very impressive!
And I'm glad to hear you like my work. I suspect my new marble machine will be online soon, so make sure to check that out ;)

Comments deleted.

Hi, it's very nice model. Can you make variant for dual color printers please? For example separate the track so it can be printed in different color.

This is a lovely toy - the problem is not having 9.5mm steel bearings. We have lots of steel bearings from the popular modelling toy Magnetix, but they're too big! My little lad was heartbroken when we finally assembled it and none of his marbles or ball bearings fitted it!

Just one issue, the triangular pin that attaches the spiral lift is very fragile and a bit tight. If you break it, which is very easy (mine just rolled off the table) then it's another 2 hours printing - would be better to have a bigger pin, make it a bit more robust when fitting together. Also, kids can sometimes play a bit rough!

You could also just scale the models up such that the Magnetix bearings fit. :)

Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it.
Your not the first saying that little pin is a bit too fragile. I've never experienced that myself though, even with quite a bit of force it doen't brake, and I've never seen one broken. But I guess it depends on the material that is used and the amount of infill, shell thickness etc.
Anyhow, Im working on the next Marble machine which will get a more robust pin.

And about the ball barnings, Im sorry to hear that you couldn't use it right away. But I'm sure you can get some at a local store. Bicycle shops sell them often aswell. You could also try to print some balls; http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:805096

have a good day, Cheers

Marble - filament joined

Hi Tulio

Don't worry, it's a lovely design. We fixed the problem by using some beads from his mother's necklace which work perfectly! I'll post some photos. :-)

Hey, I really love this design and just go a new upgrade for my Printrbot Play. I thought I would be able to print it but it is exactly 100mm in length. Is it possible you could cut it down to about 97mm please? If so I will make this as soin as possible. P.S. I would do it myself, but I'm not all that good with CAD software.

As @Brandutchmen sad, Tinker-cad would do the job quite easily. You could also scale the whole marble machine a bit down in your slicer to make it fit. ;)

You might need to cut off some of the excess on the sides, Try Tinkercad, You probably can be good to go in an hour or so

Comments deleted.

This is neat. I printed one on my Makerfarm I3v sliced with Simplify3D stock settings. Took 20 hours. Came out looking nice and works.

Thanks! Just wait for the next one, it is going to be awesome ;)

did you have to use glue to put the parts together

Nope, just print and play ;)

Thanks, that is nice to hear.
It wil depend on the layer height and the print speed.
I used 40% print speed and 0.1mm layer height for the one in the video. That one took about 35 hours.
But you could increase the layer thickness up too 0.2mm en crank the speed way up too. Some people told me that they succeeded too print it on a Ultimaker2 in about 15 hours or even less.
But I recommend to print not as fast as possible, but somewhere in the middle.

hope that helps.

This looks great and my kids are impatient for me to bring it home.

How long did this take to print on an Ultimaker2?

Cinema 4D R16, the latest version.

what software did u use to make this? All i know about is Tinkercad :(

Hi there, Tinkercad is a nice way to start. I used 'Cinema 4D' myself. I've been using that for years to 3d animate en render models etc. And for about a year I've also been starting to design my own models, as you can see ;)
But I have to say Cinema 4D is not the easiest program.( but very cool if you can the hang of it, though.)

Then there is "Sketchup(pro)". I never use it, but I think its quite nice software too, because its very intuitive and you don't have to worry about polygons all the time ;)

And make sure to check out my new marble machine #3 with ill try to finish within a few months.
Cheers, Tulio

Thanks a lot!!!! I thought it was only MC animations! :)

creative!! 영어가 능숙하지 못해서 죄송해요..이런게 창조적인 것!!

hi Tulio, I think one improvement that can be made to the design is the little section where the ramp ends. With 9.5mm bearings, I find that often, the bearing doesn't quite go into the area of the elevator where it will get picked up by the shaft, or even worse, the bearing can get stuck on the left side of the elevator entrance and then the next bearing comes, and the two of them block the entrance to the elevator and then the whole thing stops and you have to pull out all the bearings. I think if the end of the ramp extends a bit further towards the elevator entrance should fix this problem. What do you think?

Hey Borgchick, thanks for the tip. I encounter that little problem as well, but extending the track a bit could just do the trick, thats a good Idea! I will definitely use the knowledge I got from this design to improve the next one. I expect (hope) that I'll have a new marble machine design later this summer.
I hope you can enjoy the current one until then ;)

Cheers, Tulio

I'm having trouble getting this to slice correctly with Simplify3D. If I choose "Merge all outlines into a single model" it creates a solid layer near the top of the lift so as well as another solid layer that blocks the marble path. If I don't select that option, there are "holes" in the main base underneath the tower supports, so it has trouble printing the first layer of the tower supports because there is several layers of air gap under them.

It looks better in my S3D after running Mesh-> Separate Connected Surfaces.
It looks like the model isn't boolean joined, instead its 8 separate sections.

Yep I'm having this EXACT same issue!!! :(
It's like there is a gap in the tower supports under them on the base layer.
I have scrapped several prints now with this and can't get this to print correctly because the towers keep snapping like 4 hours into the print because there is an empty space underneath each support pillar :(
Also I'm running the Track only file.
Did you find a solution while still using S3D?

I gave up, but maybe the latest version of S3D is worth a try?

Nope I have the current version, And I tried the repaired version too, HOWEVER I think I found the issue.
It appears that the Arches in the model do not go all the way down to layer 1. They start on like layer 4 or 5 AFTER the infill layer.
You can see the issue here in this partial slice, there are actual holes where the pillars should be started, and then it begins to make pillars (in blue) ON top of the void space creating the issues that S3D users experience.
I have played with this just about every way I could to correct the issue and can't do it, even 100% infill does not correct the issue :(
My wife is begging me to print this for her but after 4 failed prints at half done, I give up until I can find a true solution.

It looks better in my S3D after running Mesh-> Separate Connected Surfaces.
It looks like the model isn't boolean joined, instead its 8 separate sections.

So just separate and then click print?

That's all I did. You can check the joins when you preview the slicing. There will be holes in the track as well as the bottom if it didn't work.

I'm aware of the holes, which has to do with the normals of the polygons with I did't know at the time. The thing is though, normally the 3Dprint software should take care of that. Its been printed many times without problems as you can see, So if S3D does't work, I recomment using others software, I highly recommend Cura, but Netfabb, Slic3r,
etc. should work too.

Sorry for the inconvenience, at some point I think I'll upload a version without this problem. But for now the '3D Printed Marble Machine #3' is coming, which will will work perfectly, I guarantee that ;)

I'm sorry to hear that you are unable to print it :(
I'm not very familiar with S3D so I don't know if a update would work.
I do know that when I modelled it, I didn't know everything about modeling. Now I know it could be optimized better. Most Software interpreted the model correctly, but apparently S3D has problems with that. Thats why I expect a change in your S3D settings would help.

If you really can't get it to work, I hope in a few weeks my new marble machine will be finished, im suspect you will be able to print that one.

Hi there, Have you tried the repaired_version.stl file?
It's always hard for me to give an answer to a question like this. It's hard for me to say where the problem lies. There are o lot of different printers and slicers out there and they all work slightly differently in my experience. If Simplyfi3D doesn't slice is correctly for you, the best I can say is to try some other slicers.
Hope it works out!
Cheers, Tulio

This is a wonderful model. However, I've experienced some trouble printing. I'm using Cura and an Ultimaker2, so I assume the problem lies with my settings.

Potentially dumb question (I'm new at this): How does one adjust the settings in Cura to utilize the "optimal settings" described in the instructions?

Thanks in advance...

Hello there, nice to hear you like my work, and that you use an ultimaker2 too ;)

  • Open Cura and then go to the "expert" tab and click: "switch to full settings". then you can set the setting as described in the instruction.
  • If you go to the tab "Expert" en then to 'open expert setting' you should make sure that "combine everything (Type-A)" is checked on.
  • Then just open the "R_The_3D_Marble_Machine_2_Final_Model.stl" in cura.
  • Then 'save it as Gcode' onto a SD-cart.
  • Plug the SD-card into your ultimaker2 and hit print ! ;)

Hope that answers your question.
Cheers, and succes with printing! :)

That did the trick!!! Thank you!

This is a very cool thing, and well worth the trouble to print. Beautiful design, fun, and it works very well. The print progression is an interesting one too, though a bit long to sit and watch. I printed in ABS with active extruder cooling on.

I attempted unsuccessfully to slice and print with S3D. Actually, slicing per se is no problem for S3D. The original track_separate.stl slices normally at 0.1 mm without errors. But you have to check "merge all outlines into single solid model" in the "Advanced" process settings tab. Otherwise you won't get any infill in the track parts, since all the shapes are rendered as hollows shells, and the print will fail as soon as you get above the base. Unfortunately, this setting introduces several artifacts - extra horizontal surfaces between the tightest track loops. They don't ruin the function, but they spoil the aesthetics a bit. Also, Tuliio's signature gets filled in :(. Cura is a fine slicing engine, but it doesn't play very well with Sailfish firmware (I have a FF Creator Pro). It can't connect via USB with Replicator clones at all, since they don't speak gcode, and the .x3g files that it produces with the gpx add-in don't work with Sailfish, or at least I haven't figured out how to generate one that works. It took me a while to figure out how to modify the Cura-generated gcode to import it into S3D, but I finally did. You need to manually edit the gcode, then print the edited file via USB from the S3D machine console. One thing S3D does very well is translate for custom firmware, since it has an entire gui for setting up custom commands, and it comes with a sailfish profile that works out of the box. In the end, it printed beautifully. PM me if this interests you and you want details.

I did have one problem, and perhaps others can learn from this. The tallest track supports at the back right of the thing are very fragile until they bridge with the adjacent supports. The attachment point to the base is weak and really too small for a pillar of this height (my only criticism of the design). I had problems with those supports breaking off during printing, just due to the vibration of the infill extrusion. This happened both on my S3D and Cura-sliced prints. The cruel part is that this happens just when the upward spiraling track bridges to the support, so that's maybe 24 hours into the print at 0.1mm layering. I was watching for it the second time, and was able to pause the print and reattach the support to the bed with solvent glue before my print turned into a bowl of spaghetti. You never get it quite perfectly lined up of course, but the track hides the repair pretty well. My advice is to slow down the print, at least the infill speed, well below what you think is necessary. I normally print at 60 mm/s, and ran this one at 50 mm/s. If I printed again, I'd slow it down even more, though it is already a pretty long print at 28+ hrs. At least drop your infill speed, especially once you get above a Z-height of about 45mm. That's where my problems happened. On my first aborted print, I found that those unbridged pillars snap off with the slightest bit of lateral pressure, and mine were all already loose from infill vibration.

I had no problems slicing or printing the lift parts with the tube, but like others I snapped the little triangle off the second I tried to fit the turning blade into the lift screw. I managed to repair it, but there is too much play in it now. I'm printing one of KreAture's remix solid lifts. I think that's a good mod.

Cheers Tulio. Thanks for sharing.

I printed this on my Craftbot using some cheap Chinese PLA, sliced with Cura, everything came out perfectly! It all snapped in really easy, no clean up was even necessary! The tough part was finding some 9.5mm steel bearings. I bought some actual marbles, but didn't realize they are way too big. Anyway, I found some 9.5mm bearings finally, and the entire toy works just amazingly well. I've had numerous friends wanting to take this off my hands if I ever got bored of it.

Great design Tulio!

It's great to hear that it printed so perfectly, Thanks a lot!

could you also upload a thing where lift, turning blade and cap are combindes to one piece?
I´m having big problems to fit the triangles together (like posted below)

Edit: never mind, I´ll just use the remix by KreAture

I also cannot get adequate cooling to the screw due to the outer wall. I've managed to print the thing but it is messy due to the tube trapping the heat and keeping the filament soft. With a small brim, the screw would otherwise print perfectly fine without falling over. Is there any chance you could post the screw without the outer shell?

Otherwise, I'll grab a remix.

Also, I'll second the problem with the track supports being individual objects rather than as part of the substrate. It's preventing me from being able to print this at anything other than super slow speeds.

Enough criticism. This is a fabulous model and I'm giggling like s schoolboy playing with it! Thank you!

spiral without cilinder is uploaded ;)

Thank you, it's already printing much better for me!

I'm glad you like my marble machine, and no worries about the criticism ;) There are always points of improvement. I noticed that different printers behave very differently. For exaplme: I can't print the spiral nice without the cilinder around it and I neven experienced any heat problems. the point is that it's just quite hard to make it work perfect for everybody, but I'll definitely upload the spiral without cilinder! it will be uploaded within the next few hours.

Awesome thing even though not manifold.
The repaired one is better but if you try to split it the peg on the screw falls off, and the cape to align the cap comes apart as well.

But, these are all minor issues and it does work beautifully!

I do have one idea though, combine the screw with the turning blade. This flimsy little peg breaks easily and it is really not necessary.
If you widen the hole in the cap for the connection between the screw and the blade they can be one part. Then you can make the tap in the base into a larger hole, and make the tap stick out of (the now top of ) the screw. This allows for fewer parts and stronger parts. It also means that if the tap now breaks it is on the faster to print screw, not the very large job and slow to print main track.

Thanks for the suggestions. It's definitely something I'm going to improve in the next marble machine. While testing the prints, I never experienced any problem with parts that broke off, otherwise I definitely changed it;)
But thanks again for letting me know, I appreciate it!

And I'm curious, what printer did you use, and what program for slicing?

I did a new version of the lift screw and turning blade. Since the original stl files prevented openscad from rendering when imported I remade em with primitives. Printing now to verify my design before posting a remix.
The combined screw and turningblade pops into a modified top cap that has been opened to allow screw and blade to just slide in. The benefit of the combined turningblade and screw is the screw can be printed with the hole facing up (and eventually hole can be replaced by peg or even screw through the baseplate) and the turningblade makes for better bed adhesion. No hardcoded skirt also allows proper brim to be generated if needed. Skirt can always be generated in slicer app.

New version printed and tested. It all fitted well so I posted it as a remix.
I did notice a problem in your track btw. Close to where it enters the lift the rail stops and the marbles can escape into limbo.
Once in there they are fiddly to get back out...

As far as I know this only happens if you use too many balls at the same time

I'll have to keep the ammount of balls down then :)
But more balls is more fun!

Nice that you made it work for you!. While designing I've really thought a lot about it and I concidered your idea as -well, but there where several reasons why i went for the separate parts. I explained one reason in an previous comment: "While designing, I've tried different setups, and after a lot of trail and error I figured that it works the best in separate parts. Mostly because it turns way more smoothly like this. I noticed that the bottom-surface that sticks to the bottom-plate while printing an object, always ends up with the smoothest texture. So when printing it is separate parts it takes advantage of that fact, because the cap turns on top of the smooth side of the turning wheel.
And on top of that, I think its just way more fun this way! "
But I have definitely seen some points of improvement. In the next marble machine I am going to make some changes to improve it.
I have my reasons why I made it the way it is, and why I don't want to use screws, brims or rafts for example. (You can read a bit about it on: http://3dprint.com/62151/3d-printed-marble-machine-2/ )

have great day,

This is an awsome design and I am also giggling like a schoolboy playing with it.
The trick to smooth rotation is accomplished in my remix by making the screw a tiny bit too short to reach the bottom. It is thus centered by the peg but rides 0.1-0.2mm abowe the base so the triangle does not catch. One way to secure this is to make the absolute bottom(top when printing) of the screw a rounded piece about 0.3mm high. This would integrate a washer in the design.
On the other end where I have now fed it through a larger hole it is rotating very smoothly as the new spiral is rotating ontop of the bottom of the cap. The cap was against the glass bed when printed so is very smooth. Again I could have implemented a small ring to reduce the contact area but it dpes not appear to be necessary. I printed my entire machine in PLA since there is no heatsources involved and I didn't want to fiddle with warping. PLA has less friction against itself than ABS has against itself.

I used Slic3r 1.2.6 (experimental) and printed on my homemade Rostock Plus (A modified, scaled up version of the original Rostock but with a lot of small changes and some major like stiffening via crossbracing.)
The track+screw took 15 hours when I set it to print slow to avoid any head collisions. (I use a very narrow/pointy nozzle so it easily collides on curled up overhangs etc.) I printed in black PLA.

Printing a new screw takes 1.5 hours and then it does not receive proper cooling due to the built in skirt.
I am trying to reprint it with the skirt removed so the fan can properly blow on the part. My fastest printspeed would make a blobby mess so I am trying to keep layer time long. It is however grueling as I am impatient hehe...

Everyone I show this thing to is floored that it's a printed object! Absolutely Excellent. Well done. Dankjewel! -joe

Thanks Joe! Thats a nice compliment, glad to hear you enjoy my work :)
Have a great day!

Hey tulio, just curious, what program did you use to create this, and what method did you use? I'd like to know how to make something as cool as this! :)

Hey Delmore, nice to hear you like my work :) I made it all in Cinema 4D, I just love working in there ;). And its hard to say what method I used, whenever I had an idea I just figured out a way to realize it. Maybe that wasn't the quickest way, but I learned a lot of it, (i'm just modeling for about 6 months now) and it all worked out at the end ;)
I would say; Just start modeling somewhere and don't compromise your idea because it takes a lot of time, or because it doesn't work at the first try.

Hope that helps!
Cheers, Tulio

Hi Tulio,
could you provide STL of the repaired version in individual files?
Have problems slicing the individual files, and the repaired version is too big.

Why is the lift encased in a cylinder? It's not shown that way in the video. Are you supposed to trim the cylinder off after it prints? It looks like it doesn't quite connect to the lift - what is it there for?

the cilinder and the spiral are not attached, there are several reasons why I did that. (see some other comments) but The mean reason was that while printing the spiral without the cilinder, it was very unstable and fel down sometimes while printing. The cilinder (which is only one printing line thick), makes the spiral more stable during the print.
I know this is not always necessary, but i wanted it to work for every one, for every printer.

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Hi. I just printed this using the separate files. The elevator shaft piece doesn't fit on the peg in the base. The hole is just barely big enough and it won't slide on. Similarly for the triangle connector for the top of the crank. Any suggestions?

hmm oke, i guess drill the hole a bit bigger and use a file to make the triangle pin a bit smaller. I thinks thats the quickest way to make it fit.

Yes, that is my plan, although I am reprinting the elevator spiral because I broke off the triangle tip while trying to jam it in. I was just curious if anyone else experienced the misfitting pieces. Additionally, I had to print the base at 98% because it wouldn;t fit in my printer, but I forgot to downsize the elevator spiral to 98%. So it printed at 100%, with a 100% opening at the bottom, and it still didn't fit on the peg. Seems like the size is off by a lot?

I am printing in HIPS, more brittle than PLA.

Oke thanks for letting me know. I have never expeirenced that the pins and holes are too tight in de uploaded model. But I know that the pins are a tricky part to print. It can happend that because the pin is so small the nozzle heats up the previous layers causing them to melt slightly, this could lead to a slightly bigger pin. (this one of the reasons why i added the round cilinder around the spiral. With the cilinder the layers have more time to cool down. )

Interestingly, I am printing the lift with the cylinder around it, and it doesn't actually print the cylinder, just the spiral lift. Even though in Cura I see it correctly, it doesn't print. Strange? I assumed that was the intended purpose. Is it possible that the wall thickness of the cylinder is thinner than my set shell thickness of 1mm? Hence it doesn't print.

I am going to try printing it slower this time to see if that makes a difference.

I think it isn not printing the cilinder because you sides it down to 98%. the cilinder was just 1 line thick so I think by sizing it down, cura doesn't recognize it anymore.
Maybe printing 2 spirals at once next to each other does the trick. I guess you have to try some deferent setting out.
I hope it works out!

It's printing the lift right now, almost done. Hopefully it works. Will have to make the hole in the cap slightly bigger for the triangle to fit in.

I only scaled it down because I couldn't print the track at full size on my Lulzbot mini, it was just barely too big. Thanks for the quick responses.

I'm having the same problem with fitting the triangles together. I've printed both parts at 100% and already used a file but it still won't fit. Are you sure the separate files match?

I basically used a phillips head screwdriver and just turned it in the hole. It got a little too big but a little glue gun action solved it...

I'm just curious here - why are there wells in the base under the structures? When I printed this it printed fine, but I noticed that instead of all of the structures being solidly attached to the base they're only attached by their edges. Thanks!

Hello Arbello, its quite a long specific story to explain why it is the way it is. But it comes down to the fact that I'm learning modelling in my own time besides my study essigments. I'm doing that for only about 5 months now, so I'm really learing as I go. And I'm aware myself that the moddel could be even better;) , but my intentions were to make it good enough for 3d printing, which it is, and I'm improving it when I can!

Cheers, have a great day

Right on. It is a fantastic model. Again... I was just curious. Well done!

thanks man, appreciate it!

Wow... now this is Christmas presents sorted! must start as im sure it took a long time to print! Will be getting my new machine running... if only i could find it as i have just moved and there are just boxes at the moment!

Can't slice the original or repaired one on Da Vinci XYZware. Original comes out as some thing lines. Repaired comes out as a solid brick.

I have the same problem. Cant slice with XYZware.. Repaired one slices as a solid brick.. The smaller parts(separate pieces) slice and print fine though..

thanks for letting me know. I can't say where the problem lies, I would say try some different settings, Maybe some different slicers etc. It should be working fine, as you can see in the photo's ;)
I hope it works out!

My kids love it.

Tulio, if you tweak it, consider a sturdier connection between the lift and turning blade. The tiny triangle stem breaks easily in a 4 year old's hands.

Thanks, like to hear that!
In my experience the triangle is quite sturdy and should not break easily, but thanks for the tip! I'll definitely take a look at it.
And you can always print it in a stronger material if you want it really sturdy, In nylon for example ;)

Love it!!! Gonna have to print it ;)
Thank you very much for sharing !!! :D

Thanks man!, Succes with printing!
Hope to see some picture when its done ;)

first of all: Awesome Design!

Do you think a ball from a Geomag Set would fit? I have tons of those... (It is 1,3 cm)

Thanks in advance,

Hello Florian!
First of all: Thanks!
I don't think thats gonna work.
1.0 cm was the biggest size that i could fit, and it was quite tight.
But you can always print the whole marble machine bigger!
Hope it works out!

Very cool design. Thank you for sharing :-)

Man, you have TALENT! Congratz!

Thanks man, appreciate it!

This is a thing of simple beauty! Congratulations! I love it!

Thanks man, I appreciate it :)

Dit is geweldig! :D

Dankjewel ! ;)

I have a couple of questions about this...
1) What program to do you design in
2) What program did you use to animate the intros?
3) Is that Ultimaker filament? Or a different brand that (potentially) sells 1.75mm filament? I love the color!

And seriously.. This is awesome! You should sell these in toy stores for little kids! Awesome design! Keep up the good work!

I designed en animated it both in Cinema 4D, I just love C4D ;)
And the filament I used was 2.85mm Colorfabb PLA. ( At my school and at the Fablap in my city, we experimented with a lot of deferent brands and we think that Colorfabb work the best all around.)
And Thanks a lot for the compliments! I am definitely thinking about selling these in the future, but for now im just getting my name out there!


ps. Its always possible to donate to my Paypal in the description if you feel like it haha ;)

This is awesome! What is the diameter of the marbles you use?

i used ball-bearings as marbles, and 9.5mm -10mm should work fine!

Could you please explain why the turning blade, cap and the lift are seperate things?
Would it be possible to combine them to one thing?
Just wondering...

Good question! While designing, I've tried different setups, and after a lot of trail and error I figured that it works the best in separate parts. Mostly because it turns way more smoothly like this.
I noticed that the bottom-surface that sticks to the bottom-plate while printing an object, always ends up with the smoothest texture. So when printing it is separate parts it takes advantage of that fact, because the cap turns on top of the smooth side of the turning wheel. ;)

And on top of that, I think its just way more fun this way!
but you're right though, it would be possible in one part as well ;)

Now you have it :) My congratulations to be featured!

Could you break the parts up in to stl files all of mine printed real good all buy the shaft it only printed half way and then fell down :(

                    Thank you for your time Rc64Nut.

Come back tomorrow and the wil be uploaded ;)

Absolutely stunning! printed perfectly for me using Cura.
190g all in including the tube round the screw. 19/36 hour print 0.2/0.1mm with the suggested settings.
All I need to do now is wait for the 9.5mm ball bearings to turn up :)

Great! Glad to hear that it worked great for you. Have fun with it! :)

Very cool design! Thanks for sharing. I would like to print it, but I have simmilear problem with slicing.
I'm using kisslicer & can't use Cura because I have CubeX. I've tried to use netfabb basic, netfab cloud repair service, meshmixer make solid, but all useless. Maybe you can share the model without errors? Thanks, good luck! ;)

Thanks, i noticed some hole as well I reuploaded a version that should be better.
I used Cura as slicer, witch worked perfectly for me, as you can see.
Maybe the reuploaded version solves the problem. if not, could you tell me more specific where te problem occurs? then I'll try to solve it.

Thanks for the foto's that great!,
I just don't get why its doing that. I can't recognize the problem in my model.
I'll try to figure something out as soon as possible!
I'll keep contact

Thanks! ;)
Maybe you have make all solid function in you CAD software...

hello, I uploaded a repaired version of the marble machine, I believe its completely without errors now.
Please let me know if you still experience any problems.

Thanks man! Now it slicing & everything looks fine but all slices still have non solid lines, as you can see in video there are holes in track.

That's weird, I checked it in netfabb and it tells me there are 0 holes, 0 bad edges etc. everything should be right now.

I've posted a remix, that I finally printed. I hope you'll like it. Thanks again for great design!
Now all who can't use Cura can slice & print this thing.

Great object but some issues have arisen. There seems to be a few holes in the mesh and it is making some anomalous surfaces apear in the print. I am running this on a Makerbot rep2 gen 5. 12 hours into a 26 hour print and i have to stop it. No way this is going to work through Makerware as it stands. Tried Netfabb to no avail.

I uploaded a repaired version, which should do the trick.
I'm sorry if you already wasted some filment on the last try, but I appreciate letting me know.

Your fixed version is working just fine. Print isn't yet complete but is trucking along like a champ! Thanks for the repair!!

Thanks man, no problem !

Not a problem. It looks like there were some holes in the cylinder that the screw goes in. Congrats on being featured! This model totally deserves it!!

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this is awesome. how many grams of filament does this use approx?? i want one.

Thanks! it takes about 185 grams of filament.

AHHHH!!! This is so tight! Great design Tulio!

Just so you know, I opened this in my slicer (Simplify3D), and could see errors. So, I tried running it through Netfabb, and it error-ed out there as well and was unable to fix it.

I uploaded a repaired version, which should do the trick.

really? that surprising. I recommend using 'Cura' as slicer, That should work.
here you go: https://ultimaker.com/en/software/list

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