Tulio Laanen's profile
The 3D Printed Marble Machine #3™




The 3D Printed Marble Machine #3™

The 3D Printed Marble Machine #3™ is designed for everyone. Existing of just 4 parts it is designed with all FDM 3D print restrictions in mind. The complex but yet simple design lets anyone print it very easily. Turn the wheel and see how the balls start rolling down the four interconnected tracks and climb their way up again through the spiral lift. 

With 500.000+ downloads, The 3D Printed Marble Machine #3™ has become one of the most 3D Printed toys in history.











From building sand castles to 3D printing plastic toys.
 
We are entering an exciting time where people are no longer restricted by the products that stores have to offer. In the past 20 years, 3D printing has gone from inaccessible unaffordable machines to cheap desktop toys. This has opened the door to convert your own imaginations into real products.

The 3D Printed Marble Machine #3™ has been inspired by the classical sandcastles from a time before the internet. It represents the step from analog sandbox creations to full-grown professional products. It is all about the wonder of playing with your own imagination to experience joy.







Many awesome people took the effort to share their marble machine with the world!

This is a tiny fraction:


About the design - Three core elements.
   

The design had to be:

Easily printable for everyone.
To achieve this, the machine was not allowed to require any so-called "support material" (scaffolding to support parts during 3D-printing). This means that all parts of the complex shape had to be directly supported and connected to the ground without vertically exceeding 50 degrees of overhang. You can clearly see the result of this in how the track-walls also function as pillars for tracks above.   

Irresistible to touch!
I wanted the machine to be very tactile and inviting to play with. To achieve this, the size needs to be just right. Young and old have to be able to run their fingers down the tracks to follow where they go! All it needed to be tactile and inviting was to be designed in a human-hand scale.

Durable and guaranteed to work.
Marbles are not allowed to get stuck. To solve this problem the machine is specially designed to be used with metal ball-bearings. Ball-bearings are heavy. Their weight causes them to not fly out of the tracks and guarantees that they always reach the bottom. The tracks themselves have been consciously designed without any bumps or hills in them where balls could potentially strand. No matter where you release a ball, it will always reach the lift mechanism. 









Print it yourself!


The 3D files can be downloaded for free at:



If you appreciate this work is available for free,
please consider your support at:

(All donations go to the funding of future marble machine projects!)











The 3D Printed Marble Machine #3™
16
3k
1
Published:
Tulio Laanen's profile
Tulio Laanen

The 3D Printed Marble Machine #3™

The 3D Printed Marble Machine #3™ is designed for everyone. Existing of just 4 parts it is designed with all FDM 3D print restrictions in mind. T Read More

16
3k
1
Published: