Introduction: 3D Printed Rope Maker

About: Qualified Sparks, with a love for designing and making things whenever I can.

Hi Makers!

Heres a very cool project. Inspired by one of my favorite YouTube creators, Grant Thompson! I dedicate this project to you, as thats where I got the idea from. RIP Grant... Loved and Respected by so many!! 1980-2019.

I haven't seen anyone create this project for a 3D Printer yet, so here is my version. It'll make Rope, any size/any length as long as you have the space!! So lets crack on...

Materials Needed:

- 2x 370mm Lengths Aluminum "L" Angle 20mm x 1.5mm

- 15x M6 Nuts

- 6x M6 Washers

- 2x M6 Bolts 30mm

- 1x Wood screw (10-20mm)

- 10x 606zz Bearings

- 8x M10 Nuts

- 4x M6 Eye Bolts 60mm

7x M6 Hex Bolts 50mm

Step 1: 3D Printing Your Parts

Here are all the STL Files I created in TinkerCad. Youll need 1x of each file to complete this project.

Step 2: Assembly of Main Mechanism (Part A)

Okay, So 1st we'll start assembling this main mechanism. The actual part that will spin and coil the rope.

1a.) Grab your 3D Printed Front plate, and place 3x of your Eye Bolts through the frame as shown.

1b.) Also place 5x M6 50mm Bolts through the frame.

2.) Slide 1x 606zz Bearing over each Eye Bolt and push into the frame.

3.) Slide 1x M10 Nut over each Eye Bolt (Will work as a spacer).

4.) Slide your 3D Printed Cogs over each Eye Bolt.

5.) Now in Reverse, Place another M10 Nut, followed by another 606zz Bearing, followed by another M6 Nut and tighten well. Make sure the bearings spin smoothly.

Step 3: Assembly of Main Mechanism (Part B)

Now we need to make the centre gear, as show in the first photo.

1.) Slide an M6 Nut along an M6 50mm Bolt and do up tightly. (This will be the main operational gear and will be where you put your drill or socket, to turn the gears).

2.) Slide on a 606zz Bearing, followed by an M10 Nut.

3.) Slide on your other 3D Printed Gear, followed by another M10 Nut, 606zz Bearing and do up tighly with an M6 Nut.

4.) You can now place this gear into the frame, making sure the head of the bolt is on the opposite side to the Eye Bolts.

5.) Now... Place the other side of the frame on top.

6.) Put 1x washer on each of the 5x M6 50mm bolts followed by an M6 Nut and do up tightly.

The Main Mechanism is now complete. Check everything turns freely and all bolts are tight enough not to unscrew themselves while in operation...

Step 4: Assembly of Rope Tower

So here is the Rope Tower. This will serve the purpose of 2x jobs. It will keep tension on the strings whilst they're spinning, causing them to coil evenly, and it'll also slide forward along the rails. This will happen because the more you twist the string, the more tension it'll have, causing the rope to contract and become shorter.

1.) Grab your 3D Printed parts, and bolt them together as shown in the photos using 1x M6 30mm bolt and 1x M6 50mm Bolt.

2.) Make sure to thread the String Hook in place too. You will then screw your "1x wood screw" into the other hole of the String Hook to secure it.

2.) Tie a length of string around the hook securely as shown.

3.) Now, thread some string or small chain around/through the holes in the Weight Trough, and tie to the other end of the string. (The length of the string will depend on how high your working platform will be). Keep reading to the end to find this out. (PICTURE HEAVY!!)

Step 5: Assembly of Slide Rails

And now, for the slide rails. This is pretty self explanatory from the photos, so have a quick look at them. It'll serve the purpose of locking onto the edge of the table and allow the Rope tower to slide forward keeping that much needed tension on the strings.

1.) Grab your 3D Printed rail ends, and Pressure fit them into Aluminum Angle. (A clamp or a few gentle taps with a hammer were enough to lock these innto place for me).

2.) Grab your pulley, and screw into place using 1x 30mm M6 Bolt and secure with an M6 Nut.

That's it! Now we can set all this up and start making some rope :-)

Step 6: Set Up Your Rig!

You'll need to add some weight to your "Weight Trough". Coins, Nuts & Bolts are all good for this, and the more you use, the better really.

Place the Slide mechanism at one end of the table.

Place the Main Mechanism at the other end and using the space provided at the bottom of the "Main Mech", Clamp down to your table.

Grab a drill with a 10mm Socket and test your Mech works nicely.

We can now thread our boring thin String through the eye bolts. You can have either 1,2,3,4,5etc strings on each eye bolt on the Mech, and they all go back to the "Rope Tower Eye Hook"...

Make sure your Trough is weighted and is keeping the Tower at the back of the slide rail before twisting any rope.

Place the Rope Seperator infront of the Rope Tower.

Connect your drill and start spinning "some soon to be" Rope. After you've spun your rope and it's under quite a bit of tension, you can pull your "Rope Slide" towards the Main Mech, and watch as your string turns into some hefty rope! It's as simple as that. Have Fun!!

Rope & String Speed Challenge

First Prize in the
Rope & String Speed Challenge