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