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Simplicity Gears

3D model description

A friend of mine was writing a computer program and needed a physical, and more tangible aide to visualize gear movements. He requested this be printed as soon as my printer arrived in May of 2016. I honored this request thinking such a simple mechanical device as a gear should not be so challenging. I was wrong to an extent. The failure was a simple one; I foolishly lowered the temperature of the hotend to the point where the extrusion stopped altogether. Not to be phased and running out of time in the early hours of the morning, I "pulled the plug". I removed the gears as they were and they looked pretty cool with the exposed honeycomb infill. I mounted them to a blank 1/2" plywood box that i had laying around with finishing nails. Placing them in such a random way proves to have an interesting effect when one expects the lines to line up at some point in the future. The effect is that they appear to be in chaos; randomly turning without returning to the original spot. Interestingly enough the chaos theory [( ) see the link for some notes on the chaos theory] is a heavily debated and ultimately unfinished mathematical equation which attempts to drill down to the most finite deterministic factors in a system to derive the result which one seeks. This is the true idea behind the more fun sounding "butterfly effect". As such I have found it useful in helping my son develop a conceptually sound understanding of this theories implications. Enjoy it for yourself, complete the print if you like or stop it mid way, perhaps a butterfly will flap in Indonesia as you print this and it will randomly fail forcing yours gears to have an exposed infill as well!?

3D printing settings

Prusa i3



.20 mm

I do not remember but pick a percentage above 20% for a more smooth top layer.

Simplicity and failure can still be fun.


Making the gears spin
Mount these to many substates! Anyway possible in any order! Each gear has a simple structure all of the gears will mesh with one another. Randomness IS the name of the game enjoy!

  • 3D model format: STL





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