Introduction: Rotating Planetary Party Drinks

Picture of Rotating Planetary Party Drinks

Hello everyone. This is the first instructable that I'Il be making. I'm creating this instructable because of a school project. I'm a fist year Electrical Engineering student and this project is for an extra subject I chose. That doesn't mean that I'm doing this just for school. I've been on instructables quite some times and this was just the next step of signing up and starting this project. I'm excited!

I have formulated my do's & don't with the MoSCoW method below.

Must: The gears must rotate with filled glasses on them

Should: The tray should look nice and finished, no wires or splinters on the wood.

Could: If I have the time I will stain the different pieces of wood different colours.

Won't: I won't spend more then 30 euro's on this project.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

For this project you'll need:


- Laser cutter (at least 30 x 30 cm)

- 3D printer

- Some wood glue

- Glue clamps (about three)

- lighter

- Hot glue gun

- Sanding paper

- Soldering iron


- 3d hand for soldering

- power supply

- multimeter

- pillar drill (likely)


I used the laser cutter and 3D printer in the makerspace at school.

- Some basic wires (solid or twisted, what you prefer)

- Soldering tin

- Approximately 3 mm (3/32 inch) diameter heat shrink tubing

- 30 x 30 cm (12 x 12 inch), 3 mm (3/32 inch) thickness birch triplex for laser cutting

- 30 x 30 cm. 6 mm (12 x 12 inch), (1/4 inch) thickness birch triplex for laser cutting

- Approximately 30 x 20 cm (12 x 8 inch) 3 mm (3/32 inch) thickness birch triplex (see illustrator file with individual small gears for actual size)

- Some PET or other material for 3D printing in your desired colour (blue was not my first choice...)

- A slow motor with some torque, My DC motor was not branded so it's almost impossible to find out which one it was. the best way to find out if your motor suits your needs is to test it. Maybe you could salvage some old printer motors.

- An old 9V battery or 9V battery clips.

- A working 9V battery but your current and voltage depend on your motor so make sure you figure that out first.


- Basic adobe illustrator or inkscape or any similar program that supports vector images knowledge

- Basic knowledge of the machines described above (or just someone to help you get started :p)

Step 2: The Inner Small Gears

Picture of The Inner Small Gears

Okey this step is very easy. Please download the file planetary gear and (obviously) open it in addobe illustrator. This file should contain all the small inner gears and the big gear platform. I am assuming that you have some basic knowledge of adobe illustrator or inkscape if, not so I recommend reading up before you start or you can just learn along as we go.

You will need the 30 x 30 birch 3 mm thick plate to cut this. The settings of your laser cutter depend on the wood and cutter you use so, I recommend asking your local makerspace for the specs for different materials, speeds and the thickness. All the cutting strokes are 100% red and the engraving strokes are 100% black so you can change the right strokes to the right colour.

After you're done cutting you should end up with the 4 gears with fancy patterns and 4 regular gears with a giant hole through them. The next step is to sand the sides that look rough or burned by the cutter. (WARNING!! DO NOT SAND THE SIDE WITH TEXT ON IT unless you want to)

Now stick a fancy gear and a regular gear together with wood glue with the text side to the outside. Till the gears look like the ones on the picture but with different text of course cause that was just a test.

note: (make sure the teeth are perfectly aligned otherwise you might run into problems later)

Step 3: Ring Gear and Bottom Layer

Picture of Ring Gear and Bottom Layer

For this step you'll need another 3 mm 30 x 30 birch plate and you'll need a 6 mm 30 x 30 plate. Now download the file platform upload it and place your 3 mm plate in the cutter. If you know the diameter of your motor shaft I advice you to add a hole in the small gear in your current illustrator file that usually turns out a lot better than just driling it. After you've cut out this piece you need to sand one of the surfaces with the smallest grid sand paper you have available so the surface is nice and soft and the gears can easily roll across it. I recommend marking a teeth with a pencil on side you just sanded so you remember which side you sanded but just feeling which side is softer works as well.

Now place your 6 mm plate in the laser cutter and upload the shapes from ring If you know the diameter of your motor shaft I advice you to add a hole in the small gear in your current illustrator file that usually turns out a lot better than just driling it. (once again make sure you have the right setting for cutting 6 mm) (it really sucks to find out the laser only went halfway through...) Now cut the parts sand both surfaces to get rid of the burnt edges.

Once you've cut these parts you need to carefully apply wood glue to the 6 mm ring gear with teeth on the inside, this is very important otherwise you will most likely end up with tiny glue droplets on the inside of the ring, this might constrict the movement of the inside gears. when the glue is on take some time to look at all sides to see if the teeth of the bottom part and the ring line up. Once they do put on your clamps like in the pictures and let it dry for at least half an hour before removing the clamps.

Step 4: Attaching the Motor

Picture of Attaching the Motor

I'll be short about how to attach the motor to the bottom plate because every motor is different really. But you should avoid putting screws or nails through the bottom plate unless you are really really sure about it and make them flush with the bottom plate of wood.

My motor had iron braces on it and I clamped them between two pieces of 3 mm birch and glued that to the bottom plate. with the motor shaft through the hole I cut. But it really depends on what kind of motor you have. A nema 17 stepper would do fine but that requires a lot more electronics than a DC motor so it's up to you.

Step 5: The Electronics

Picture of The Electronics

We want the gears to turn without our help cause I'm lazy and I don't want to crank it or something like that. So we need to power it!

My motor happens to work perfectly with just a 9V battery so that's what I'Ill be using. unfortunately I didn't have any 9V battery clips available so I made some.

Grab an empty 9V battery and start peeling of the metal from the bottom side of the battery. Remove the cells inside and keep the upper part with the clips on them.

Now you need to solder the wires of the motor to the clips it doesn't matter how they are connected because the current would simply flow through the inductors in the opposite direction making the motor turn the other way. as long as they don't touch each other! so make sure you test it before we move on. You can do this either by just connecting a battery and see if the motor starts turning or you can use a multimeter if you have one.

Now I don't want wires hanging form my project so I measured the distance from motor to battery and unfortunately my wires weren't long enough so I had to strip them, splice and solder them. I twisted the wires together so they wouldn't move while soldering.

After soldering the wires use a lighter and some heat shrink tubing to isolate the wires (warning don't just torch your isolation keep the flame near the tubing not in the tubing (it will smell)).

Fill your 9V battery clip with hot glue to isolate it and then just stick it to bottom of the plate

Step 6: Giving It Legs

Picture of Giving It Legs

Now you just need to print leg.stl (make sure you print it in 10x scale I miscalculated) in your desired colour and only print three of them that way it will always be balanced. You can stick the legs on with some hot glue from your glue gun. you can either eyeball the positions or measure them.

Step 7: Finishing Touch

Picture of Finishing Touch

Now put in the middle gear, mine was push fit but you can use glue too. connect your battery up and enjoy rotating party drinks!!!!

thank you for following along please tell me what I can improve and feel free to message me for details


stevenk102 (author)2017-01-25

Al 1000 views, dat is al meer dan mijn instructables

KitsuneMikan (author)2017-01-25

that's realy nice! since I am a lazy person I will probably rather paint than sand it but I'll definitely give it a try!

Yeah I was gonna paint it but I had a deadline so no paint

Idan Warth (author)2017-01-24

Looks really nice!

Thank you Idan

kenyer (author)2017-01-24

Cool to see the "technisch speelgoed" mini makerspace in someone else's Ible. Really nicely done Bas!

vanDrielElectric (author)kenyer2017-01-24

thank you for using your workshop :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Hello my name is van Driel, I am an electrical engineering student in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. I love making ''stuff'' primarily some DIY electronics ... More »
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