Introduction: MakerBot Spool Ferris Wheel

Picture of MakerBot Spool Ferris Wheel

Using a MakerBot spool and 3d printed parts, I made a ferris wheel for frogs.

The 3d printed part files are here:

This ride is part of Froggy World, the amusement park for adventurous plastic frogs.

Step 1:

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Start with a MakerBot filament spool.  Remove the label.

Step 2:

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Take a printed seat and run a paperclip through the hole in one side.

Step 3:

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Do the same on the other side, making large hooks to hang on the cross rod.

Step 4:

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Add the cross rod by drilling holes in the spool and screwing the rod in place.  Hook the seat on the rod.

Step 5:

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Cut two supports, 125 mm wide at the base, at least 75 mm wide at the top.  One is 127 mm high, the other is 117 mm high.  They are cut from 1/2 inch plywood.  Fasten a 75 mm by 25 mm piece of 1/2 inch plywood to the top of each support.

Step 6:

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Add a continuous rotation servo to the taller base.

To convert a servo to continuous rotation, go here:

Step 7:

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Insert a 120mm long 1/4 inch diameter rod in the axle cylinder.

The rod should be flush against the end of the cylinder where the two holes are located--the rod will push against the servo horn to keep it on the motor.

Step 8:

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Secure the supports on a base (I used 12 inch by 12 inch 1/4 inch plexiglass).

Step 9:

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Add the servo horn to the end of the axle cylinder.

Step 10:

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Insert the cylinder through the MakerBot spool.

Step 11:

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Push the other end of the axle rod into the bearing ( on the bearing holder.  Screw the bearing holder into the support.

Step 12:

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Add riders (the frogs were made from clay by my wife).  Provide 1.5 volts to the motor, and the action begins. 


dromedarius (author)2016-02-03

This is awesome, my daughter has to make a ferris wheel for school do you have any ideas how she can make something similar to your model using recyclable items.

They are not allowed to use printed items


MikeTheMaker (author)dromedarius2016-02-03

I would skip the motor and make most of the pieces using cardboard. Cardboard tubes from aluminum foil rolls are decent cylinders. A hole in cardboard works as a sleeve bearing. Sandwich three or four pieces of cardboard together when you need more strength.

Look here for a cardboard vehicle I made for instructables:

I wrote a book showing how to build things from cardboard:

A good book to use for making things out of available materials, "Tinkering," was written by Curt Gabrielsson:

It would be nice if you take a few photos and post your daughter's project when she's completed it.

dromedarius (author)MikeTheMaker2016-02-22

I will post her project when she's completed it. Now I have the problem of making the model work Mechanically, this is a pain

MikeTheMaker (author)dromedarius2016-02-03

I just posted a basic cardboard ferris wheel that you might use as a starting point for the school project:

About This Instructable




Bio: I am an author and a maker. My current project is Santa's Shop. I'm working on a science fiction type book--more later. @EngineerRigsby
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