Introduction: 3D Printed Maze With Captive Ball Bearing

This project shows how to make a 3D printed maze, with a captivated (trapped) ball bearing.

Step 1: Run the Code

You can run the maze_generation.m in MATLAB (or convert to your own favorite language). Select the number of spaces in the square maze at line 17, and the ball bearing diameter at line 20.

Step 2: Copy and Paste to OpenSCAD

Once the script has run, copy the command window text over to OpenSCAD.

Step 3: OpenSCAD

View the output in OpenSCAD. Then render (press F6), and save the STL file.

Step 4: Setup for Your 3D Printer

Take the STL file into your slicer software, and prepare the GCODE for your 3D printer.

Here are my settings for my 3D printer...

0.2 mm layer height
1.2 mm infill line width

2 mm wall thickness

1.2 mm top/bottom thickness

Enable ironing

Infill density 20%

Printing temp, 205 Build plate, 60 Diameter 1.75 mm Flow 100% Enable retraction

Print speed 40 mm / s Travel speed 90 mm / s

Enable print cooling

Printer 120mm/120mm/120mm Heating bed Gcode flavor Marlin

Nozzle size 0.4 mm 1.75 mm material diameter

Step 5: 3D Print the Maze...and Be Ready Part Way Along

As you print the maze, once the walls are taller than the ball bearing, drop the ball bearing into the maze

Step 6: Play With the Maze

Here is a completed print. This one was printed with regular purple for the bottom layers, and then glow-in-the-dark for the top layers.

Assuming you picked a regular steel ball bearing, you can also use a fridge magnet to move the bearing around the maze.

Made with Math Contest

Participated in the
Made with Math Contest