The Gear Painting

Got the idea when playing around in SketchUp with a gear plugin. Just built my 3D-printer and wanted to test it.

The design

I draw all the gears using the gear-plugin to get the tooth angles correct and then the whole gear-layout with frame and all in Google SketchUp. Then just started to print...

The big gears

The biggest gears as you can see in the pictures took about 2 hours to print... I almost maxed out the print bed as you can see. :)

The piles

After some days of printing the gears starts to pile up and I where ready to think about how to mount the gears in the frame.

The nails, washers and masonite

I needed a simple way of attaching the gears in to the frame. I tried different things like a piece of plastic on a screw then a washer, gear, washer... But it was too unstable. Then I decided that I needed to do it simpler. Basically I just took a normal cardboard nail then I designed a small special washers that was a tight fit on the nail. Now the gear can rest on the special washer and I use the same washer as a lock on top of the gear. Than mounted it all on a board of masonite (the back of the frame).

The Background

I had to paint the masonite of course before mounting the gears on it. I wanted the background to be white. I used a simple roller and normal house wall paint.

The Mounting

So, let’s start mounting... The thumb rule is nail (through pre-drilled maonite hole), washer, gear and washer. :) Then move on with the motor. The motor is an old cam timer motor that I have had for years just waiting for this... :)

The Frame

Now let’s move on to the frame. I want the gears to be lit from inside, so I decided to use a led-strip-set called Ledberg from IKEA. This set comes with only 3 strips, so I bought two sets to fill all 4 sides. I power all 4 strips with the same power supply. It can handle up to 8 strips I believe. The power supply for the leds is a small converter (230v to 12v) that sits in the wall socket. But I needed to add power to the motor and remove some unnecessary cable so I cracked it open to take a peek what I could do about it. So, to be able to connect the motor that runs on 230v and the led-strips that uses the power supply I needed a small electronics-box to mount it all in. Then I only want one cable coming from the painting going to the wall. SketchUp to the rescue. :) I designed a new casing for all the things I needed and printed it out then fit it all together and added the hanger wire... Note: The led strips are quite bright, so they will shine through the white cardboard in the frame. To avoid that I put another layer of cardboard on the inside of the white cardboard. :)


Here it is, the design and the real thing. :) Design


Here you can see the printing some of the gears. :)
And here is the finished Gear Painting in it's place. :)

Project Information

Total design time in Google SketchUp: About 50 hours.
Total building time: About 100 hours.
Total printing time: About 30 hours.
All printed parts are printed on a: RepRapPro Huxley (Beta) 3D-Printer.
Material: All printed parts in this project is made with Faberdasherys 1.75mm PLA. It's very high quality and very reliable for printing.

You can find all the STL-files for all printed parts on Thingiverse.

The Desgin


The Big Gears

Big Black
Big White

The Piles


The Nails, Washers and Masonite

Nails and Washers
Masonite and Nails
Nails and Masonite

The Paint

Roller and Masonite
Painted Masonite

The Mounting

Nails in Place
Gears and Nails
Motor Mounted

The Frame

Mounting Lights
Ligts in Place
Led Transformer
Moving to new Box
All mounted
All done. :)
All done from the side
Hanging wire added