One of the coolest aspects about 3D printing is the ability as the designer to create moving parts. In fact, once you get the dimensions down, it’s as easy as uploading your files and clicking a button. Our team has come up with several designs that feature moving parts.
Here are a few:
The corkscrew and the accompanying “nut” demonstrate that 3D printing can be precise enough to print both external and internal threads without support. In terms of tolerances, the screw was designed to be 19mm in diameter, and the nut 20mm.
This engine model features two moving pistons (black). The pistons are attached to a crankshaft (red), which can be hand turned through the crank (blue). At the heart of this design are clips that fit around circular shafts. The circular shaft was designed to be 8mm in diameter, and the clips 9.5mm. These clips connect almost everything in the model — the pistons to the rods, the rods to the crankshaft, and the crankshaft to the platform.
This model features three pairs of interlocking gears. The dog clutch (dark blue) lets you alternate between first and second gear (neon green). Turning the input shaft (purple) causes the entire system to start moving.
A differential is what allows a car to turn smoothly. The model features six gears — the drive shaft turns the big gear, which is connected to the small gears that then allow the two wheel gears to turn at different rates.