Picture of Miniature Revolving Solar System
Solar System Model.JPG
Solar System.JPG
I am not sure exactly where this idea came from. It started with a hollowed out light bulb that I had lying around and thinking that it would be neat to put a miniature solar system model inside.  Then I thought it would be even better if it actually moved. 

I became inspired when came across some images of orreries.  Orreries are mechanical planetary models that revolve at relative speeds using gears. Unfortunately in my own model the planets revolve at the same speed, but I designed it with fake gears and a plate indicating months, seasons and astrology glyphs to resemble a real orrery.

Step 1: What you will need

Picture of What you will need
  • Light weight clay
  • Lightbulb
  • Small clock
  • Brass wire
  • Bamboo skewer
  • Hard drive platter
  • Stand
  • Glue: PVA, Super Glue, and hot glue
  • Printer and paper
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Sharpie pens, gold and copper model paint, nail polish
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i am trying this too but its hard to balance all planets.

Yes, that is the tricky part.

You mentioned light pink nail polish but in the picture it looks white. Exactly what was the name of the shade?
ChrysN (author)  bathsheba_everdene2 months ago

Sorry, I don't have it any more. I believe it was a pearly colour with a little bit of pink.

Om Gupta1 year ago

Hey man !! can u tell me how do you balanced the planets with bamboo skewer

ChrysN (author)  Om Gupta1 year ago

The clay I used to make the planets were really lightweight (http://www.amazon.com/Activa-Premier-Lightweight-Stone-28-Ounce/dp/B002VR0C26). I just spaced the planets out somewhat evenly around the centre and they were okay.

Om Gupta1 year ago

Hey man !! can u tell me how do you balanced the planets with bamboo skewer

Om Gupta1 year ago

Hey man !! can u tell me how do you balanced the planets with bamboo skewer

ChrysN (author)  just me and my pup1 year ago


That's amassing how did u think of it
OjoeMDC1 year ago
best instructable I have ever seen in my entire life!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have one word to say. AWESOME :)
ChrysN (author)  Tarun Upadhyaya2 years ago
ChrysN (author)  GorillazMiko2 years ago
J-Five2 years ago
It's a small world after all!!!
J-Five2 years ago
Out of this world!!!!

Do you consider Pluto a plantet, well I do
ChrysN (author)  J-Five2 years ago
Thanks! They are calling it a dwarf planet now, though I was tempted to include it in my solar system.
azharz2 years ago
Congratulations for being the finalist in hack it contest, I am sure you will win one of those prizes.
poofrabbit2 years ago
Hey congratulations on being a finalist in the hack it contest! Good luck to you! (I really do adore this, I am pulling for you, not that I have any power...lol)
ChrysN (author)  poofrabbit2 years ago
ynze2 years ago
Love it! And, as already said in the comments, it would be great to expand this with different rotational speeds and some moons... Or make one of an imaginary solar system, with freaky little planets and a double star sun :-)
ChrysN (author)  ynze2 years ago
Interesting idea making imaginary solar systems or maybe making one from the Star Wars universe or other fictional solar systems. I'm sure you'd be able to find star maps of the Star Wars one.
ynze ChrysN2 years ago
To be continued... :-)
P.S. I voted "winner"
ChrysN (author)  porcupinemamma2 years ago
Thanks you! I made the paper with the months and season on my computer (my handwriting is not very neat).
Astounding! A real keeper! Perhaps I've missed this...did you free hand draw the summer /autum... paper?
I am in love with this, I would love to have it on my desk! Time for me to raid my husbands tools I believe.
Onyx Ibex2 years ago
Love it! I broke my light bulb so I will just have to wait until the next one burns out to try again...
ChrysN (author)  Onyx Ibex2 years ago
I found hollowing out a light bulb to be the hardest part. Not to mention dangerous too, I got a few scratches from that.
BluesBayou2 years ago
This would be a great addition to the Mad Scientist lab, desk.... :) Good job!
ChrysN (author)  BluesBayou2 years ago
Yes, it would! Thanks.
lbrewer422 years ago
Out of this world!

OK, so I like corny puns :)

Great project - I like the concept of it being in a glass globe.

I wonder if drilling small holes in the skewer and inserting/gluing the free end of the wire-holding-planet into the holes would work easier than trying to wrap the wire tightly?

I also wonder if painted beads of the "right" sizes might work well for planets (with painted highlights).

Amazing concept and I really like the add on gears and other embellishments.

ChrysN (author)  lbrewer422 years ago
Thanks, the beads are a good idea, though I was worried that they might be a bit heavy, the clay I used is really light.
This makes sense!
Exocetid2 years ago
Wow! Sort of disappointing. I thought the planets actually moved correctly like an Orrery. It is doable, inside the bulb, which is great BTW. Making it work would be non-trivial, but the gears would be for real. 

Concentric shafts is the key and construction not unlike a ship in a bottle.
ChrysN (author)  Exocetid2 years ago
Yes, that's why I didn't call it a real orrery, I don't have any experience making gears, I guess you can design it on a computer and print it out in 3d or cut them on a laser cutter.
trrydms2 years ago
super cool!
waterbaby2 years ago
Kiteman beat me to the comment: absolutely brilliant!
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